A good week to all once again. I don’t know about other parts of the world but it’s really baking here. The humidity alone is brain throbbing. Join that with the typically horrendous Lagos traffic and you’ll have a fair idea of how we’re faring over here. The real meaning to the phrase ‘suffering and smiling’ is right here. Nigerians? We are a formidable people; whoever thinks otherwise should go and fetch water with a basket and give us to drink. Oh no, no, no, I’m not done griping yet; the overworked transformer on my street blew sometime last week and we’ve been admiring the stars at night while swiping at those ubiquitous free loading blood sucking tenants. My generator’s been working overtime sometimes forcing me to choose between power and the deafening noise from the… Oh my, they just brought the power back! The transformer must have been fixed! There is a God in heaven; and a conscience among those in charge. Ah! The air conditioner is on and I’m typing merrily away now. Bliss – while it lasts!
Where was I? Yes, griping. Griping about the awful conditions we’re we are being forced to live under. Without wanting to become too political I can’t help but want to add a voice – and maybe influence a collective one to change our lot for the better. A friend of mine once asked me a question while we were holidaying in Poznan in Poland sometime ago. We were drinking polish beer in Murowana Gosclina, the old picturesque town square and admiring the pretty young ladies milling about in their various pursuits. Mukul is a doctor turned actor turned director and is one of the few people I love discussing philosophy with. Before going out at night to storm the night clubs (East Europe has the best) we would sit at cafes in the square arguing for hours on end over different schools of thought – he with his Muslim cum agnostic views and I with my Christian and Nigerian ones.
“Kaloo,” he asked in that exotic eastern accent of his.
“Yes?” I replied, waiting for another topic to chew on.
“How many people are there in China?”
The answer seemed quite obvious but I answered anyway.
“About one point six billion?”
He bowed his head in thought for a moment then looked up at me.
“Can you imagine what would happen if all billion plus people were to come out en masse and piss into a ravine at the same time?”
I just sat there staring at him and the dam burst. The image of a furious hot yellow flash flood emanating from a billion and a half people obliterating everything in its path was too much for me. I roared and roared with laughter and it was all I could to keep from rolling on the ground and making a nuisance of myself. Those are the kinds of idiots I have for friends! I love this life… and yes, I am still on course.
I have often thought of the situation here in my beloved Nigeria and thought of the best way to make our voices effectively heard in the most non violent way possible. Not long ago the wonderful women in Kenya decided to checkmate the political impasse in their country by imposing a sex strike on their men. Apparently even prostitutes were paid not to have sex with customers. I’m not sure how effective it was or if it’s over yet but it definitely set me thinking of Nigeria, a nation with a population of about a hundred and forty million. Now if two million of us were to struggle uphill of the national assembly with laden bladders; women discreetly arranged on one side and men standing proudly on the other, and let loose, what a mighty rush that would be! What a river? What streams? What brooks? What impetuous rivulets coursing through corridors of power, suffusing expanses of plush carpets and rugs in their wake. Our little babies would brush aside any security checks, sending security agents scampering for safety, politicians hopping onto their seats; one hand holding up their robes and the other their noses. I can imagine them wading through the uric flood to get to get to their SUVs and of them thinking of getting to work in the days to come. The stench of our displeasure of their handling of affairs of state would reverberate in their nostrils for days on end; not to mention the lingering state of affairs in the halls. The cleaning bill would be substantial I’d expect, but it certainly would be one well spent. Then those people at the helm of affairs would sit up and enact policies that actually benefit the masses in the knowledge that another demonstration of our collective will is just a pure water sachet away. Just a thought!
In summary, I believe we as a people grossly underestimate the power we weld as individuals and as a collective unit regarding changing our destiny for the better. While a few people may strut about at the helm of affairs falsely believing they and their favoured ones are born to rule to the detriment of the governed, it is important to remind them from whence the power given them emanates – the people. The beauty of it is that it can be done in the most peaceful way like Mahatma Gandhi did with his passive resistance to break the crippling hold Britain had on India. We as Nigerians can stand up and voice our disapproval of the inept way our economy is being handled by people who have no business being there in the first place. We should actively love our country and strive for the best for her and our children We can make our voice heard, so let’s do it. I’m done philosophizing so have a great week everyone.
My air conditioner purrs away
Drying my sweat away
By my ear the mosquitoes sing
While I brace for the inevitable sting!