Adaeze wrote this piece in the middle of Nigeria’s recent and completely horrifying fuel scarcity. I read it and felt this terrible sadness hovering above me from no where. And this is the thing that hooks me to her writing. The emotion she conveys so effortlessly, how she serves it, how it makes you hold your chest while sighing deeply or laugh a deep throaty laugh. This is a necessary read, and if for Adaeze’s sake alone, Nigeria must work. #IStandWithAdaeze. 🙂
You’re sitting in a station wagon that is winging it’s way from Onitsha to Benin city, there are eight passengers in this car meant to hold five, but this is not unusual in the hell hole you call a country. The car you’d boarded in the morning had carried eleven adults and three children, one of the children sat on your laps until the end of the journey even though you’d never seen him before.
You’d just paid 250% of the normal fare on this return journey but these are not normal times, you can see the winding fuel queues dotting the country from space. The passengers are subdued, there is no heated political discussion in this vehicle as is the custom in a Benin city bound vehicle, just desultory comments on the fuel scarcity and the stupidity in blaming the minister of state for petroleum when there is a substantive minister for petroleum who will not allow his nyash rest in Nigeria. The driver slots in a cd, you expect a rousing igbo gospel song or Nomagbe the noisemaker who calls himself a singer. You rummage your bag in search of your pink earphones so you can listen to the songs on the ‘Cobham’s produced’ playlist on your phone but the opening bars of one of your favourite songs stills your fingers.
Yellow fever always makes you smile, a story you’d written about the song was published on brittle paper and even though they murdered your name, it is still one of your favourite stories. You’re still smiling when you hear the opening bars of Scatter your head. This time you throw your head back and laugh, your head is already scattered, our heads are already scattered. Scattered by the lies of our politicians, scattered by our gullibility in believing that we could get CHANGE from the same idiots that have messed us up since 1984. Didn’t Jesus say you couldn’t put old wine in new wineskin? He wasn’t high on adulterated igbo when he said that, he was talking about Nigeria.
You bring out your phone to type this rant, Craze world comes on and it strikes you that the same fucking things Fela sang about are even more relevant today, even down to the soldier who is killing this country and her people. The next song is Femi Kuti’s Sorry and some stupid tears threaten to block your vision. You furiously blink them back, you are not Alan Paton besides Nigeria does not deserve your tears. The music continues, alternating between the Afrobeat king and prince.
Your mother calls you on your phone and as you let her calm voice wash over your soul, you say a prayer for the country that your family comes from. It has to get better, even if God has to go the Apple route again.
Adaeze is a world famous shower singing sensation, she blogs at chynanu.wordpress.com and when she is not singing and writing, she lives and works in the ancient city of Benin.