• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
businessday logo


A very complicated life!


You have packed your bags. You have one mission – to hit the ground running and get to the airport and catch that long planned and awaited flight. You just reckoned at some point in the course of the year that you would need it. A break from it all – it has sometimes been drudgery, but most times, it has been exciting.

That notwithstanding, you just knew you had to take a vacation; or maybe really not. These things often go this way for you; rather unsettling it would sometimes seem. Because it doesn’t really end up being a holiday, as there is a DIY to do here and a DIY to do there.

There is the excitement of seeing again after such a long time, but that soon ends and a whole new set of things crop up and you have to deal with the internal conflicts that seem to eat you up, without being able to consume you. It is the confusion that surrounds what seems like your rather complicated life.

And just then, it is the very moment that your memory starts to serve you well. Yes, you remember Dido, the British singer, who gave birth to her first child in July and kept it away from the public until last week, when it was announced through a media statement. Wondering how that happened? Well, it’s called information management.

But it is really the Dido song, Life for Rent, which you remember now. You always felt a connection with that song for some reasons you have been unable to explain. When you heard the song way back when it was released you played it and played it, over and over again, seeking for some answers to questions that bothered you to no end. It was in 2003, so very long ago. Yet, life still seems so complicated! Answers still not found.

For indulgees not familiar with Dido, here are some of the things she says in Life for Rent.

I haven’t ever really found a place that I call home

I never stick around quite long enough to make it

I apologise once again I’m not in love

But it’s not as if I mind

that your heart ain’t exactly breaking

It’s just a thought, only a thought

But if my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy

Well I deserve nothing more than I get

Cos nothing I have is truly mine

I’ve always thought

that I would love to live by the sea

To travel the world alone

and live more simply

I have no idea what’s happened to that dream

Cos there’s really nothing left here to stop me

It’s just a thought, only a thought

But if my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy

Well I deserve nothing more than I get

Cos nothing I have is truly mine

If my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy

Well I deserve nothing more than I get

Cos nothing I have is truly mine

You tell yourself that this is the height of self deprecation. But you carry on as if, like R. Kelly would say, “Yo

Nigerians! Nothing Do You!” You are at the airport now. And you have to pass through customs. There are two signs: “Something to Declare”. “Nothing to Declare.” You know this is the time of the year when you should be declaring something.

It is the season of giving and sharing. After all, you read this week about what appeared to be a gift galore at the National Assembly. You heard that ministries, departments and agencies of governments, as well as private companies, sent trailer loads of gifts to lawmakers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the National Assembly. The trailers carried bags of rice, consumables and hampers.

Aids of the lawmakers “battled and struggled to evacuate the gifts meant for their bosses.” The story particularly noted how an official of one agency of government with interest in environmental matters was heard requesting for a list of all lawmakers. Then you ask why do they do all this? Hiding under the cloak of Christmas to shoot up recurrent expenditure; no wonder then, why things will never change.

Now, what do you think would happen if any of the lawmakers, who has collected all these items, comes to the airport, any airport, and is face to face with the two Customs’ signs? Do you think he or she would pass through “Something to Declare” or “Nothing to Declare”? There is plenty to declare my friend, very plenty!

It is in this same spirit that I want to openly declare that this season has meant that I have had something to declare to Customs. Unfortunately for the Customs though, they will find that whatever I declare will carry a caveat – that these items have been donated to charity, as soon as they came. But I will hasten to add that as I lay claim to the fact that I have something to declare, I also want to say that there are many “Not in My Name” situations to report.

I wish to let the whole world know that there would be many people who would have come in my name. Please, should you wish to find out and be sure, you are free to ask me so that I can put that person to shame, who came in my name or whom you sent in my name but didn’t get to me. Truth is, the hunger disease is widespread, so don’t kid yourself thinking the man or woman in suit or knee-length office gown in front of you is not hungry.

You see why life gets very complicated? I walked into a conversation feeling totally lost the last time I was back in the UK. The conversation was about music; more specifically, about the music of the British soulful and sultry musician Adele, whom I then went on to find out, has two very wonderful albums, aptly titled Adele 19 and Adele 21.

Adele is 23, but you wouldn’t easily notice that when you listen to the quality of music that she delivers. You understand this better when you are 30,000 feet in the skies inside a Boeing aircraft and you have your headphones on listening to the lyrics of Adele’s music, particularly the one she calls Set Fire to the Rain.

Life? It is so, so complicated! Let’s meet again in 2012. But read between the lines.