A mini mind is one that is confined to a particular surrounding. it does not intend to rise from that status of equilibrium but is content with either being ‘okay’ in life or just the one-eyed king in the land of the blind…be not a mini-mind. striving to be more is what a human should do, think, eat and live.
We know people make up new year resolutions at the end of each year, hoping to have accomplished most if not all by the end of the next year. Ironically, while some struggle to achieve the first three out of about 20 to-dos, the others remember not a word from wherever the list is.
i am one of them, well, at least i got more than half of my resolutions in 2014 achieved. But, the sad thing is, number one on my priority list was to finish the book i started writing in 2013. Well, i am stuck. So, i turn to myself, my inner self and ask what happened in 2014? Why did i get stuck while everyone was moving on?
The answer is not far-fetched. i guess i refused to understand the way i work, and how my life functions when i make resolutions for myself. i remember not writing a resolution to start a book. i realise that i am more of a spontaneous person.
some of us are this way. that moment when we decide to make resolutions is when we deter from accomplishing them. so, if you are one of the live-as-it-comes people, then do so. I hope to continue with my book soon. And, by the way, i made no new year resolutions because it’s all gonna come as it was meant to.
Peace…Another story on the way. Just had to do this.
Mr. Johnson the school teacher left Madam Folorunsho, the paraga seller and walked towards the alley preceding the street he lived in. At the other end, he sighted Ajanaku and Ori ejo struggling for wraps of marijuana in a ‘poly bag’. They saw him and, fooled by the darkness, ran off, almost out of the alley until Johnson whistled a tune they were familiar with, did they turn and grin in the dark. A smile replaced their previous expression as Mr. Johnson strode towards them.
‘What are you doing here this late sir? ‘ Ajanaku asked, feigning ignorance as they shook hands.
‘ A little thing came underway. I had some student-teacher issue to discuss.’ Mr. Johnson replied. He was about to tell them of his escapade when the praises of the boys cut him off. The boys pretended to be oblivious of tired workers and school children struggling to sleep in the intense heat and ‘swarm’ of mosquitoes pervading their rooms. Rather, they shouted in the dark night. Mr. Johnson silenced them with a wave of his hand and asked, ‘I see you boys have been busy. Any luck?’ they shook their heads. ‘The bus gave us problems. So we had to spend…’ Mr. Johnson nodded quickly to show he understood.
The #5000 Naira they had placed in his hand as proceeds from routing Agege to Oshodi and finally to Bariga for at least 8 times was a lie. He would try to see if they had made more. So he asked cynically,’ you must have made more money right?’
‘Actually, we were thinking of something else.’ The reply came from behind; it was Ori ejo who had then placed a knife on Mr. Johnson’s back, ready to plunge it in. The recipient gasped silently and hurriedly placed the keys to the bus and the money into Ajanaku’s hand. Then, with a signal from Ajanaku, Ori thrust into the man’s back, the steel knife.
Another figure appeared from a corner not too far from where the deed had been done. His inquisitive and bloodshot eyes reflected the disastrous self he was made of. To Ori he said, ‘Leave him there . Just make sure you wash your hands. We don’t want blood on our hands do we?’
‘Of course not.’
‘The police will have something to keep them busy. Let us go.’ They had walked ten steps when he turned sharply and let out two silent shots from a previously unseen gun. Two thuds followed. He smiled then walked off. That was how three adults were killed on the night of October 31 without their consent. That was the beginning of terror and haunts on the alley and its environs. His mountains leveled, Omogori walked off with the keys to a bus and the sum of #15,000 Naira in his hand.
In the bus, he turned the ignition, nothing budged. Omogori cursed the dead men under his breath,’Irresponsible idiots!’. He tried once, twice and countless times until the bus wheezed, coughed and jerked before releasing a strenuous sound that probably meant,’I Do!’ then the driver steered off the side onto the street towards Agege. However, the bus swerved on its own accord, ramming its headlights into a parked lorry on the roadside. Omogori’s head hit the steering which out of prolonged use was battered. The force sent his head jamming into a gap between the steering wheel and dashboard.
The air was moist and momentary blasts of hot air saturated the woman. She picked up her already moist handkerchief and squeezed it before using it to mop her face. The noise playing behind the driver irritated her. She got a quick look. It was those passengers who delighted in making life miserable for their fellow man. ‘STOP PLAYING THAT SILLY MUSIC AND SWITCH OFF THE… THE (she got a closer look) UGLY LOOKING PHONE!’ Everyone stared at her but she maintained the gaze. Many thought the usual thing. It was possible she was under an intense psychological problem. They all asked the culprit to switch off his phone and with assuring eyes, a man nodded that it was okay. She rolled her eyes and looked out the window.
The bus stopped, she alighted and headed towards the train station with the burden on her head. ‘iyaibeji, careful over there, the railing is slippery.’ someone cautioned. She smiled her thanks and held onto the wooden rail then climbed the steps gingerly and sighed when she reached the platform. She collected her ticket of N150 at the ticket point and showed the ticket to the checker who must have seen it being handed over to her. ‘hanhan, move jor. No press the tin for my face’ he said. She sucked her teeth and spat into the grass then tottered towards the train. Her first impulse was to turn away and look for another alternative but she had no choice. She had no problem. Pregnant women always got a place to seat. She walked down the aisle and everywhere was full since it was occupied by tickets representing vague passengers. She was sweating heavily now and it was no use mopping her face then she heard a beckon that sent airs of relief saturating her body in the midst of the treacherous heat. ‘iyaibeji, come and sit here!’ ‘ha, thanks a lot sir. See as I’m sweating and it’s only the tickets that get to sit.’ The man nodded.’ Abi, even the heat is just unbearable. They just use these fans for decoration.’ He added and nodded towards the grease-filled fans. She hmmnned and resettled in her sit, waiting for the train to blare its horns and move towards Ebutemeta junction.
Sweaty bodies, smelly ones and injured ones were occupants of the train. A few number of clean bodies sent a faint aroma of hope and she savoured each moment passionately. Although she appreciated the kindness of the man beside her, the thick smell from his mouth made her regret accepting his invitation to sit beside. She was acquainted with it at first when he talked about the fans and she hoped he wouldn’t talk anymore but the usual discussions in the cramped train excited him and she had to endure the stiffening smell. Everything nauseated her. She wanted to throw up; the impulse was high but she checked herself. Dupe had taught her a technique she must have read from stupid books. The fear would ease away as it came. She smiled, her pretty sister with her dimpled cheeks. ‘Thank God for that job of hers. At least, our palms won’t be dry anymore’ she thought aloud. ‘What?’ the man asked. She shook her head. Her waiting was not in vain. God’s time indeed was the best. A familiar smell came from her neighbor, she averted her face. He was itching for a conversation but the feeling wasn’t mutual.
The train stopped mid-way. The news spread quickly throughout the coaches. A boy had fallen off the moving train and was chopped underneath the train. People shook with terror: women were aggrieved with maternal sorrow. Different versions sprung up but the ‘surest’ she heard from the checker walking around was that the young man had found no space and sat on the iron pedals enjoying the evening breeze. He must have been enjoying the evening breeze so much that he fell asleep and fell off. Choi! She shuddered. Just like that? Humans die just like that. She eased her stuff and squeezed herself through the mass as she got to her stop.
‘E sun fun iyabeji o. E sun o.’ people adjusted for her and she squeezed her way through the mass of humans. A boy’s elbow nudged her stomach. She opened her eyes wide. ‘ ofepamini? You want to kill yourself?’ ‘ha, sorry ma.’ ‘oloshi’ she moved away not necessarily moving, she was being pushed. She couldn’t control herself, the current of humans propelled her forward, she plunged her hand towards the bannister, it did not reach it. She was being pushed, harder this time. ‘ Let me alight carefully!’ she screamed. Her pleas fell on ears struggling to hear each other’s complaint and seeking adequate replies. She lunged forward and was caught by the granite-bed. Her frame landed gently and her stomach plummeted to the piercing made by the thick iron beside the rail tracks. Blood splashed onto the faces of the onlookers. The train moved, her legs wobbled under its bosom and every scent of life vanished from her. It moved on and carried the pieces of her body, leaving behind the trunk-less corpse of Olurombi.
When your mother decides you are too little to understand and your father stares blankly in your face with no answer to offer, you know you are torn between two worlds. You decide to let go, to ask if perhaps it is your doing but a sigh follows your question and your parents turn their backs and you stare but in confusion.
The morning owl that woke you up that day sent chills down your spine. It was as though nature had given consent to the foreboding and patiently waited for you to discover at the end of a voyage of mystery.
‘Why did you let him touch you? Why couldn’t you wait?’
You almost point to your chest to assert if you are being talked to, she nods.
‘Who touched me? I don’t know, in what sense? ‘ a pause then, ‘I do not understand Mother.’
‘Why will you…
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He was not one who was apprehensive about life. He took it as according to the saying: One step at a time. Life was a mystery which,one had to deal with each day. He was going to be careful and gentle. With this thought, he smiled and retrieved his documents from the man in a black,uniform who did not apologize,or say anything but ‘You can leave now.” and he left, into the airport and outside, wondering why the doors opened on their own volition. Why had he smiled he thought within himself. Why had he smiled a stressful smile? A smile that left his cheeks aching as he rubbed them now. A taxi pulled up n front of him; ‘where to sir?’
‘New York University sir.’
‘Hop in man.’ He entered, jammed the door and waited awkwardly for,the,cab driver to move. Rather, he stared cooly at him from the rear…
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After watching a video, The Real History of Nigeria, my heart sank. To think that a nation this depressing and despondent was once flourishing, with endless laughter and endless springs of joy. Perhaps the advent of the military can be what caused the present state but there is no denying the fact that this path of dilapidation we are firmly rooted in is traceable to some unresolved issues in our past and the laxity of the youth of today.
Imagine, the likes of Awolowo were in their 20s when they made a revolution in Nigerian politics. Achebe was 28 when he wrote a novel to assert the cultural values and eminence of Africa through the Ibo community. Think of Kaduna Nzeogwu who facially looked so young yet was able to plan a coup and execute it.
I am not suggesting that we cause trouble or go topple the government. No! I am asking that we stop being those youths who constantly are reclining towards selfishness, not caring what the fate of our neighbor is but bent on getting what will profit us. We must not follow the footsteps of leaders whose thinking radiates around benefits, monetary to be exact, from the nation’s economic treasury. No, let us live by the injunction in our national adbthem; ‘help our youth the truth to know, in love and honesty to grow and living just and true…’
Let us live by what is right.
Let us stand for truth.
Let us stand for discipline.
Let us uphold the values of our nation.