Connect with us

Features

2014 Epilogues: Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year – Ofili’s Onyx

OfiliSpeaks

Published

 on

2014 has been a very interesting year. As it comes to an end, BellaNaija seeks to showcase a human interested segment, dedicated to looking back at the year. We’ve teamed up with a diverse group of individuals and asked them to share how their year has been. The brief was ‘a personal look back at the journey thus travelled. The idea is to use 2014 as a focal point. The honest and heartfelt piece should talk about your ups and downs / victories and failures – a general self assessment. It should be a raw piece which shows you as a person – the human angle is important.

Each of the participant has graciously sent us amazing pieces about themselves. As you read these pieces, and take stock of the year you’ve had, we encourage you to get inspiration from our 2014 Epilogues.

The 2014 Epilogues gemstones will be dropped at 2pm everyday till the end of the year!
***

The light from underneath the door crept in … I tried to block it, but light has a way of bending around every corner … every gap. And so it did exploiting the gap underneath the door and right into the side of my eye. So I gave up fighting the external light and instead shifted the focus to my eyes blind folding them with a dark cloth, surely now I could sleep.

But then the sounds from the rustling of the sheets as I rolled around the bed to the steady pounding of my heart now kept me awake … I battled to silence the sounds and when I was almost there, when it was almost silent and dark … the alarm clock exploded in my ears! Signaling an end to yet another sleepless night, one of my many in 2014.

There was a lot of reasons for my sleeplessness, according to Google, it had to do with excessive light in my room, the rigidity of my mattress, the surrounding temperature … but I knew it was all nonsense. What kept me up where my thoughts. Thoughts that included ISIS beheadings, Boko Haram Bombings and the missing girls, the Ebola virus outbreaks, but the most lethal thoughts was the thought of being homeless in Lagos…

It all started with a phone call from my parents.

“The landlord wants us to move out”

Well the landlord did not say it exactly like that … he just tripled the rent overnight, which was a polite way of saying … get the fuck out of my house! And my Parents … well they had less than 5 months to find another home. If this was America, they could have strolled into a bank and gotten a 30 year mortgage at a 3% interest rate.

But this was Nigeria … mortgages only existed in dreams and if you got one …the interest rate will literarily eat you alive. So our only option was to apply for a family mortgage, which is every member of the family opening up their wallets to raise enough resources to find/buy a piece of land, build up a house and transfer furniture in less than 7 months or face the prospects of homelessness.

When you try and flirt with those thoughts, it’s easy to stay up at night … when the landlord’s son shows up unexpectedly to rudely inquire why your parents had not left yet … it’s easy to stay up at night.

Microsoft Word - Life Does Not Give Us Lemons Just Shit
So I started writing as a coping mechanism as a means to numb myself from the distracting frustrations of 2014.

I wrote about how the sawdust foundation of our emergency house caught fire; or how a neighbor claimed that the electric poles placed on the road were really on his piece of land leaving us in the dark for a couple of days, or how the individual at the top of the street claimed that the Lagos government has somehow given him land that sat on the road…almost holding everyone to ransom! So I wrote, every day.

And one day I got a message from someone who read my articles. He invited me to write political satire bits for his YouTube show. I shrugged “I wrote every day, this will not be hard” I thought to myself. He mentioned something about his show going international, but I just wanted to write…

Fast forward a few crazy and difficult months to December 22nd, 2014, the year is almost over… I am awake but not because of the thoughts in my head or the mischievous lights (thanks to NEPA there is no light to worry about), I am awake because I want to be awake, I want to reflect on a crazy year. A year that I wrote more than I ever did and found myself writing skits that will not just appear on YouTube but on BBC for the What’s Up Africa show.

A year that we had to pull off a 7 month building miracle under the chaos of Lagos bureaucracy and craziness. And we did it! And I write this article from that house we built! Now things are not yet perfect, another neighbor now claims the gutter serving the street lay on his piece of land so he has built a fence blocking the already flowing gutter and backing it onto the street…the shit never stops.

But as I reflect, I realize that contrary to popular belief, life does not give us lemons. It gives us a lot of shit, a lot of crap and 2014 was a year of crap shit for me and many others. But what I learned from that was this … if life gives you shit, rather than complaining and whining you just need to go out and make shit happen! And when you do try and make shit happen you will be amazed at just how far you can go.

So screw the new-year’s resolutions and make shit happen in 2015!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Yolanda Van Niekerk

Okechukwu Ofili is a trouble maker, the author of 4 books and speaks at organizations that are tired of hearing the same old stuff and want the truth. He is also the founder of okadabooks.com and blogs daily at ofilispeaks.com You can follow him on Twitter or stalk him on Instagram You can also read his funny books on konga or okadabooks

41 Comments

  1. Zizer

    December 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I can so relate to this. Of all the five easy resolutions i gave for this year, just one i was able to keep….Of all the promises i was assured of being fulfilled by my father in heaven, I got none!! This year has been filled with disappointments, heartbreak, sickness and struggle but I’ll still keep keeping on and thanking God for the “little” miracles….being alive. Thanks to my family and a few friends, I am still rocking sanity!! All the best Ofili..XOXO

    • TA

      December 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      @ Zizer,wishing you good health and happy days ahead.

  2. yonce

    December 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    May 2015 be better for us all.

  3. sad young wife

    December 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Hmmmm!!! I have been through so much this year. Sometimes I sit back and tears fill my eyes. Because I ask myself how the hell I did it.Ileft a comment about how I was married to a much older man and things were no t going well. Well with the support of my father I put pressure on my husband that I wanted to come home. I didn’t want me to come but I assured him I had to come for my certificate. Immediately I got down my husband cut off all communications with me. He later sent his family members to announce divorce and I got a court order the week after. I was broke, no job, no marriage, and I had to Finnish up school because I didn’t pass some courses making me not graduate. I had to sell the only thing I got from my marriage(iPhone and laptop) to pay for my fees. I lost friends cos for some reason people can sense that all is not well and they just try their best to stay away. And that was interesting vos these were the same people that will try and get closer to you because you were abroad. Things were not the best for my family too. Everyday I had to take transport money from my parents to go to school. There were days I wouldnt have enough fod. My husband would just not talk to me. And to top it all I had to be going to divorce court and my mom had to find money to pay a lawyer. Mind you I was just 24!.
    Well after I finished exam I got a part time job. I was doing other petty jobs as well. M6 performance in that made me get a permanent job in a multinational. Now I wake up and the world is not dark anymore. There is still a lot more I have to do to get to where I want to but overall I am very thankful for how far I have come. I may have to write a storyof everything I went through

    • Berry Dakara

      December 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Wow, you certainly have been through a lot this year. Thank Gof for your family and their support. I pray for a better 2015 for you.

    • TA

      December 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      @Sad young wife. You are one strong lady! Sad to read all the troubles you faced and feels good r to realise things are looking up for you. Here is sending happiness,love,sunny skies and sunshine your way. Xoxo

    • Angel

      December 23, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      @sad young wife, wow just wow. I’m glad things are looking up for you now and hope it gets even better. Thanks Ofilli for this piece, truly inspiring. 2014 has been an amazing year despite crisis/challenges here & there, thank God for the heights and valleys. We live and we learn, this is hoping that 2015 be better……

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Awesome story “no more sad young wife” your story is inspiring. Be awesome and more success in 2015!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      I remember you. Can’t put my finger to exactly what post it was but you left a comment about being married and getting whisked to the U.S. with your hubby, who you didn’t know too well before you got hitched. And you didnt have friends in your new community either so you were asking for advice.

      Maybe I’m wrong but regardless, I’m glad to hear that lines are falling into more pleasant places for you. Take good care and I pray your 2015 is flavoured with God’s
      Grace.

  4. upcoming fashion designer

    December 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    2014….
    Left my job to pursue my dreams…and now I’m broke and almost homeless. Everything looks bleak. But I still trust God. I know 2015 will be great, I also know I want to do. Its well…

    • TA

      December 23, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      @upcoming fashion designer. Me too. I still trust God and know He comes through for us ALWAYS. Hang in there,okay? Hugs

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Upcoming fashion designer! Do tell me about your business and let’s see how we can help ya get where you want to be, my email is [email protected]

  5. The President

    December 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve not cried (wept) as much as I have this year. None of my prayer requests have been answered, I even asked God to take my life on the 7th on May this year because I had indeed reached my rock bottom. In the midst of all this, not a single person knew. I decided that I didn’t want to be pitied and just bottled everything up and cried in secret .

    I however have decided to stay strong and positive. Since I’m alive, I may just make the best of my opportunities. To everyone going through any challenge, stay strong and for those that believe In God, hold on to him as nothing lasts forever.

    • TA

      December 23, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      @ The ore

    • TA

      December 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      @ The president,Amen! Writing down how you feel may help you unburden your heart since you do not wish to let people close to you let you know how you feel. I like your optimisol
      optimism. Best wishes all around

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Wow…thanks for sharing. Do send me an email at [email protected] lets chat.

  6. Demilade Isaac Osoteku

    December 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I didn’t start the year with any concrete resolutions. I just carried over unfulfilled resolutions from last year. That was enough to keep me busy plus my dedication to do the best of what comes along. Now at the end of the year, it was better than I thought and despite the external shock and calamities that surrounded the year. I’m stronger, happier and more prepared to face 2015. But for real, I dey fear, I’m in Northern Nigeria and post-election violence scares me to hell

    • Omolola

      December 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      @Demilade: if post-election violence in the north scares u so much. U can take a break and come down south during and for few weeks after election.
      However, whatever u decide, i pray the good lord keep and guide u.
      To everyone that went thru a lot in 2014, God will give u beauty for ashes and restore all that was lost plus more.
      For those that had a good 2014 like I did, I pray The Lord would make 2015 our best year ever.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Hang in there Demilade. Its a legit fear, even down south here in Lagos it worries me, at the end of the day we are one intertwined Nigeria, the issues are not isolated. But we will pull through.

    • .com

      December 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Demilade please mail me @ [email protected].

  7. Ynnon

    December 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I love these 2014 Epilogues gemstones. Thanks, BellaNaija….and I love, loove, LOVE reading anything Okechukwu Ofili writes. Keep up the good work, Mr. Ofili! Glad you were able to make shit happen.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Thanks Ynnon for the comment and the love =D

  8. TA

    December 23, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    @ Ofili ,congrats on the BBC gig. This piece is ….well,profound. What can I say? Amazing miracle God worked for your family! Your story stirred me. Thank you,thank you and thank you.
    You know, listening to other people recently and the stories here on BN makes me realise I have not been as grateful as I ought to be. Lesson learned.
    Wishing you all God’s blessings and happier days ahead.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Thanks TA! It was a crazy crazy sad year but we are almost over with it. 2015 will be better.

  9. Que

    December 24, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I dont even know where to start without filling a few pages….

    With all the excitement of the season, i never thought i’d hear myself put ‘christmas and depression’ in the same sentence…I just look blankly at excited people…. This is one of those seasons I didnt see coming. I am not the ‘God why me’ kind of person, and as near-depressed as I have been lately, I have really tried to resist saying those words… I hold on, I hope still…… I keep a lot bottled, looking at me you’d hardly guess, I only spill to my mama, best friend and God (even though the past few days the strength to open my mouth and pray has been missing….I hardly know what to say or think, somehow I just murmur for him to help me cos I dont know where I am going in my head)… My mum and I have turned trading ‘the woes of the entrepreneur’ into an artform…

    Btw us there just seems to be NO breaks… financial, emotional rollercoaster.. try going from fire outbreak, to health emergency, man heartbreak, legal woes, financial drought, coupled with intense work pressure and your debtors who are balling on holidays you cant afford… in just a few weeks…… The sleepless anxiety-filled nights become real. My little plan to cook n feed my neighbours and young dudes around my compound this season, gave me something to be excited about till I went to the atm…

    I am up at 2.30am, I shld be working, even though I have broken my back all month to arrive at such an empty place.. this piece has been some motivation….cos well, if Ofili is writing from his miracle house , maybe…..just maybe…. shit will happen!

    As for 2015….make we wake first!

    • TA

      December 24, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Dear Que, we go wake by God’s grace and it will definitely get better..Will be praying for you and yours. God’s blessings. Bear hug from me

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      December 24, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Hey Que…send me an email at [email protected] and let’s talk.

    • Que

      December 24, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Will do.

    • BN lover

      December 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Ahh my Que dat I love reading her comment….. it. is well with you dear, everything is going to be fine….2015 is sure going to be better. God give u d grace to carry on…….

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Que, my Que. It is always darkest before the light. And please don’t take that as one of your run-of-the-mill trite sayings – it truly is. I was in my own midnight dark space exactly this time 4 Christmases ago and the light broke just when I needed it the most. My good friend has been in a situation that kept getting more desperate, even when we thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse… No place to live, no job for her and her husband, finances trickling down further and further… The light broke shortly before Christmas when she got a job offer to our great excitement.

      I pray that your light will not delay. May new sources of hope enter your life even at what we tend to call “the dying hours” of 2014 & may God wake you very early in 2015. xx

  10. Person

    December 24, 2014 at 3:03 am

    This year was a shitstorm. Easily the worst year of my life, no doubt. Broke, diagnosis of clinical depression, single (I don’t want to be) and I fear I committed career suicide based on a decision I took earlier in the year. I’m at the end of my rope. And I have no hope 2015 will be any better. The only reason I haven’t done the things I’ve thought of is because of my mother. She’s suffered too much for me not to reap a harvest. So I’ll keep trucking.

    • TA

      December 24, 2014 at 7:27 am

      @ Person,big hug. Please do keep trucking. E go better. Xoxo
      d

    • BN lover

      December 25, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      @person u r just me…….the thought of not making my mom super proud doesn’t allow me to settle for just anything…….This woman has suffered for me and sincerely she deserves the best

  11. meeeeee

    December 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I was involved in a ghastly accident early this year which damaged the right part of my face, my right hand, my jaw, etc. I have had several injuries to correct the face and several physiotherapy sessions for the hand. It’s been a whole yr of in and out of hospital. In all, I thank God for His grace and mercies. I remain eternally grateful and await 2015 with so much expectations.

    • Vortex

      December 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      May 2015 be an amazing year filled with beautiful, joyful, glorious moments for you.

  12. tutu

    December 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    2014 has been good. I found purpose, i’m working on something I really love and i’m excited about. I’m in a relationship with a really sweet guy. Just yesterday though a trailer hit my car and its damaged. Today, the other car stopped abruptly in the middle of the road, had to tow it home. I can’t complain though. When there’s life, there’s hope, I’m grateful for life! 2015, lets go there!

  13. tunmi

    December 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    This year…My reality hit me hard and I rakizwd just how fortunate I am. I am very grateful for my benefactor, an absolute stranger in a foreign country…and the two of us are so much alike it is scary. I would have been homeless if not for her. And now my closest friend is free of her slave master (her aunt). Her situation is worse than mine, at least mine didn’t physically harm me and I was allowed freedom to grow and explore academically. Things are getting better. We are both making progress, and we are getting there. I’m not religious at all (call me atheiest or what have you), so please don’t comment with your religious deity (it truly would be offensive to me). I am curious as to what the next year brings. We have to write a book or a script about our lives, we could not have made it up.

  14. J

    December 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    @ meeeee I rejoice with you. great things are coming your way in Jesus name

  15. Preye

    December 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    2014 started with heavy guilt from 31st of December 2013. I had offended God and was so ashamed. 2014, I made no resolution, no goals or plans cos none had happened in the past years. Just wanted to live my life. Did that happen? Yes. But today I can’t weigh out anything meaningful achieved this year…nothing to track with.
    2014, had the worst emotional ride of my life. Got depressed, went blank on life’s principles and values. I cried, couldn’t sleep or eat and even poo for days. I wasn’t heartbroken o…I’ve been single for 2yr 10months nd not looking forward to join the “bae &le boos” club. So what was the problem? Till now I don’t know. My emotional life was scattered…right now I don’t know how I feel.
    I remember I prayed to God to show me my flaws which I think he did…so many things came to light..mistrust, fear(unnecessary silly fear), worry, low self esteem, unforgiveness, indecision. All these packed in one being. My spiritual life suffered more cos I hardly believe anything…even so called miracles or testimonies. Don’t know how to pray, study and even serve him right. I just want to do things right but I never get it right I’ve lost it for everything I ever believed in life. Nothing makes sense. I believe nothing…
    Its like am starting over again. To know me; my strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. My purpose. Who I am-well a book says I’m melancholy. And I realised I exhibit d major weaknesses. I battle that currently. Should I believe that too?
    I’ve had my good times…no financial lack. It keeps coming. Though I don’t have my wants…all my needs met. I’ve experienced family love. I’ve understood certain things in life. I’m wiser than 2013. But in seems the wiser I get, the more I realise I haven’t achieved anything or started life.
    In everything I give God thanks. I’m alive to see how its all going to end.
    For 2015, I’ll go back to setting goals and being hopeful. I plan to volunteer all the way. Be a volunteer in many projects as possible…need to experience life in a different view. I plan to give alot more too…my time, money, energy and everything I have to give… (as for heart, not sure of that. I need to settle alot). I also want to let down the highs walls. I want to let down my guard..lets see how much strength I can get from the pains…maybe this is for my heart.
    This is just me…sorry for the long post.
    P.s..to my bella naija family, pls let me know if there’s anyway I could volunteer in any project. Or information concerning volunteering.

    2015…I’m hopeful

  16. Blaize

    December 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Am an ardent reader of BN Features but have never commented, reading all ur experiences of 2014 I know am not aloe & have ppl dat understand, it has also thought me to be thankful & hopeful for a better 2015. Thanks Ofili & all u wonderful ppl, may God grant us a wonderful & favor packed 2015. XOXO!!!!!

  17. miss t

    December 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    @preye, we’re kindred spirits I swear!..I couldn’t have outlined the problems I’m facing better myself. The only thing I would add to that is that I lack confidence. I’m always looking for someone to validate me. I’m praying eagerly to God for help and, by his grace, I’ll get some soon. Its eye opening to know that I’m not the only one in this black hole ……..

    Well, God dey

    2015, e go better….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features

Advertisement
css.php