A single concentric life In the bossom of the hypocrisy of leadership. I seek a hand to hold, But you traced my spine and made fragile the cords that binds it. The staggering magnitude of corruption Failed to forge a strong and united nation.
Everyday we died and lived. Pandemonium, like mushroom pills, Sprang at every corner. The past blossoms in old memories With hope to find solace in the present — A story left unfinished.
Daily, we toil and wallow admist much yield, Untapped resources at abandoned state. Alas! Corrupt leaders at my fortune’s wheel, Thinking the vices are hidden from public glare.
All you desire is my ruthless Identity! Come close and see a child cowering behind vulnerability. I wear my name in camouflage mask: I am black and strong; I am Nigeria. @debbie Anyadike
I stand to aver that Nigeria has no political sphere. What she does have is a ‘pò-litical sphere’. You might want to ask: “What does pò-litics mean?” Simply put, it is the system of rulership in Nigeria.
The BREAKDOWN: The word, “pò-“, is native to the Yoruba tribe. It is an adjectival morpheme, and means “plenty or abundant”. As for “-litics”, let’s just say it means politics.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP? Politics is simply the sphere of life whereby an individual or a group of people take on leadership inclinations, primarily for the interest of all. It is subject to context. For example, church politics, school politics, American politics, China politics, etc. However, there is a brutal reversal of the essence of politics in its manifestations in Nigeria. While politics should be for the good of all, the Nigerian version, especially, has proven that politics is for the benefit of the few involved. Truth be told, more than 90% of Nigerian politicians care less about the masses (that’s even if they care at all). They go into politics to amass wealth, fame and power. In other words, the rationale behind their venture into politics is to get the above in abundance: the true essence of the word, pò. By the above, the perpetual news of embezzlement of colossal amount of funds by politicians is less astonishing. In sum, unless much is consciously done to distant “PÒ-LITICS” from the Nigerian politics, Nigeria can never amount to anything politically.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO When next anyone tells you she wants to go into politics, ask the question, “Do you really want to be a politician or a pò-litician?
Aunty Bose was the pain of my life. She was one of those women who only smiled after telling on you, describing to your parents the mischief you had been up to during the day. She would use her toothpick-like arms to demonstrate the severity of your crimes by raising them really high like a choirmaster who sought high notes from his choristers. The essence of such action was to make one’s parents really angry, and this anger was surely going to be converted into a good beating. Sometimes, her stories were true; however, they were often exaggerated. But most times, they were simply the vengeful tales of a woman who hated everything about happy children.
Some of us called her “auntie” while the rest of the children living in the dilapidated two-storey building secretly called her a WITCH. Of course, it had to be done in secret because we knew she would cook up lies to avenge herself. Indeed, this description would prove to be apt.
To all the working-class parents, Aunty Bose was godsend because she was a sit-at-home wife –another name for joblessness. Aunty Bose’s availability meant that she could always keep an eye on other people’s children, watching out for faults the way a kite watches the movement of a potential prey. To summarise it all, she was adored by many parents. Who wouldn’t like a woman who helped you watch your kids for free while you were away?
The earliest memory I have of Auntie Bose was when she tied my hands and legs to the hands and legs of another boy because we were caught trying to draw water from the well. We were about five years old. To Auntie Bose, tying our hands and legs will stop our “touchy touchy” and our “waka waka”. No wonder why many parents respected Auntie Bose.
Now, I should not get all nice and warm in my description because none of the aforementioned adjectives could be used to describe Auntie Bose. She was the kind of woman who would store water in buckets at her backyard for days whenever our regularly-dry well decided to produce water. Most times, this water would turn green because she never had use for the extra she always stored. It was believed by many children and even adults that she intentional stored excess water so that others would have none when they needed water from the well. Perhaps, Auntie Bose was just being smart by storing water for the dry day. Nevertheless, I, alongside others, remained of the opinion that she was a witch — the greatest there was and the greatest there ever will be.
One would think that Aunty Bose would we satisfied with all she did; however, one was to be proven wrong because Aunty Bose was prowling about like the biblical roaring lion, seeking who to devour. Pardon my hyperbolic allusion. The major thing that got destroyed in her itinerary of doing mean things was our balls. Do not fret it, she was not completely devilish because, by “balls”, I literally mean “footballs” and not the other one you know.
The ability of Auntie Bose to put away balls was legendary for different types and colours of balls met their waterloo when they came in contact with her. Most times, she would use a knife to cut them into many pieces, throwing the pieces back at us in a bid to see our sad faces. Knife or not, we all knew that once balls got into her hands, they would never be released because she loved her balls: probably too much.
Surely, we were not going to sit for long without giving Auntie Bose her share of pain. The resistance started with us children refusing to give her her daily food — greetings. Many a time, we would intentionally pass where she was perched and blatantly refuse to greet her. Of course, her face would then become contorted into something really ugly. We could easily see the veins in her face swelling as blood, fueled by insane fury, rushed into them. We knew she would complain to our parents but we were past caring. In fact, we blatantly refused to surrender our footballs whenever she wanted to seize them; this was the beginning of her downfall, or was it?
One day, we decided to up the game. Auntie Bose had just smartly taken and destroyed our football so we swore vengeance. We had to hit her in a way it would hurt. So, plans were made and plans were discarded. Notwithstanding, there was one plan that stood the test of time. It was the plan. It was despicable!!!
Remember the buckets of water she regularly stored?? That was the plan. Undoubtedly, you will think that the plan was to steal the water or probably to pour it away. No! That was never the plan. The plan was much worse. It required the use of liquid to pollute liquid. The first and second liquids refer to URINE and WATER respectively.
Yes, we decided to urinate into her buckets, and we did. Some of us were to watch out for danger while the rest of us were to commit the act. However, everyone wanted a piece of Auntie Bose, so we committed the act together all the while laughing maniacally like villains do when they declare their intentions of world domination. We did not bother about getting caught because we knew that Auntie Bose went to the market. As we were creating a confluence of two waters, we heard a voice saying, “What are you doing?”
The voice belonged to Auntie Bose. She was back!!!!! She repeated, “What are you doing?”
Going by the notions of self-isolation, intermittent lock downs, heightened level of insecurity, inflation, poverty, retrogressive economy and some other catastrophical things, anyone should be convinced to argue vehemently that indeed COVID 19 is a curse to humanity. Behind this horrible mystery (phenomenon) are, majorly, psychological and religious reasons which put me in a confident state to argue that COVID-19___despite its seeming disastrous effects__ is a blessing, a such that should be appreciated and embraced. There are three unfathomable assumptions about the emergence of COVID 19: one, the assumption that some countries are fighting for superiority and through which the provision of vaccines for the deadly virus, this superiority will be revealed. Two, the assumption that some countries deliberately want to decrease the population of the world so that meritorious economies can be achieved. Lastly, the assumption that sins have become boundless that God decided to afflict humans with a disease that will bring them back to their sacred and humble states. Although these assumptions seem to contain some elements of verisimilitude, one cannot be so gullible to accept them exclusively. Without doubts, the reasons in the unfolding paragraphs should make my stand more vivid and logical.
COVID 19 is a blessing because it awoke the spirit of patriotism and also made some indigenes realize the importance of their country. It is so sad and disheartening that many citizens of a country (most especially the influential ones) find it so difficult to invest in their country. The country’s social and economy growth is left retarded. These citizens together with their family members go to comfortable places where they believe life is perfect, and they are only sighted meddling in the country’s affairs when it’s deemed necessary or when they are affected. Their allegiances are completely far from reach. Nigeria, for instance, is greatly affected by the outbreak of the disease. The economy is dwindling day by day and people’s patience is heading towards waterloo. No wonder stealing, mutilation and harassment are now very rampant. People now have to go to work on routines for survival while education, social and religion sectors are still incarcerated. It is actually this virus that dawned the spirit of patriotism on many Nigerian citizens. First of all, every citizen residing in other county where he/she is not an indigene is asked to return to his/her own country. Thus, leading to the homecomings of so many Nigerian citizens. These comings were so ignominious as so many of them who had thought there was nothing that could not be got outside Nigeria were disappointed. The rich citizens of Nigeria came to realize their shortcomings, how they had neglected their beloved county and constantly running away to land they thought was greener. They were all asked to isolate themselves from some days. The loopholes in Nigeria’s economy, education in terms of technology, management and independence are made vivid to them. Undoubtedly, many of them now have a greater sense of patriotism though still being remorseful. It could be foreboded that when things go back to normalcy, a great number of them will be on the move to facilitate the growth and development of the country prior to reality they encountered.
Of course, COVID-19 brought about the consciousnesses of God and the reverification of faith. For the past years, mankind have been living so strongly dependent on what they believe they created. They channel all their energy towards the development of human race that the reason behind their existentialism is hardly thought. No wonder some religious scholars believed that the disease is more or less an affliction from God to lead humans out of their wrongdoings back to the consciousnesses of him. Some people unconsciously worship money, some worship their fellow humans, others worship man-made things either for interior or exterior motive of which greediness, dishonesty and desecration cannot be underestimated. Gradually, humans are treading the paths of elasticity of some fixed supernaturality. Imagine scientists looking for ways to elongate humans’ life span, people replacing the naturalness of some things with artifices. All these are far beyond limits. The idea of constantly want to prove if God really exists or some kind of human illusive mentalities that aim at bringing about fears and cautiousness of actions. Some are even of the idea that aftermath is nothing but a kind of forgery. Beside this consciousness of God, reverification of faith also surfaced. It has got a stage where one begins to think whom people serve? The religious leaders or the God? The mosque’s or church’s structure or God? many a congregation has been bamboozled believing the efficacy of the religious leaders rather than God. To borrow and reverse a biblical statement, I will say the dues of Caesar have been given to Land and vice versa. COVID-19 therefore, subtly, rectified this. People of the world come to realize that both the churches and mosques together with the religious leaders are nothing but representatives of God. People now have time to reflect and to reverify their faiths. Every household has become a microcosm of their religious stands as all religious gatherings have been duly disassembled.
Even after its demise, the unity COVID-19 instigated will forever be recounted. This sounds so ironical and abysmal but it’s just the acrimonious truth. Some people have been living as if their life depended on their work. The 21st century is indeed a very busy century. Communities, households, cities, countries etc are now unified to some large extent. They are all working fervently to find cure to this virus, and alongside interpersonal, internal and international relationships are built. It was really stupefying when a girl from a very rich home said she wished COVID-19 would never end. The girl later explained the reason behind this vexatious statement. She said her parents were always busy. Working and making more money were all they cared about and evey other thing was given given little prominence including her and her siblings. Now that everybody has to stay at home forcefully, she said her parents had begun to physically, emotionally and psychologically pay a great deal of attention to her as well as her younger siblings. She didn’t have to seek the advice of outsiders for her personal ordeals anymore. She felt delighted and grateful. No wonder the youths of Nigeria who ventured into stealing people’s property in the disguise of Corona virus, poverty and lack of employment didn’t succeed. Many of them were caught while others were met with ghastly penalty. It was unity that made this restraint to be achieved. Undoubtedly, someone somewhere may want to argue otherwise with the idea that disunity has been the order of the day as so many sources of income and happiness have been disrupted and short-lived. But this contradiction is threadbare. People have now realized that the most effective way to overcome this period is by living in oneness. If I may ask the doubtful someone which are more important in the unfolding alternative questions: work or family? Working or staying healthy and alive? Cooperation or disagreement? Another amazing thing is that so far so good many citizens who have feared that poverty, idleness, isolation and boredom will mar their stays at home making them hellish were miraculously nonplussed. Apart from the palliatives given by the governments and some local government chairmen, so many generous movements and programs to help alleviate poverty, hunger and tensions were founded. Even some audio and visual programs prove extremely helpful in this period. Solidarity has suddenly become a familiar concept among peoples.
Without locomoting words, I believe without doubts that COVID-19 should be seen as a blessing rather than a curse. It’s time we understood the fact that not all things that have disastrous physique are always disasters and dooms. Some are just there for some reasons which can not always be made known to us. We should also try as much as possible to always see the positiveness in what appears to be negative. Some are not always curses, but somewhat blessing in disguise. Without much ado, I deem it necessary to halt here.
Nigeria, country blessed with wealth But many people there do dwell In squalor, lack and ill in health As government claims to change propel. By strife and greed her seams were slit To serve those who must riches gain, Few men who morals did omit With ruthless hands these things they drain. The tribes around the Niger spread With hatred each the next does view From east to west and north ahead All plotting bloody change through coup. So let us mourn our crumbling home That sinks in deep and dreary foam.
This is the intellectual property of UDE, Chiedozie. This poem should not be copied or printed in any form without the writer’s permission.
Adichie, generally, should be applauded for being able to shine in the literary world of Nigerian literature which has been largely dominated by the Soyinkas and Achebes. I read Purple Hibiscus for the first time in 2011. Back then, I read it for what it was: an interesting story. However, of recent, I cannot help but give kudos to Adichie for the manner in which she approached everything in this book.
Firstly, her use of her protagonist, as the narrator, helped us to see things from the perspective of a girl made timid by familial obligations and religious constriction. Undoubtedly, the use of this mode of narration helped to endear the character of Kambili to the readers. Adichie’s descriptions of the events are actually how a teenage girl would describe them; thus, giving credence to her choice of Kambili as the narrator.
Secondly, I love her character development. At first, we get to see Kambili as a naive lady, but as time goes on, she comes of age and is able to make several decisions without feeling guilty. One of such is her decision to confess her love to Father Amadi, a man whose job as a preacher requires celibacy. Other instances of this transition can be seen in the way she develops other opinions which are contrary to those of her religious zealot father. This coming of age is what reinforces the bildungsroman aspect of the book.
Also, in terms of character development, we see Jaja grow from a spectator to a key player who begins to look after his sister and mother. Of course, the defiance he shows to his father helps to make the conflict more interesting. Unarguably, the most important act performed by Jaja is when he decides to take the blame for his father’s murder in a bid to protect his mother. This act performed by Jaja debunks the claims made by many that Adichie is totally against the male gender.
Furthermore, Mama also experience this growth; howbeit, not in terms of ageing. She metamorphoses from being a timid woman who lived to please her abusive husband to a woman who would kill her husband in order to protect the children and herself. However callous this may seem, the premeditated murder of Eugene by Mama is justifiable.
Another thing that makes this book worth the hype is that this text discusses a lot of sociological issues that happen in Nigeria — both past and present. The past events covered in this text include: the military coups, the transition from military to civilian rule, the killing of journalists (Ade Coker). The murder of Ade Coker draws great semblance with the murder of the historical personality, Dele Giwa. Thus, we have to give Adichie credit for covering these issues in her text.
Of modern concern in this text has to be themes such as: patriarchy, religious rigidity, the depleted educational system of Nigeria, amongst others. Patriarchy is displayed through the way Eugene Achike rules his family with an iron fist. The religious perspective, also, cannot be underemphasised because many of the actions in the text are instigated by the religious beliefs of the characters. Eugene, for example, believes his father is a pagan; thus, he refuses to respect and help his old father.
Indeed, Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus is a story that is totally worth the hype. It is one that will forever be treasured by yours truly.
They took the burden on their shoulders Their necks had no rest Their hands always pounding Their heads always calculating They thought of everyone except themselves They loved like no other They took the pain with joy And the sorrows of their children They took upon themselves
Their eyes were shut But they never slept Their lips always ready to put their husbands to rest Their breast sagged so fast due to excess loving They had enough strength to trek a thousand miles to distant farms They taught values and gave knowledge to infants
All they ever wanted was peace They gave their all in all Even after being abandoned by fathers who left them to pay the fees Still, after little tears They rose to their feet to lift Sons and daughters With the help of their maker They succeeded eating the fruits of their labour