As I get older the weather in the Queen’s country bites deeper into my bones. Years of re-acclamatisation has meant full reuniting with motherland. But to the Queen’s country I must go every now and again, if only for J.E.P. to know that I am doing a good job at working hard! But as we begin 2014, 2013 was a year when letter writing in the long hand appears to be getting its own revival, it is fitting to remember that there is, indeed, a difference between our politicians and entertainers, the latter doing us proud, while the former continue to do all our heads in!
So, from far away wintering Queen’s country, I am delighted to recall a tribute to our entertainers, while giving a rib-in to those who continue to mess up their chances to do great things.
If there are any indulgees wondering what this is all about, let them not worry much longer. After all, it is winter here and I am the one mummified to avoid getting frost bitten. And I bet if such indulgees are not catching their fun somewhere, then let them sing, like the diminutive Prince once did, “Blame it on the rain”. If they are catching their fun in the Nigerian sunshine, then just enjoy yourselves, because no matter how politicians and civil servants, including my friends who have joined them, decide to behave, we have reasons to be proud. Let me explain why.
I am a product of the ‘80’s. In other words, I lived my early teens in that era when just hearing the rumour that Cindy Lauper had died of AIDS rendered me inconsolable; relieved only later when I heard that it was just a rumour! Yes, Cindy Lauper and the energetic Tina Turner were the two women, later joined by Madonna, who lit up the stage whenever they performed. It was so much delight to follow their music and watch them perform on stage! I guess by now you know why I follow Classic 97.3 fm religiously. I need to connect with my past, sometimes, even though I am still contemporary, trying to move with the times, less I become irrelevant under the circumstance!
What a shame that we all live in a country where there’s no official proclamation that we are all allowed to dream. If you dream you dream for yourself. That is why it does not bother politicians that everybody in this country, except those with some official titles, supported by tax payers and oil revenues, have to provide everything for themselves, including private security, private education, private water supply, private this, private that!
Yes, if you want to do good by this country, you will have to take care of yourself! If you stay there waiting for Goodluck Jonathan, then you will be doing “Waiting for Godot” and it would be nobody’s problem if you kept waiting until after the elections in 2015, because right now, that’s all that matters – 2015 or nothing else. If you attended any Nigerian university (never mind that they were on strike for all of close to six months and that nobody, including President Jonathan, even as a former lecturer, really thought it was anything to bother about until they decided it was becoming an irritant nuisance to their ears) and were involved in student politics, you’d probably be hearing people in government sing the following chorus: “2015… 2015… 2015 kain ge so… 2015…2015… 2015 Kain ge so… Bo ne je je … Bo na na na, 2015 kain ge so…”.
Don’t mind me if you don’t understand any of that. It was my sojourn at the University of Nigeria that brought that home to me. You see, if we had serious leaders, patriotic leaders, it wouldn’t matter what part of the country you were from. You would have a smattering knowledge of that song because, as an Aluta chorus, there ought to be one or two people around you who should know and be able to interpret for you. But alas! we do not live in such a country where a lot should have been buried by now. We still live in a country where we hear things like: “Is he not from the same region as the president? Why is he attempting to challenge him?”
Well, here’s why. He thinks, like many millions of Nigerians, that the president has been rubbish at doing the job he was elected to do, and so needs to go back to do something else and leave the country to be run by someone more at it, a serious, focused and more effective individual! It’s that simple and I don’t care how anybody feels. After all I am having a chilling wintery holiday in Europe. Who cares, when they don’t care about me?
Please don’t let me start singing Michael Jackson’s song … “All l wanna say is … they don’t really care about us.” For if they did, they would care about the promises they made before the elections in 2011, instead of doing “do or die” politics, shutting down government and forgetting the rest of us, two full years before 2015, and thinking we are all stupid and won’t realise their folly, that they have not really delivered on their promises!
Or are they not the same people who promised just a fe years ago, in all the states they went to, that they would develop the various economic strengths of those states – for instance, they went to Ebonyi state and said they would turn it into a rice haven for Nigeria through Abakaliki rice. In Enugu they promised to return the coal mines; in the south-west states they said they would return the region to its cocoa producing glory; in Kano, they talked about cotton and groundnut pyramids, and so on and so forth. Today, they are busy positioning themselves for an election that is two years away, when they haven’t delivered on those promises! Funny Nigeria. Funny leaders. Docile people!
We live in a country where leaders, who don’t mean what they say, whose words cannot be taken for more than the paper they are written on; who think they are lords of some fabled manors and so easily forget where they are coming from, and for that simple reason lose their heads in the murky waters of corrupt Nigerian politics, enjoy playing the politics of ring fencing themselves without any care for legacy, or all the things associated with good name! How can you shut down your promises of a better Nigeria, made just two years ago, to focus on 2015, if there’s nothing criminal about you? Please, can anyone explain this to me, fellow indulgees? We have been trying to, at this square table gathering, to fathom this and we are not making any headway at all!
Politicians have been doing our heads in since we gained independence! What a shame Naija people! And to imagine that with all the age of enlightenment that has come upon this world and all the enlightenment that our people have achieved, including by those claiming to have PhDs, we are still allowing politicians to get away with murder and all the rubbish that they serve on our plates daily! How I loath politicians, especially those who purposely come out to deceive the rest of us.
In the meantime, while politicians are doing their little to contribute to the progress of our country, as I get into my wintery routine over here, I have reason to be proud. Politicians and civil service pillage the country and the people. They leave the rest of us to our own fate. As a good student of the ‘80s culture, I remember the music we listened to and heard played on radio and at parties. Today, Classic fm can only remind us of what we did or where we were when particular tunes were played. The station is not telling us the other story! It is not telling us how the airwaves were dominated by foreign music and how our dance floors saw legs and bodies sway to the music from far away foreign lands! Today, all that is different. Thanks to the resilient of people who are often ignored by government, politicians and sundry criminals parading themselves as government people!
Here I am being inspired by what is coming out from my neighbour’s music machine. The music is sipping out gently. As I get down to serious mummification of my humble body, my neighbour is making sure that I know where I am coming from, by playing a song that I am very familiar with back home.
“You de play me wayo ooooo …. Oh baby not to tonight….” Thank God for all those young men and women, all over the music scene in Nigeria … D-Banj, 2Face Idibia, and the Nollywood network. One day, we shall overcome the Nigerian politician, who is actually a cog in the wheel of our progress.
By: PHILLIP ISAKPA