There are things we cannot un-see, stories we cannot unread. There are images we cannot forget and there are people we can never see again.
And then there was Ifeoma Abugu, Chijioke Iloanya, Tunde Nafiu, Daniel Chibuike, Ayomide Taiwo, Kolawole Joshua, Christina Ugochuckwu, Chinuike Anams, Kolade Johnson, Tiamiyu Kazeem, Godspower Edoha, Ayomide Taiwo, Ezekwe, Solomon Eze, Jimoh Isiaka, Ganiyu Moshood Alabi, Adeoye Taiwo and many others whose stories haven’t been told, many others who went missing and till date, no one knows where their corpses were dumped and their stories may never even reach the news.
I borrow a cue from a recent manuscript in my archives to usher in the thoughts that would follow.
There’s that moment, that special moment in time when all the noises in life syncs. In that moment, a beautiful rhythm, a symphony of souls and the expressions of the ‘whats’ of who a plethora persons really can achieve, be, and who they really are, plays through the chords of the universe on strings of time and the web it spins in the network of our interconnectedness.
You see, we are a billion parallels, closely woven, knitted like a gift basket, that in such moment as that which was aforesaid, we converge, conferencing like a confluence. In moments and times as this, we chorus a common song, one of pain, oppression and an expression of all that leads onto depression and/or maybe temptation.
Maybe we aren’t so parallel after all; not as parallel?
Maybe we are myriads of the flayed strands of threads of the same knitted fabric?
Maybe in moments as this, we are more together than we know enough to realize?
There are things we’d never really know for sure, but this much I can assert, that everything, everyone; every-thing happens at once.
My late fatherhad a very strange way of preaching togetherness between his dozen plus children. When there’s a fight between us kids, he’d ask both parties to each pick a single strand of broomstick and ask us to break it. As many times as this happened; the times I was involved and the other times my siblings were involved, he made us all watch. And as many times, the single strands snapped with next to no effort at all. He then goes on to ask the demonstrators (both warring parties) to each pick a bunch and break it.
The failure till date is as marvelous as when he asked both parties to cooperatively attempt to break a single bunch. No amount of effort to break the bunch yielded. I could almost still feel the splinters in my fingers as I type this. That was all we got; splinters. No success at breaking the bunch.
You see, father was a talker. He was articulate and wise. But the times he wanted to show you his sagely wisdom, he’d speak very little and show you an experiment as the one I described above. He’d say “I trust you to understand this someday”. We wouldn’t hear the last of it, if I or my twin set foot a minute earlier or later than the other in the house. “Two is a force” he always said.
You see, I am a few years short of 30 and the wisdom Papa expressed in those demonstrations just hit home some 8/9 days ago when the Nigerian youths through their tenacity, bravery and positivity, redefined the essence of the strength in a bunch and the unsurmountable, unquenchable force in the power of numbers.“Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil” This became my favorite part of our Lord’s Prayer, the only prayer I prayed for the past 11 years, since I became another Nigerian youth with a target painted on my back. Ok; maybe the other part I fancied, was “give us this day, our daily bread”.
An average Nigerian is out to make daily bread. Mama always prayed as we went on our ways, that we return, unscathed by the evil of the day. The truth everywhere in the world is, evil lurks on every corner. But the kind of evil that lurks in a country with life expectancy less than that of war torn Afghanistan is beyond mere saying. It is almost as if the odds are stacked against us (youths). And what’s worse?! The very parameters that should keep us safe, like brackets around X, prod and poke us with daggers, spears and swords and the muskets are always loaded, going off willy-nilly.
If you ask any Nigerian youth struggling to break ground, to break bread and to breakthrough, plenty plenty story full ground. Life on this turf is hard. We live on the fringes, on the edge of peril. We toil and till and suffer a wave of torment and we keep trying only for the marauders on both sides of the balance of law to rape, pillage and oppress us. “Plenty plenty story dey ground” and the chorus now is that we all speak up “Soro Soke” and nothing, no powers that be, can snuff our voices, gag or bridle us.
There’s no sweeter music, no better pleasing song than the chorus of the oppressed. It is the high pitch sound of our voices that transpose into the heavens and rend the air of the vile evil of man. You see, the revolution has just begun.
We awoke to heartrending movies like Sarafina and has installed a fire which the oppression thus ignites. There is a Sarafina in all of us. There’s a heart that cries for the hearts that bled, the hearts that grief and the vacuums unfilled. There’s a pain that cannot heal, the one that binds our souls together and for this we cry, we cry. We cry that we be set free. That we be as the kings and queens we are in our own land.
Maybe, just maybe I am still unemployed and struggling because a trigger happy officer of the underworld shot my link to a good job? Maybe, I am still single because, my heaven proposed soul-mate had a car early in life and was maimed or killed? Maybe a friend died because someone that could have helped contribute to the surgery for his congenital heart condition was stopped, extorted and framed. Maybe, just maybe the next victim would be me. Maybe Ifeoma Abugu, Chijioke Iloanya could have meant more high above the six feet they were sent. Maybe Tiamiyu Kazeem would bring glory to Nigerian football. Now we’d never know. Now we’ll never know how these blessing cut down before fruition would have made the world better.
As e be say you feel say e no concern you. How you take know say dem never rob you of that special somebody even before you meet am? How you take know say dem never hurt your chances like this? How you sure say e no go be me, or you, or your spouse or your friend?
Remember, together we can win. A bunch can never break. We are together in this and a unity is a force that moves mountains.