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Adekunbi Ogunde: Mr. President, Can You See Me Winking in the Dark?



Plateau State declares Public Holiday on Thursday for visit of President BuhariI used to get so upset – so upset, whenever I heard something completely false about me. It would bother for days and I would seek every opportunity available to say the “truth”. But I never really got the satisfaction I needed; I never really felt like I had won. The ghost of those false words would still haunt me. Until one day…the day I realised that the best form of speaking is not words, it is action. That was the day I got my liberty. I no longer felt the need to prove a point with my words.

It’s a shame that we are not a people given to much empathy. It is sometimes difficult for us to see or feel the sufferings of others that haven’t personally affected us. Maybe that’s why we are not very good students of history; it is easy for us to forget. It is easy for someone who moved from Agege Pen Cinema to Banana Island to forget what it means to “hang” in a bus. Maybe that’s why it is easy for a single human being to even remotely contemplate stealing the mace of the legislative arm of a whole country not minding the devastating effects that would have on the ordinary citizens. Maybe that’s why it is easy again for my President, the same one I elected to represent me before the world and to speak well of me in front of people who already have a bias against me, to call me “lazy” whilst sitting in the comfort I bought for him through the taxes from my sweat of “laziness”. ‘

Mr. President, I must confess, I’m sweating so much, I feel like I am literally shedding blood.

My pain, Mr. President, is on two levels. First, that my President cannot see the struggles I go through (sometimes coupled with months of prayer and fasting) to get the very things the government in the country in which he called me “lazy” routinely provides. But like an obedient child, I chose not to complain. Second, that my President cannot celebrate that despite all the odds against me, I still managed to win. You see Mr. President, Nigeria is not a country I can even afford to be lazy- it is a place where people succeed not because of the government but in spite of it.

My President, can you see me winking at you in the dark? Can you see how many odd jobs (from hawking gala to washing cars) that I have to combine just to get a decent meal? Do you know that I have to wake up at 4am to join the BRT bus just to make it to work that doesn’t start till 8am? Even when I get home Mr. President, there is still no rest, because I combine my day job with 2 side hustles just to be able to pay my rent, afford my children’s school fees, get a decent life and have enough to provide for my 2 aged parents (the same ones the government has not paid their pensions even after 30 years of service).

Yet, I required not much from you, only that you celebrate me in places where I stand no chance to speak for myself and even in that, I am afraid sir, you let me down. Can you see sir, that I built an empire just by selling moin-moin with a capital of N1000? Did you know that Forbes just recognized me for building a $3million technology company almost out of nothing? So many successes sir -so many things you do not know about me.

I can understand why it is so hard for you to see. It is hard to see when my brothers have darkened the vision by their careless desire to quickly “blow” – they want the easy life of success but are unwilling to work and pay the price. It is hard to see when my sisters have lost the power to delay gratification and would rather compromise their standards for the finer things of life. They love the testimonies but hate the tests. But unfortunately it is them and their acts – not me and my works- that make it to the pages of what you read. They outnumber me and can do the things I cannot even dare – their voices far louder than mine, and their darkness thicker than my light. So sir, it is their darkness you see, not my light.

But I will not stop. I understand now why God told me to “let my light shine so that men may see my good works”. My failure is that I have not been shining enough so that my works can speak for itself. But I will keep working and will shine brighter hoping that someday, maybe, my brothers and sisters will also come into that light and recognize that there is no easy way to success and then together, we can shine so bright to overcome this darkness. Maybe that day, Mr. President, you will finally be able to understand what I have been saying all along – that not for one day was I lazy. But till then, Mr. President, all I ask is that you please see me winking at you in the dark?

Photo Credit: Bayo Omoboriowo

Adekunbi is a lawyer as well as a writer. She currently runs a blog called the Wise Child which is available to view where she tells real stories that teaches life principles in order to inspire and motivate people to live better lives.


  1. Myfather’sdaughter

    April 24, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Lovely write-up. But can he read in the dark?

  2. Omotesho Taiwo

    April 24, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Hmmmmmm! True words!!! the best approach so far…Mr President, can you also see me winking at you in the dark?

  3. Amaka

    April 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    @Adekunbi, I read with so much passion as you express your hustle that Buhari had failed to see. Instead he had the gut to go to the world and pronounce you and millions of other youths in Nigeria as “LAZY.” Buhari, you cannot call youths “LAZY” when there is no employment/job for them. You think that Trump is having a good day by talking down on people here, therefore; he has become your role model Buhari, to call my hard working brothers and sisters in Nigeria “LAZY?.” You Buhari should be ashamed of yourself. If anybody is “LAZY” it will be You, yes you Buhari. Do you know that the money you jet out of the country every time to go and get medical treatment in London and other places, are provided by the same Nigerians that you called “LAZY?” Buhari, how old are you? Tell me how many Nigerians that are your age, that enjoy what you are enjoying from the sweat of the youths? Your son was treated in Germany for a motorcycle accident, do you know how many youths of Nigeria that die everyday for the same thing? Yet your son was ambulated to Germany with the money of the “LAZY” youths for treatment. The same country that you refused to see the youths as hardworking, yet the money is being enjoyed by you and your children. Hospitals in Nigeria, are about the worst in the world. Our brothers and sisters in the medical field, that left Nigeria to other countries to practice, are the ones being recognized everywhere for their break through in medical field. I would love to tell you what you should go and do, but I will leave it alone and address Nigerian youths. To Nigerian Youths, if you have not done anything in your life to prove how effective you are, do this one thing, GO AND GET YOUR PERMANENT VOTERS CARD (PVC), that way you all can speak with one voice come 2019, that you are not “LAZY.” Enough of this abuse from people that you all over in Nigeria put in office, and they take you guys for SUCKERS. Look at here in America, do you hear how Republicans are retiring in droves, for supporting Trump? That should be the same thing in Nigeria, for all those supporting Buhari, but you know the politicians in Nigeria, even though they do not speak it out, they are indirectly disrespecting you all, cause they know you guys are not ready to do anything with your vote about the situation. Love you all my brothers and sisters. Keep your head up and speak with your vote.

  4. elenitoba-johnson

    April 24, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    This is soul stirring and a message for all.

  5. Iroayo Oluwadamilare

    April 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    I hope this worderfully-written article gets to Mr. President’s table. It is just unfortunate words spoken cannot be retrieved. Yet, Mr. President should see his wrong in that statement. Not hiding from the fact that some of us are lazy – you find lazy people everywhere you go -, those words make me understand our no.1 Representative is not open-minded and doesn’t think critically/deeply.

  6. Boss

    April 24, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your post Adekunmbi especially “.Yet, I required not much from you, only that you celebrate me in places where I stand no chance to speak for myself…..” Buhari is the mistake short sighted people foisted on us. I look forward to us taking him out in 2019. The man’s cluelessnss is beyond belief. I don’t blame him afterall, his graduate children are not working or engaged in any business we know of. Yusuf the bike rider, Zahra the twitter finger and all the others. Useless man. A nation’s disgrace.

  7. tunmi

    April 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Do you write to your governor? Your congresspeople? Or even local government? Because they are the ones closest to you

    • ceetoo

      April 25, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Do they yarn opata in world space? once they do they will get their own letter.


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