SCHOOL RESUMPTION: CONVERSATION WITH NO-NAME

‘The Preacher sir, sure you are doing great today and keeping SAFE…’

‘I am, young one. How are you doing today? Keeping SAFE too?’

‘Keeping SAFE ke? Who dash my monkey ripe or unripe banana? He who seeks to survive does not know safety not to talk of keeping it…We live endangered denied of decency of living.’

‘It is a rat race sir…I was born into the race and still very much in the race…Rats are not safe?

‘Young one, you seems to speak above your age. How old are you?

‘Hmmm, by age, I am 14 years old but multiply that by suffering and neglect, I may be trice my age…’

‘Have you been to school?’

‘School? Yes I am in the school of the Ghetto, separated from civilization, forgotten to the recesses of life.’

‘Suffering is my teacher, teaching me survival tricks…’

‘Hardship has been my mentor…By him I know, ‘no paddy for jungle.’

‘I am out of school and in the company of a legion of the abandoned and the denied Nigerian children.’

‘Before COVID, surnamed, 19, we were a fast growing army of 13.5 million of idle hands and minds, being trained to torment the Nigerian nation.’

‘Now, with COVID 19, our company has been enlarged; we are a horde of 46 million…’

‘Young one, you seem bitter?’

‘The Preacher, bitter? Me bitter? No I am not at all. I know no bitterness. It is just that things have never been sweet inside and around me since I was born.’

‘So, if I seem bitter, I am only taking after my environment…’

‘Schools are reopening, what do you say to that?’

‘Hmmmm, The Preacher, you are teasing your boy o.’ Resumption? Schools? Wetin concern agbero with overload? Is butter ever in the menu of a monkey?’

‘You know the most painful thing, The Preacher? In all the talks about school resumption, nobody is talking about us o.’

‘Should this not be an opportunity to bring our matter to the fore of private and public debate? But… For where?’

‘All I hear is how to secure and protect the children, who are to resume school…’

‘What about me? What about us? Pikin pass pikin?’

‘What about those who were 140 in a class built for 40, how will the distribution of safety reach them?’

‘Young one, I hear you. A sage once said, ‘there is no keener revelation of the soul of a society than how it treats it’s children…’

‘Young one, I need to run now, any message for Nigeria?’

‘The Preacher, The Preacher, The Preacher… Hmmmm…How many times did I call you sir?’

‘Three times, young one.’

‘You are putting your longest finger in my small throat o…It will burst o…Make I vomit?’

‘I am here to pack your vomit young one, smell it and present it to Nigeria as the mirror from which it must see itself.’

‘The Preacher, does a nation exist, who abandons the majority of her precious children and their primary and secondary parents?’

‘Does a nation exist, who shed the blood its own children, who Gabriela Mistral, the Chilean Nobel woman refer to as ‘the fountain of life?’

‘Does a nation exist, which is not egalitarian in its disposition towards all its inhabitants?’

‘Does a nation exist which turn her precious children into politics and play them like ball, kicking them from pillar to post and bouncing them from frypan to fire?’

‘These are deep matters, young one.’

‘The Preacher sir, there is nothing deep about it. It is so plain and painful that you are turning your treasures into torments now and the future…’

‘But why would a nation dig it’s own grave, load a keg with gun powder and then sit on it with leg crossed, drinking tapioca, eating suya and ordering toothpicks?’

‘Young one, I am out of here. I am sad we are closing on a sad note…’

‘I am not sad, The Preacher, I am happy. A child of sorrow, acquainted with grief like me, must always find a channel of happiness like jawjawing with the one and only The Preacher in a land where my defeating heartbeats fall into deaf ears…’

‘Young one, I only see you around but do not know your name. What is your name?

‘Hmmm, The Preacher, I am NO-NAME, from NO-NAME family, a person of NO-NAME nation.’

‘I am unknown to the state and the majority of her inhabitants.’

‘Yet, I exist and one day, I shall be revealed and it may be too late…’

‘As I said before, I am an idle mind and hand, a well equipped workshop of the devil.’

‘Truly, I am the forgotten ones, ‘the wretched of the earth…’

‘I am the denied, who the society in her hypocrisy call ‘the underprivileged;’ Yet, what I am denied of are not privileges but rights, yes basic rights and care, sanctioned by your own laws…

Are privileges not what you get after your rights have been met fully?’

‘I am the fire you lit on your rooftop and go to bed, snoring the noise of a leviathan, deafening yourself to the reasoning of the spirit, soul and body.’

‘I grow to become an inferno, burning with vengeance,’ the vengeance of a raped virgin, raped of all and left with very little strength, yet breathing hard, ‘nothing to lose…’

‘I burn and I ravage!’

‘You see, like the Awawa Boys, One Million Boys, the ‘Fulani Herdsmen,’ Boko Haram, Egbesu Boys and even the silenced Gana, you are investing so massively in your own nemesis…’

‘I am the leviathan, whose fangs, with your gross neglect, you sharpen…’

‘I am your child, here on earth strictly on your invitation, your present, your future, your soul, stripped of his innocence, who once was naked and ashamed, but now accustomed to the shame of nakedness…’

‘I am the leader of today, whose future you trample upon like discarded rags, ruining the leadership in me…’

‘Young one, you are bursting my brain, my soul and spirit too…’a person of NO- NAME nation? Why not a citizen of NO-NAME nation?’

‘The Preacher sir? It is a simple arithmetic now… Please let’s do it…Can there be a citizen, when there is no nation…?’

‘Please play me that your regular music, WONBILIKI…Who sang it self?’

‘Gaise Baba…’

‘Bye for now young one…You terrify me…’

‘No The Preacher, the nation terrifies me and a horde of us and I guess but they can still take a long shot at repentance…’

‘True saying, young one, very true saying. SHALOM!’

Taiwo AKINLAMI
(C) 2020

Photo Credit:
Black Awakening Movement

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