Hope is Alive??? Maybe Not.

I love my country, as much as I hate to admit it, I do. I have spent more than two decades here so I know what I feel. This love is deep, like the one he had for us, the one that made him take the scorn and pain… (Lol.. Too dramatic.. But I lie not). Well, I love my country. In the short time between the time I completed my first degree and now, I have met with a handful of young people who equally love this country like I do. I know this because I hear it in their voice(s) when they talk, the passionate look in their eyes when we throw down on issues concerning the state of affairs here, the way they sweat when they analyze and discuss these issues. Yes, I have met people who love this country as I do. But what does this love mean when it is only restricted to our clandestine, sometimes open discussions on issues we can’t change? What does this love mean when we can only beat our breasts in anguish as we brood on the increasing number of people dying almost everyday up north? What does this love mean when we are weary from the growing spate of unemployment that threatens to render even the brightest of lads useless? When the young take to acts of violence just to get by? What becomes of this love that stirs hatred in our hearts for the things we can not change? I love my country Nigeria, I do….
Today I shed tears as I watched a young boy who couldn’t be more than 12yrs of age chasing the bus I was in trying to sell Pure Water to one of my fellow commuters. I know this is not an uncommon sight on the streets of Lagos, but I just couldn’t hold back the tears. (Ok, I have been a little emotional recently). I thought, what am I doing sitting down in this bus homeward bound, when this little boy is doing his bit to make sure his family somewhere has something to eat! In a country rich with resources as ours, isn’t a child meant to enjoy the privileges of being a child? At such a tender age, he chases cars on lagos roads, hoping to sell all his satchets of water to make ends meet…. Nigeria! Like that was not enough, I glanced at the “conductor”… The man looked like he could have been my father’s age..(My father is 64)… I know he probably looked old, maybe he hasn’t attained that age yet, but I noticed the anguish in his eyes… The pain that tore my heart looking at him is something I can not describe… Elsewhere in a developed world, his contemporaries would probably be in an Old People’s Home… Enjoying the benefits of having been young and energetic once, enjoying stipends from the state and collecting a good amount of money in benefits… Yet, in Nigeria here, the same country where he probably was once an officer at a bank, or a government official somewhere, he is a conductor in a bus! Nigeria!
Maybe it is just my imagination, sometimes a part of me whispers to my subconscious in yoruba “o ya dupe ti e” “be thankful for your situation”.. But how can I be thankful when I see hope die everyday as I step out of my house into the “streets” in search of a means of getting by??? How can I stop myself from tearing up when I know that some people in the echelons of power are privy to stupendous amounts of money and the masses continue to suffer! How can I be happy when the number of people in the “lower class” keeps increasing by the day and more people are out of jobs! How can I be happy when a child who would have excelled in his school work if he had the chance to get an education is hawking Pure Water to make ends meet!
Before you think “oh what is she on about, this is an over flogged issue”, ask yourself, would you be happy if a relative of yours has to be a bus conductor in the most “undignified” manner? Would you like your children to someday hawk Pure Water on the streets instead of finding their athletic abilities in a games hall in a good school?. Whether we choose to admit it or not, the onus is on us… Personally I vow to make conscious efforts to be the change I want to see…. Even if our leaders are selfish and unconcerned about the plight of the common people, it is left to you and I to change things one day at a time…

Someday… One great day… Change would come to stay.. And Hope would be revived…

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.


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