Far Up North

Up north is filled with media dread but I really didn’t care. I love adventures and no amount of media horror could scare me away.
So, with my bags packed and ticket in hand, off I went. To the far up north where only the insane would journey and those who had little or no regard for their lives, so everyone said.
Was I scared? To be honest, I wasn’t as I was more excited about all the dread surrounding my journey (adrenaline adrenaline).
Want to know just how far up north I went? Borno State. Yup the very same dreaded terror haven! The thrill I felt to be at the forefront and to see firsthand if all the media hullabaloo was true. What did I find? Well, I found that the media has a doctorate degree in exaggeration! This is not to in any way down play the seriousness of the instability caused by insurgency, not at all; rather, it’s to let you know that people still live there. In truth ‘death’ isn’t a resident in Borno, life is ongoing.
My flight was a rather long one as I boarded a connect flight from Lagos with one stop over at Abuja before proceeding to our final destination (not the movie).
The flight was long and satisfying. Each moment that passed meant we were getting closer to our destination. My excitement was through the roof. Like yay! I’m finally going to see this Maiduguri everyone’s been buzzing about.
Our flight landed in the hot town of Maiduguri around noonish. I was just happy to put my feet on solid ground; after more than an hour airborne, you start to miss the ground.
Finally, here I was in the strangely infamous town of Maiduguri, Borno State.
What my eyes beheld can be summed in just one word ‘simple.’
This place was nothing like the noisy Lagos I was coming from. I half expected to be greeted with heavily armed soldiers and then be subjected to a thorough search for prohibited items; but all of that only happened in my dreamy head.
In reality, I was greeted by simple looking men asking in barely audible English if I wanted a cab to which I declined. I exited the arrival lounge to meet up with a friend.
The drive through Maiduguri town was uneventful and quiet. Not the Lagos bustling and shoveling through ‘sent from hell’ traffic I had become unwelcomingly accustomed to. Ladies and gentlemen, I arrived my lodge in a few minutes. Wow!
What can I say about the lovely little town of Maiduguri? Far up north in Maiduguri, the tomatoes remain as red as ever and commerce thrives. People wake up in the morning, go out, make money and return home to their families and they do it again the next day. The only unfriendly person I met was the Sun. It was so hot, it felt like the sun was literally standing beside me and just pinching me mercilessly.
In summary, life is far from over far up north. I hope you’ll get to visit it too and experience the peace I did. Till next time, cheers and thanks for reading.

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I’m Still Writing…

I started my story…

It was beautiful, all things went well, no accidents no hiccups.

Looks like a good story, I’ll keep writing…

But the first stage passed and a few hiccups but it’s still a good story, I’ll keep writing…

The next stage, a whole lot more hiccups and some bumps too.

But it’s still a good story, I’ll keep writing…

Another stage begins, it’s smooth, dodged all hiccups and bumps but now there are walls.

Walls so high with no way to climb!

Is it still a good story? Do I keep writing?

I went around the wall, well that wasn’t so bad, it’s still a good story, I’ll keep writing…

Yet another stage, more hiccups, more bumps and more walls, but I’ve seen this all before, I know to keep writing.

Then the road ends, it’s pitch black, what’s there to write, it’s all ‘Nothing’

But even ‘nothing’ is worth writing…it’s still a good story, I’ll keep writing…

Hiccups, bumps, walls, darkness, road ends…and my story is still on and I’m still writing…

Beginnings

This morning I woke and felt I should end it all.

It all seemed so meaningless and pointless

Directionless and void

Everything seemed empty but that’s how the end is…

Pointless and void. Just nothing.

An abyss of the unimaginable,

A plane of the non-existent void of hope.

In the end, there’s no escape and nothing to ‘end.’

So, today might feel like an end, it’s not the end, there’s tomorrow and the day after.

There’s the warm sun or cloudy skies to look forward to.

There’s the stray dog and homeless cat to feed.

There’s the uninvited orchestra of birds in the neighbour’s tree.

There’s so much imaginable beauty free from the unhappiness and heaviness in the world.

So, wake up and don’t end it but start it all over again, that’s what new days are for.

Freedom

The wild wind tickles the leaves and swirls the dust in my face. It’s a beautiful sunny day with the beauty of the world missing in my mind. My thoughts are wild and unfocused like the wind. I want it to carry me away to where it’s going. To visit but not to stay, how amazing it would be. No one to hold me down or make me go, no need for a home.

But the wind has no love, no loyalties, no families, and no home. I have love, family, and home, yet the freedom of being free is calling me. The sound of the thunder as it claps brings me back to my hateful reality. Unable to escape this mortality, bound by this dust mold to behold an absent beauty and yearn for the intangible. My thoughts spawn on endless possibilities of a future void of the realities of this existence. My thoughts are the wind, free to go where no one can hold it, visiting and not staying. It’s amazing, my freedom is in me.

Pieces of Isolated History

Scattered fragments of a forgotten past paint the shards of a distorted story

An unrecognizable beauty is seen as the evidence of a tumultuous journey

Destructive desires, a sojourner’s companion

Broken humanity hunts the living conscience

The dilemma of the ancient marina weaves a web in the silent orchestra of unspoken pain

Ivory ghost stalk dark innocence

An ominous silence falls in a dimly lit room

Unspoken words are heard by companions of strange strangers.

The drums beat as the weaves beat

The bereft presence of lifeless bodies kiss the sea at twilight

Unlikely voyagers sway in rhythmic fashion to the dancing ship

On a journey to pain and a history that will hunt eternity.

Strange Cycle 

When humans make you feel less human

When life makes you feel less alive 

When emptiness occupies time
When the sun stays behind dark clouds

When the rain is held back by pain

When pain occupies reality 

When reality is a tasteless existence 
When existence is endless rhetoric 

When rhetoric seeks an answer 

When answers lie in the valley of deception 

When deception is embodied in humanity 

…and humans make you feel less human. 

Candles of Hope

Hi Everyone! I promise to keep today’s ‘ordeal-log’ brief (fingers crossed).

So, I went to pay for an online booking at the airport yesterday. Turns out a lot of other people had problems paying for their tickets online (I won’t mention the airline). So, you can imagine the crowd.

We lined up in an orderly fashion with a security guy stationed at the point of entry for payment. Somehow, the line seemed to be on ice. Hmmm, 5 mins had gone, then 10 mins and the line hadn’t moved an inch ki lo happen? We started murmuring about the slow/none movement (how many times have we murmured when the wrong thing was being done I wonder). Then my friend observed that the line was being held down by one of the airport workers who was attending to ‘rogue’ customers from the backdoor. Apparently, she was being tipped by the ‘rogue’ ones. At that moment, my friend spoke up and confronted the security guy on his colleague’s unscrupulous behaviour. The security guy confronted her and she brushed him aside rudely. He took the matter to the higher-ups and before we could say ‘Jack Robinson’, her managers were on the scene. The murmuring crowd was no longer murmuring but now speaking up in a united voice. How could an employee of the airline take tips from other customers to ‘not’ do her job? She was being paid a ‘reasonable’ salary to do her job and here she was turning a bold-blind eye to well-meaning and right-thinking Nigerians!

In summary, the matter was handled, and in 5 mins, I was attended to. My fellow Nigerians and I hailed each other upon my exit from the ticketing corner at the airport. What a delightful set, I pray we spread the virus of nationhood and dissatisfaction for the ‘corrupt’ status-quo (say a loud AMEN with me).

The events of the day seemed like a dim light of hope for a corruption-consumed nation. Though it may seem dim, but a light none the less; and for the brightness of its burn-intensity? Well, that’s dependent on how many more Nigerians are ready to light their candles of hope.

Thanks for reading. Cheers!