Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Critical point(Part two)

hen I got to the University, my ideological basis was shaken. I saw students who were more miserable than I had ever imagined. I saw some of my friends like Chidi, struggling to pay our meager school fees. I couldn’t understand it anytime Government increased the fees and students cried out. Throughout my childhood I had never felt special or privileged. I thought my life was the life of the average Nigerian kid. I never considered my parents rich because everybody around me was like me or even living better than me. Perhaps my parents had deliberately sent me to a federal government university so that I could see the true face of Nigeria. For the first time, I had to drive through some of the densest parts of the Lagos mainland from my home on the island to get to school at the beginning of the semester. On those rare times, I had a glimpse of the degradation and hopelessness that pervaded the land. Often I got stuck in a traffic jam before getting to school. I drove through shanties and ghettoes; landscapes so horrible in their ugly state that you wanted to cry for the people who live there. Yet you remember that they are people; men and women like you who have dreams, hopes and aspirations. They are not animals. I drove past kids hawking water in sachets while they were supposed to be in school. I witnessed police brutality and corruption; a man slapped repeatedly for about twenty times just because he did not have money to bribe one officer with ugly tribal marks on his face. Yet it was always the poor that were being victimized. I felt ashamed when they allowed my car go, seeing that I looked like someone whose parents would be connected to some powerful people and then stopped the driver of the ragged car behind me just because he looked like someone that could not muster the connection or resources to fight back. The police extort and brutalize the weakest people in the society. These were glaring realities in a city where some people live in mansions behind high walls, separating themselves from the misery outside. The elite rich have insulated themselves from the hardships imposed by their own irresponsible leadership. Many poor, like Chidi’s father are suffering because the government is making them pay for the greediness of the elite. That day, after Chidi’s outburst, I went to the classroom and sat down staring at my book, but my mind was in tumult. I was pondering over the issues troubling my mind when I heard a voice behind me. “So the rich also feel sad.”

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Critical point

In my deepest grief, I mourn the demise of my precious one. Looking out through the window of my room, staring at the raindrops falling gently, I feel a deep loneliness, so deep that I feel empty. The bore in my heart is too deep, is there anything that can fill it up and make my life whole again? I doubt it. Yet, beyond the emptiness her death has left behind, lies a new passion. Beneath my deep misery is a new sense, a new awakening that has opened up my eyes to another misfortune which, though, is the root of my calamity, supersedes my own grief in its catastrophic proportions. The debacle of my country is a great tragedy that has spurned in me, a determination to work passionately for the liberation of my Nation. Sadly, the true paradox is that my motherland is not yet a Nation; it is still struggling to be one. I have realized that, if the root problem is not solved, then more kinds of my tragedy will occur. In my deepest torment, I tried to gather the pieces of the story together. I remember with nostalgia, the good times I had with her and how it all ended in tragedy. Yet, no matter how much I could figure out, everything still remains a puzzle. Even the inception of our affair was a mystery because I never thought I could find love with someone so far from me in background and ideology. I met Miriam in the second semester of my first year in the university. She used to sit at the front in the class, behind the window, just opposite my left, back seat. I used to be a womanizer and my eyes usually wandered around the class from time to time to scan the faces of pretty girls in the class. I had gone out with many of the girls and earned a reputation as a Casanova. Of course, the girls fell at my feet like ninepins; I was the Don Juan of the class. By the second semester, they were beginning to bore me, and I was going to other departments to have a taste of something new. However, this beautiful, veil-wearing, mysterious Muslim girl had always elicited a strange curiosity in me. One day in a psychology class, my eyes darted towards her in the extreme front right. Suddenly, we made eye contact. She flushed briefly, then looked forward to concentrate on the lecture. I thought I saw her blush but I wasn’t sure. That was when I realized that she was very beautiful. After the lecture, I tried to speak to her but she avoided me. After several other attempts, I decided to forget about her. But she continued to linger on in my mind though I occupied myself with other things. She was a challenge I needed to overcome; a problem I needed to solve. One day, Chidi, my best friend and roommate received a bad news, his father had just been retrenched in the civil service, and he sent to him that he had no means of paying the school fees of his five siblings. I met Chidi under the oak tree in front of the college; he was full of hatred for the Government. “Akin, look what these bastards have done to my father. After twenty years of selfless service and three months without pay, they threw him away like a dirty rag!” He waved the paper in the air, his eyes glowing with anger. I tried in my best way to console him to no avail. I am lucky enough to have come from a family that was comfortable enough to provide for all my needs, so I never knew what it meant to be living from hand to mouth. Of course, I couldn’t understand Chidi’s predicament, I couldn’t comfort him though I tried. “Let’s just hope they will call him back. Or, they will pay up his entitlements.” Chidi looked at me in the eye, his eyes were red. Slowly, he shook his head. “No Akin. This country is doomed, nothing works anymore. There is no more truth, and the day truth dies in a nation, the people’s trust also dies and eventually, the nation dies for want of truth.” he said softly, but firmly. Then, he stood up and walked away. Throughout the day, Chidi’s words continued to haunt me. Although I knew there were problems in my country, I looked at them as minor challenges in the process of National development. My father is an engineer in a multinational oil company that pays well, my mother is a senior accountant in an auditing firm. My parents built a house in Victoria Island where we lived. I went to expensive private nursery and primary schools run by rich companies. My secondary education was the same. I went to a boarding school, fully owned and managed by foreigners. I had escaped the horrors of the terrible Nigerian educational system. I met children from very wealthy families and other ones from families that were just as rich as mine. Due to my upbringing and non-exposure to the horrible side of my country, I had come to think of my family as the normal Nigerian family. Never did I know that my family was just one of the 30% that could be said to be living above poverty level. W

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Call for Submissions: ANA - NICO Short Story Collection (Nigeria)

The Association of Nigerian Authors is pleased to announce a call for entries for a short story collection sponsored by the Nigerian Institute for Cultural Orientation [NICO]. The anthology will comprise of the best submissions and will be released by August 2013. • Theme: All stories should deal with aspects of Nigerian culture, interpreted widely. • Length: Under 3,000 words. • Submission: All entries are to be sent via email to bmdzukogi@gmail.com with the subject “ANA/NICO [title of submission]” • Format: Entries should be sent as a single MS Word-readable document in 12 pt, Times New Roman Font, double spaced with pagination. All entries must be accompanied by a separate attachment providing a 200-word bio and full contact details. PLEASE NOTE: • For entries to be eligible, they must not have been published in print in Nigeria prior to submission. The Association reserves the right to remove a story from the collection on discovery of prior print publication. • Online publication in magazines, blogs, and journals etc are not affected by 1. above. CONTACT INFORMATION: For queries/ submissions: bmdzukogi@gmail.com Website: http://ana-nigeria.com/

Chimamanda reads 'Americanah' at the Terraculture, Lagos

"Saturday, April. 27, 2013, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaks to Associated press during an interview in Lagos, Nigeria. Modern life in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, has become almost a character itself in novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new book, "Americanah." Within its pages, one catches self-acknowledged glimpses of the writer herself, who shot to fame with her previous novel, a love story set during Nigeria's civil war entitled "Half of a Yellow Sun." - (AP)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Litcaf Nigeria organization opens Nigeria's first Book cafe at Yaba, Lagos. Its a place you can hangout, read some books and enjoy a cup of coffee. The opening ceremony takes place on march 2nd. award-winning music diva, Jodie is performing. There will also be several side attractions and many notable figures in the Nigerian arts and entertainment sphere will be around. We are expecting you at the event Please visit the website and like the company facebook page. www.litcafnigeria.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/LitCaf/309510485814650

Friday, February 8, 2013

My lost Poem

Part 1 One quiet morning You walked out of my life And took along with you A vital part of me. You took the poem away from me Just a moment ago You were the sunshine of my life Cause while you were here Your radiance illuminated my heart And caused the poet in me to flourish Just a moment ago You were in love with me You were the song of my life Your love was a sweet song to my heart Like star-crossed lovers Your heart blended with mine And the synchrony created a rhythm Rhythm so sweet it was my song My song and my poem Now the perfect rhythm of my heart has been broken Ever since you left And has been replaced by a cold emptiness A bitter feeling of lost rhythm and broken songs To be continued