When you were a little kid, you had dreams; dreams, big dreams. You wanted to be a pop star that comes on the stage amidst hollas, yells, applauds and cheers. You wanted to be the soul singer who brought tears to the eyes of people who watched and heard you sing as they stared at you.
You wanted to be the astronomer who visited the moon as often as you went to Oshodi. Speaking of Oshodi, you wanted to be the kid who brought sanity to that place. You wanted to be a lawyer, a neurosurgeon, an actress, a singer, a writer. You wanted to be everything.
You wanted to be a magician. You often wondered why people were so mean, why there was war and crisis. You wondered why people carried guns and threw explosives. You would gawk at the pictures of refugee children shown on television and women whose ribs stuck out of their shrunken skin. Women who were hitherto beautiful, their once heaving breasts have been flattened by war and starvation.
You would stare at the children chanting ‘we want peace, no more war’ on Channels television and men who their once milky eyes have been turned burning red by desperation for survival – hunger clearly written in them. You would then, so terribly wish you were a magician. You would tune the minds of people positively and stop men from going to war. You would turn robbers and assassins into good men and make sure there were no sick people. You would make the world a better place.
You would sit and contrive, that when you become so rich – too rich, you would build Iya Sikira who sells roasted corn down the street a small bungalow. You didn’t like it that she had to cater for her 9 children alone after her husband ran away with another woman and they were sleeping in an uncompleted building.
You would buy papa Chineye a new set of clothes; he wore the same faded brown khaki and extra large purple shirt everyday. He looked like a long bamboo stick with a cloth hung on it. People jeered at him any time he passed by.
You wouldn’t help uncle Sule; all he did was beat his wife all day and drink paraga. As a kid you would ask yourself why she didn’t leave. Then, Sumbo (that ile keta neighbour) would explain to you that some women loved to be beaten – besides, that was the only way to tame a woman. It didn’t make sense to you, but you would keep quiet and watch Sumbo ‘enlighten’ you and prattle on like that talking doll mama agba bought for you. You would later check the dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘tame’. You just wanted to be sure it meant what you thought it meant.
You would make the world a paradise, like those ones portrayed in Jehovah Witnesses Awake magazines.
But as you grew older, you discovered the world could never be like that. You needed to pull out of your begotten illusions – your puerile fantasies and wishes and then face actuality. That was when you gradually opened your eyes to this world: a world of hectors in secondary school, who derided you for your height, complexion, stature, blemishes, blights, in fact everything they could ‘yab’ you with. It was a world where your teacher didn’t like you because it’s obvious you’re an ajepako and gave preference to that ajebutter in your class. A world of fear and worries at such young age.
Fear – that you would never pass mathematics because your maths teacher was so wicked and you feared him and your C.R.K teacher once called you a bench warmer and you wondered if you would scale through secondary school. The funny aspect of it is you were so brilliant. Your classmates came to you always to help them with their assignments – yet you still feared.
Worry – you never loved sports; you couldn’t run to save your soul, neither could you throw a javelin. You had a good heart though, and a very rare talent but no one ever saw it. If they did, they never acknowledged; they just ignored you the way Buhari ignores Nigerians.
That is when self-doubt comes in. When you begin to ask if the world can ever be like those fairy-tale books you read when you were little. Even if the world could become like that, will you be part of it? Could you be the one to make it? You – Prosaic, relegated, stodgy.
But Suuru met you where you sat, in that dimmed, dinghy room, your tongue out like Bingo, trying to breathe out the fear. Suuru said ‘omo mi, farabale – be patient. The fact that people do not acknowledge your talent doesn’t mean it isn’t in you. Suuru says “you are a gifted child and if you can believe in yourself and be patient, your talent will blossom and you’d be a superstar.”
But you didn’t listen, did you? You still grew cold feet and your heart even beat faster when you got into the university. Your once little breasts had grown full – too full, if you ask me. You knew the way the Sta 101 lecturer stripped you naked with his eyes and your heart began to pump blood twice as fast. You are scared he would fail you, what if he gives you a C.O? What if your G.P drops? What if you do not graduate with your mates? You think about it sotee your shoulder blades begin to get sharper and people start to ask if you are sick.
Suuru would still say to you “omo mi, farabale. If you do not calm down and believe in yourself, fear would mutilate you.
You still didn’t pay attention. When you got to 400 level , you began to ask what next after school? You know you would go for NYSC but what next after service? Will you get a job? Will you be an entrepreneur? It is funny that you are in 2015 and you are antsy about the next three years. You’re not just dithery, you are scared. Thinking about it lasan is making sweat break out of your skin and your brain is getting bushed – Ogbeni farabale. You will just grow old prematurely.
This is 2017 and you have not achieved your goals; your dreams are yet to come to pass and it even seems you are getting more jumbled as you grow older.
But you do not worry so much these days, that’s because you have learnt to listen to Suuru when he says that worry and fear can solve nothing. Suer reminded you of how you were scared of the Sta 101 lecturer when you were in school and how the man never even asked you out and you graduated with very good results. Suuru pointed out that all your life, you have worried and fretted over everything and yet you have scaled through. Haven’t you noticed? Amidst, all worries and fears, you have soared.
Suuru says you might not be in the position you have dreamt of, but have you noticed you are not attenuating? Even when you topple and slip, you’ll bounce right up.
When you think of all the fantasies you had as a kid, Suuru says “don’t beat yourself up, it’s not your job to change the world. That’s God’s job”. And when you think of Iya Sikira, Suuru says “you cannot help her, she’s long gone. But there are many Iya Sikiras in the world, and you would help them when the time comes“.
Suer visits you again and this time plays you ‘made a way’ by Travis Greene. Suuru tells you to look back and see how far you have come and then makes you realise that your heavenly father has not brought you this far just to let go of you now. He has a way of parting seas for you and sending manna when you least expect – when you think all prospect is gone. You have dreams? Don’t worry, they shall come to pass.
So ogbeni farabale – just be patient.
Photo Credit: William Moss | Dreamstime