Introducing yourself on a website can be compared to a human actor making a cameo appearance before ghosts. Especially if you belong to that strong breed who have the audacity to call themselves writers. But I take comfort in the fact that the Red Room is not my first home on the non-paper literary highway . I have this belief that I am in the midst of friendly spirits who will give me both deserved encores and honest knocks.
Honestly I am feeling rather low as I write this piece. With Christmas blowing in the air this is supposed to be a season of good tidings. Three weeks ago Muslims celebrated Ed-El-Kabir and in my country, Nigeria ( a land of great religionists, if not true believers ), it was a big shinding for both Muslims and non-Muslims. But the seasonal cheer does not move me one bit. I am ambivalent about the whole thing.
Do not get me wrong: I have nothing against Christmas or any celebration that binds our fragmented humanity, even if temporarily. The historical and theological quibbles about Christmas does not affect my perceptions about this period, either. Pray, if the world does not celebrate the birth of the Greatest Man that ever lived-whether or not you believe He is God' s Son is beside the point-who will they throw a party for? Lucifer?
Permit me to share a few issues that are making me rather blue during this supposedly azure period. Two Christmases ago I travelled to my home town in Eastern Nigeria feeling like ten billion naira, even though my December bonus could not have bought a Christmas turkey from the farms of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. I had the girl of my dreams by my side and I was parading her before kith and kin like the queen she was, and still is. But the party ended, and though we are better off as friends instead of lovers, the taste of broken love fills my mouth as the festivities fill the air. However move on I must for the great and good lady has undoubtedly moved on.
The recent madness in Jos, the idyllic, European-temperate capital of Plateau state in north-central Nigeria has not done much to put me in the Christmas mood. The world knows how local government elections in that supposedly human and humane city became a low-intensity war after Satan relocated fron hell to Mumbai. Although I did not lose anyone I feel raped. I spent over five years of my adolesence in Plateau state and my brother did his national youth service in Jos. Biko, what took over the hearts of the men who phoned a father in another part of the country to tell him they were about to slaughter his son for the crime of being in Jos for his national youth service? How will the survivors see humanity at a time we are supposed to be one? What is it about Christianity and Islam that turns its followers into something Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed never envisaged? IT HURTS, AND THOSE POWER-MONGERS WHO BUILD THEIR PALACES ON CORPSES WILL KNOW NO REST IN BOTH THE MORTAL AND IMMORTAL REALMS.
However, let us be renewd during this unque, thang-thing period. I sincerely wish the birth of 2009 could spawn in us the will to rise above our dark nature. But madness will never leave many so-called human hearts. Not a cheerful outlook, but it is the truth. Paradoxically, I have faith in our individual and collecvtive capacity to triumph over our deepest demons. That is why we are homo sapiens.
Biko (Igbo word ) Please