A childhood friend of mine had sold me over a porridge of soup. True to human nature, my friend was always loving and caring while in front of me, speaking highly of me, showering praises but would not defend nor speak well of me in my absence. He will chastise and become that exact opposite of what he was to me once the prize was right. It was human nature and acceptable as to who we were, majorly because of an American identity semblance of the Igbo people- republicans, who were warm, loving, accomodating, open to new ideas but with a high sense of capitalist mindset — selling to the highest bidder. It was acceptable as to who we were, majorly because of our nomadic tendencies of moving from where the grass was shrunk to some greener pasture, an innate strand that had strengthened disloyalty among our kith and kin — allowing fortune to dictate pipers.
It was our nature to uphold the truth and render without fear or favor, laying credence to our age-long adage “eziokwu bu ndu” — -one that has now been eroded by realties of today, where brothers lie for a living, where kith kill for a slice of bread, where truth is now turned upside down and where the land had remained mute — demystified of its powers.
We were now in the middle of an identity crisis. We had progressively moved away from our innate American nature and now dangerously leaned towards the french. American love stories rallied around an end that made both parties yearn for love, unlike the French whose love must end in tears, whose idea of a perfect ending is laced with an imperfect finish. The french loved sad endings. Our people, just like the french, now desired sad endings. We as a people now desired worse, calling for death and war. We used to be the commercial heartbeat of the nation, a pride we exhibited with excellence. We loved the apprenticeship. We loved hard work — one that has now been tainted with a voracious appetite for ill-gotten wealth, ritual killings, misguided lies, and impunity— a strange twist to who we were.
The Americans were quite receptive, even when they hated your guts and approach, will regardless find ways to maintain balance and decorum unlike the french who openly didn’t hide the hatred for one and will smear vile and bile without blinking an eye. Our people, just like the french, now bred hatred, our people now had their gloves off, spewing hate for one another, wishing misfortune and ill-health at the slightest provocation. We were no more who we said we were. We risked becoming a laughing stock of the nation, a tragedy heightened by the cowardice of the elites in rejecting the impunity ravaging the land. We risked losing respect from neighbors from our failure to paint evil as bad as it looked — -a strange twist to who we were.
We were no more who we said we were. We were no longer curious people, who found ingenious ways to better our trade and self. Those days of building bunkers and ogbunigwe were gone. Our youths no longer had such patience. We now worshipped money. We were more money mongers than go-getters. The elders and parents have lost their voice in the community, they have been subdued and relegated to “Siddon look”. The kings are now in a ceremonial mode, wearing garbs for its worth, with a lost voice heightened by fear and impending doom — -welding powers now with a match stick rather than a constituted staff — a strange twist to who we were.
We belonged to forums that branded us progressives, with sole mandates of churning out ideas that would move societies forward, only for us to bicker and fight when any of the said mandates were met. We fight harder when progressive ideas come from unforeseen quarters then keep mute and relish in happiness when fora are as mute and retrogressive — a strange twist to who we were.
We belonged to forums that branded us think tanks, with mandates to become serious thinkers of society only to fight and bicker when such ideas finally make rounds. We fight harder when the brainstorming sessions are put to work only to keep mute and relish in arrogance as fora become mute — a strange twist to who we were.
We belonged to forums that encouraged camaraderie, cohesiveness, and family with mandates to increase social capital and love — forums that widened one’s reach and capacity, only to bicker and fight when little indices in those directions arose. Mute and happy only when objectives are not followed.
We belonged to childhood forums whose aim was to relieve memories and rekindle lost friendships, whose sole aim was to foster love and care among us; a forum to instill a sense of belonging and family — -only for us to bicker and fight when those memories are relieved. Fight and hate each other as soon as arms of friendships were extended. Childhood friends quickly turn enemies for reasons that go against the formation, and for no reason fight harder to widen a gulf that was meant to be bridged — -a strange twist to who we were.
These are the issues. The rot is deep. We need to head back to basis…
“be like e don red”