In Dependence Blues
Today I woke up thinking hard about where I was. In the past two weeks, I have been on the road more than I have been all my life. I practically inhabit the Nigerian Highway, plying the deplorable roads that link the South East to the West; the North is clearly not an option, not even for the brave-hearted.
I remember I am in the guest room of my father’s house. My mum, the early bird, comes to wake me up. I found my attention-seeking Blackberry blinking, messages from the cyberworld.
I log on Facebook and I read a status update about today being the Ist of October. I knew that already but I was too immersed in the anxieties of my life to pay it any heed. Last night, I listened to the News with my father and I laughed when he yabbed the president of my country and his vice. He called them Two Fools. I remember one of the pictures that circulated during the Occupy Nigeria Protests; the one that had Jonathan and Sambo in sleek suits looking like aging con-men.
Back to the Facebook status update, someone in the literary circle had renounced his citizenship, interestingly he is based in the Diaspora. The man in question is perhaps one of the most disagreeable and bitter men I have never met and I will like to keep it so. I was also not interested in what had propelled him to make such a declaration. I doubt that his reasons are inspiring. Same old shit. Nigeria is in shambles. Poor leaders. Thieving politicians. Gargantuan corruption. Complacent citizens. Overwhelming insecurity. I am not bothered about a man in exile who renounces his citizenship after he had abandoned their fatherland when it needed him most. I am not bothered about those who have embraced another country’s space at the expense and in defiance of theirs.
I sit down and begin my early morning reading ritual from where I can hear the uninspired voice of President twitting out of a transistor radio. I heard about his abysmal performance in the President Media Chat a few days ago. The only word that keeping tugging at my sleeve is uninspiring. Being a Nigerian, living in Nigeria, is so uninspiring. We go through the cycles circumventing rate-limiting steps with superb improvisation. Fela describes it best when he sang, Dem dey faint, dem dey wake like cock.
We smile beautifully in spite of our sufferings. That is Nigerian!
Happy In Dependence Day!