Friday, 16 November 2007

I saw a mad man today

I saw a mad man today
Clothes covered in dirt and a certain black substance
Hair scattered and disheveled
As expected I became wary
And tried to avoid him
But he stopped to speak to a woman
Whom he seemed to know
And as I listened
The words he uttered made some sense
Not the mumbo jumbo mumblings of one who has taken leave of his senses
Alas! He was not mad
But is it my fault?
That I live in a place where conditions are so deplorable
That It has become so hard
To differentiate the suffering from the one who is mad.

I saw the conductor today
He represents the common man
Although he has long existed
Hanging at the edge of his bus all day
Screaming destinations to all and sundry
But I saw him for the first time today
For so long I had lived in air-conditioned cars
So cold the mist covered the glass
I was oblivious to his world
Or at least I pretended to be
Buried my nose in newspapers
And books I’ve read once or twice
He became invisible to me
But now I sit side by side with him
Most times he is boisterous and in a paraga-induced state
Shouting profanities for all to hear
But I watch him in those quiet moments
Where he sits still and his gaze is fixed on that car
With the big oga at the back oblivious of his world
As I once was
Thinking…with longing in his eyes
Why does he get to have that and not me?

I saw suffering today
For sometimes we are too busy being rich to see the poor
To see that man in the bus that can’t afford the N10 fare
To see the little child hawking for his daily bread
To see the market woman, whose life depends on her wares
To see the schoolboy that begs for money so he can go home
To see the mother crawling on all fours with her child on her back
To see frustration on the faces and in the hearts of people
I live in a place where laughter is a weapon
That is employed to fight off the harsh realities of life
For the only other option is to cry
Cry till we can cry no more.

I live in a place
Where we are hardly ever shocked
Hardly ever surprised
Where a body on the road
Doesn’t raise an eye
And other unimaginable occurrences
That should offend the normal person
Doesn’t make us flinch
Permit me to coin a word
We are "unshockable"
Immune to shock
But it is bad
When one is not easily shocked
For things slides by one easily
And one is not moved to insist on change
So lets us now be shocked by things we wouldn’t before
Let us open our mouths in awe and disbelief
Most importantly
Let us not keep our mouths shut
And say "na today we don begin dey talk "
For one day those who need to listen will be forced to hear us.


ibilola said...

hear, hear!

Afrobabe said...

Its truely terrible..but at the same time,those conditions made us who we are today...they made us strong enough to smile in the face of discrimination,abuse and hunger...we can withstand anything because we have been brought up to know no other way...You will be shocked to know what you can withstand and survive...God bless Nigeria.

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

I read your post today
and it drove home the human condition
how survival has made us numb
to the plight of our lives

Anuoluwapo said...

Babes, it is sad sad sad... i mean,
its terrible, everywhere i go, there is someone suffering, doing tacky jobs, but then again someone has to do them, its just how life is,nothing can be done... i went to the club the other day, it was a friends hang out, so i had to be there, took 12k out and came back with less to nothing, did not buy anything, but just gave the money out, i was there having a blast, and people were suffering, its just sad

princesa said...

My dear, This was a powerful post.
I loved it, really.
You write beautifully.

Omosewa said...


exschoolnerd said...

@princesa!!! thnx dear

simplynuttie said...

I like this post.
It saddening...
I am still thinking and pondering on all you've written....
Something, someday has to be done...soon.