Saturday 24 June 2017
It's the eve of your 30th birthday. You pack a few clothes into your box, and hit the road, homebound. Two days in the company of mummy and daddy wouldn't be a bad way to spend the weekend. You slot in a disc into your Camry's CD player, and what follows is the mellifluous tune of saxophone, and for a moment you consider Kenny G a deity. Yes, Yanni caresses your heart, but 'Songbird' whispers to your ventricles. The track plays out and is succeeded by 'How Could An Angel Break My Heart'. You heave a sigh of pleasure in the same way you'd lick your lips before a plate of Mama's Oha soup, but now it's music and it's feeding your soul. Soon, you turn at a junction, and there are lovers making a turn into another street. With hands clasped, they walk slowly beyond your sight. You greet it with a smile, and speed on. Soon another track is on, 'Forever in Love'. It sends you down memory-there are so many lanes-and you remember beautiful times, and beautiful souls. You remember Sally, her glowing caramel skin, it's beauty against the light of the setting sun. You remember you still have that Silhouette of you two , a masterpiece picture taken by that funny Jamaican photographer-you try to remember his name but it doesn't matter now. You loved Sally but oh, she was too demanding, a Gucci bag would bite a tithe off your salary, but she could care less. A trip to Dubai, lion-meat barbecue and a front seat at the Superbowl were not beyond her mild-talk more of wildest-dreams. Beatrice was a less costly experiment, you chuckle at this memory. Beautiful and tall, your specs, but what she lacked in Sally, she made up for in nagging, and goodness, gracious, you so hate nagging. For all the love you had for her, you couldn't continue bearing her getting on all your 100 billion nerve cells. You remember Kate, the witch! She wanted all your time and attention, and when you couldn't give it, she left you. Enemy of progress, she was, she wouldn't let you have some time for your career. You recall that she is now married to the Deputy Governor's son, and you hiss. Good for her! Kenny G is still playing. It's a faster song now and you quickly run through the list-the Exes of a soon-to-be senior bachelor. You remember the good, the bad and Anabel-the ugly, you remember their many faults, but you also remember your married friends. Maybe there is no perfect partner anyway, you brood further. Maybe you could have been more tolerant, maybe a little patience with Sally would have made the difference. Maybe Beatrice was the perfect imperfect one, maybe she so loved you that she couldn't spend a day without you. You are thinking now, maybe you should have been less of the perfectionist you are. This is like scratching on old healing wounds, it's painfully sweet. You are reliving the moments and though you'd hate to admit it, it now seems you loved some of these ladies more than you thought you did, and it appears you are falling in love all over again. Now you are wondering why it should feel so nice that a blade of these old flames still burns in your heart, how fantastic will it be that those who walked away or from whom you walked away walk back in? Cannot old flames burn again?
By now you are hooting at the gate, the security man would soon answer. You engage your wait with a crazy rhetoric, what if you pull out one of your ribs, make a perfect woman, and quit searching for the other missing rib, which-who knows-might be struggling to fit into another man's ribcage. Switching off Kenny G, you laugh it off and drive into your parent's compound.
Wednesday 14 June 2017
In the beginning there were a few people, few men and women. And there was wealth for which these men contested. Yes, there was a fight and the stronger men won, and won for themselves the wealth. So, there came to be two kinds of men based on wealth-the RICH and the POOR. Before this time there were two kinds of men based on appearance, the handsome and the ugly, but the beauty of men was little beyond the beauty of their wealth, thus appearance never really mattered.
From this point the RICH men wanted the BEST things, of course they could afford the BEST things, and the POOR men couldn't. And here the greatest of the BEST things were the BEAUTIFUL women. Appearance, unlike among men, really did matter among women, and to this end there were two kinds of women-the BEAUTIFUL women and the UGLY women.
Due to their wealth, the RICH men took for themselves the BEAUTIFUL women as wives leaving the UGLY women for the POOR men. And so was society divided into two-the BEAUTIFUL RICH and the UGLY POOR. soon this was shown in the offsprings of both unions, whereas the RICH man and the BEAUTIFUL woman produced BEAUTIFUL RICH children, the POOR man and the UGLY woman produced UGLY POOR children.
In time these offsprings were grown and due for marriage and the BEAUTIFUL RICH parents of the BEAUTIFUL RICH sons looked out for the BEAUTIFUL RICH daughters of other BEAUTIFUL RICH parents, and when there were no more BEAUTIFUL RICH daughters, they searched around for the rare BEAUTIFUL POOR daughters of the UGLY POOR, and thus UGLY POOR sons hardly got the chance of marrying the BEAUTIFUL POOR daughters and most of what was left for them was the UGLY POOR daughters of the UGLY POOR parents. They would continue to groan that whatever thing of beauty found among the POOR was taken by the RICH to continue the union of BEAUTY and WEALTH, and consequently the union of UGLINESS and POVERTY.
So, at the top echelon of society is the genetically-related oligarchy, the genetically-related monarchies of Europe, the genetically-related elites of Nigeria, captains of Industry, legal luminaries, Dons in the academia, the doctor-children of profs marrying the pharmacist-children of profs, the lawyer-children of SANs marrying the engineer-children of engineers. At the end, kings give out their daughters to princes and the poor man's daughter unbeknownst to her father is saving to contribute to her dowry.
In this like does society go, in polar opposites, like for like, in the ever-increasing gulf between the BEAUTIFUL RICH and the UGLY POOR.
Saturday 10 June 2017
Oneness has been utopian, and unity saintly but so has the heart of man remained desperately wicked. With Good and bad, diplomacy equates compromise, and with light and darkness, we have the different shades of gray, and light is either now less light or no light.
Also, isn't there a reason why we are not one colour, one language, one world order? Isn't there a reason why you speak English and I speak Dothraki? Isn't there a reason why my mother wants a Sari and the Queen goes for her hat? Of course, there has to be a reason, a God-ordained reason, a nature-enforced reason. Yet in the fantasy of this convoluted softness, some began to close their eyes to the obviousness of differences. They said 'Bridges not walls' and threw their doors open. But reality has dawned between then and now, and it is clear that the multicultural experiment in Europe would always be a failure, just as it has always been in Nigeria.
We are all beasts with different degrees of vileness and bestiality. We are all mad with different degrees of madness. Yet we are all human still, we all love, we all hope, and we all believe, all in different degrees. But still while some crow, others bleat, while some roar, others chirp. Yes, while some bow to the cross, others, those who face the east hope to break it at the the end of time. We mustn't forget these degrees and differences. Some have said to forget our differences, oneness, they said, and while at it the lion's den became the horse's stable, the goat's pen, the fowl's cage and the hyena's playing field. The morning after was calm, there was no bleating of goats, no cock's crow, the horse was nursing his wound, the hyenas were laughing, and well, you can guess what the lions had for dinner.
There is a reason why when we build our homes, we build walls and not bridges around it. We cannot pretend to be living in Al Jannar or the heavenly Jerusalem, this is no Valhalla, there are beasts on the streets, beasts of different bestial degrees and types, and we must behind our gates vet who we let into our homes.
If the world be a zoo, then let the lion have his den, the horse his stable, the sheep their pen, the fish their water, the ape his cave and man his home.
Again I ask, do we forget our differences or do we recognize it, respect and honour it? Whatever we decide we must not forget that together is not always better.
Thursday 8 June 2017
What is war if not men buying freedom and life at the valley of bondage and death? Sweat, blood and tears are legal tenders.
How bloody, how painful yet how gainful the wars of men.
I pause to think, and right within is the noise of a greater war; more bloody, more frightening, and more noisy it is- oh, the war in men. A tussle for power starts a skirmish at dawn, at dusk the ashes of the dead sail the Ganges. The mind and heart, reason and emotion, with coup and counter-coup wrench at intervals the rule of the other. The man sits head in hands, undecided, waiting for the verdict of the war within. An unpaid fee, a lost job, a nagging wife, yes, the tussles without, the strife, scratches and itchings sponsor the warring factions within. A green bottle, certainly of beer, signals a temporary truce. Stupor follows, he sleeps and wakes to another day's battle, and while he sits to belch, a shot is fired, we are back to the trenches.
What profit awaits or what gain has one in the war in men? Need we fight the fight in men? Need we take a side? An alliance system is always in sight, and so is victory or defeat, and life or death. So, we read, so, we run, so, we love, so, we call our friends indeed to help a friend in need all as means to win the war in men. And when life has fought this precious one, boxed him to a corner, back to the wall, need he echo Patrick Henry 'Give me freedom or give me death'?