The day is young,
Full of life, taking me down
Towards the river
that my father warned me about
But every time the banks vomited
One more lifeless body
and threw our town into mourning
that lasted till the river became less hungry
Today, my friend will lead us
to the forbidden place
where the fishes recede at our presence
and our pants play with water
Till our skin becomes white
Then, we will we wait to get dry
As the drums and flute whistle
rhythm into our ears
till our bodies move, stop and tire
In the beginning when life was about future aspirations, I had lots and lots of them coming through my brain and weaving through my heart. Every night before I could sleep, these thoughts crystallised into full fledged dreams. So, here’s a list of things i thought i would grow up to become.
The first and in no way the least was My plan on becoming a Pastor. I laugh every time i remember this knowing how far i am far from realising that dream. The thought of the numinous held me spellbound all through my childhood. Back then,A certain pastor aired his program every Sunday. It was titled: Atmosphere for Miracles. With his curly hair and charming persona, I looked forward to the chance of breathing on people while I touched their forehead and see them fall under the power of anointing. I wanted to put on that three piece suit and use a wireless microphone and have people listen to me preach the word.
Dreams evolve over time and mine didn’t change , it only took another form when I attended The African Church close to my grandparent’s house. The aura around the Clergy over there was something beyond the ordinary. This Pastor wasn’t a mere Pastor; he was either a venerable or a Reverend; with white flowing gowns that I will later know to be robes he presided over proceedings . The most interesting aspect about this kind of Pastor was that he never entered with the congregants; there was a procession that ushered him in ; with hymns so glorious and an atmosphere that seemed like heaven, he was truly the raison d’être of the service. The only problem I had with this version of my dream was that I had to learn Yoruba more than I knew at that point in time.
The skies were never with us, they were above. We wanted to touch them like we did to the ground that was with us and beneath us at other times. We longed to mould them into cars and houses like we did to the soil and stain our bodies with them. The thing with what we can’t touch is that we tend to deify it. So, I wanted to be a pilot badly so I could look down on the ground from the sky and wave at it. Airplanes flew behind our house most times and the sound it made signaled a majestic entrance unlike the buses that sounded so humble and fell at the instance of a little traffic gridlock. To be a pilot was to be above all of the limitations the land could offer and triumph over it. The problem with this dream was that there wasn’t really anyone around who looked like what I wanted to be. Not even the Television could give a description of this wonderful profession I thought of. And like plants that do not get watered, this one died a painful death.
It’s the early part of the twenty first century, football has become vox populi. At every corner you passed, there was endless chatter about a game that played yesterday night. Not to be beaten in the game of reviews, previews had a life of their own; capable of stirring passionate arguments. There were not so much club football games, and so we had to be content with what the Super eagles brought for us; it could be joy; anytime we won a match, sorrows; whenever Cameroon beat our sorry asses and Tears; when we couldn’t get past the semi finals of the Nations Cup for a short moment in eternity. Years later, club football would give national team football a run for its money. Like eggs cracking little by little, love swapped places and club football became the one and only. And this was where my chance at another choice of profession would come up, THE CHANCE TO BECOME A FOOTBALL PUNDIT/ANALYST.
This was a different one entirely, a chance to be on TV and influence the thoughts and opinions of football fans all across the world. Unlike my dream of flying planes, there were enough people to look up to. Across different TV stations, they were people discussing and analysis football. Some in suits, others in polo T shirts or round neck tops talking about a game that had become a religion for me. So, I knew what I wanted, how it looked like and how I was going to get it for the first time.
This was when dreams were still dreams ; possessing this preponderance over reality. This was when life was still young, formless and innocent and capable of submitting to my whims and caprices.
PS: It is still possible the third profession becomes reality.
When you are under five and a piece of equipment keeps getting on your nerves, you have no choice but to undermine its performance by switching it off whenever its owner leaves that vicinity.
I fought an endless battle with my grandfather’s phonograph till the sound coming out from it prevailed. The battle was intense for a young lad like me who wasn’t getting any fun from Sunny Ade, Barrister, Ebenezer Obey and Ayinla Omowura’s brand of music. Yoruba as a language wasn’t my forte and any medium of propagating it was an affront to my personal space.
Till entropy in the form of Alaawiye textbook drew me closer. This piece of instrument became my companion whenever I went visiting him. Today, I can sing many of those musician’s songs and enjoy them. So, an insatiable appetite for these form of music developed. Today, I can only look back and appreciate that instrument.
As humans, our instincts from the time of the cave man have not evolved. We are used to processing and concluding about someone based on our first experience with such person. It was the way our forefathers preserved the tribes and survived.That in itself isn’t a bad idea considering the fact that our instincts save us a great deal at times from impending danger.
The key lies in maintaining a balance and coming to understand that you might have been put off by someone’s attitude but still come to understand the person’s personality with the passage of time.