Day 20 – The Burden of Creativity

Art exhibition pieces

Rigozo

Creativity is a lot of work. For some people, it comes to them naturally. For others, it’s a skill they develop.

The ability to have new ideas (some not entirely original but revised) that will bring about change is what creativity brings to the table. People that are creative drive the transformation of what has been into what will become. And not just in the theaters but all around us.

In our world, creativity is what drives innovation in art, science, technology, commerce, agriculture, fashion, education, music, and basically every industry.

Who’s a creative?

A creative is anybody whose job requires creative work. A person who can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. A creative’s imagination is such that they bring into existence the non-existent.

The characteristics of creativity are closely related to curiosity and questioning, the flexibility of thought and action, and exploring different perspectives and resolutions.

Take my mother for example. She is a preacher of no food waste. She has the ability to transform leftover meals into a new meal. Sometime, she’ll combine two different kinds of food together. Her concoctions is legendary (The taste of some of them were funky but we knew it would not end well for us to complain about our African mother’s cooking.)

Creative people are always on the lookout for the unexpected. They are always looking for a different way to do things, or to stand out from the crowd. Researchers have sought to find out if creatives ride the thin line between genius and psychotic.

A quote on creativity

Creativity is Intelligence having fun

– Albeit Einstein

Is being a creative a burden?

A couple of days back I was chatting with the incredible Aunty Adata (Chief weirdo of Newville). Our discussions usually revolve around writing which is the main reason why we found each other. But that day, we delved into photography – which was not surprising because I always sneak it into every discussion. I love photography and I like to talk about it with people.

I had shared with her some of my pictures and her delight when she saw them pooled like hot chocolate in my belly.

It’s amazing when you are genuinely appreciated for the work you do. Gives you an extra push.

But best not to get hung up on people’s praise as a creative, do you really want to do amazing work and hide it under your bed? It’s like buying fish from the market and hoping it will not smell because you wrapped it in a newspaper.

I’m not saying you should pursue fame and world domination (not a bad idea if you are capable of making it happen). However, a lot of creatives become better because they’ve shared their work and gotten feedback. A lot of creatives also get fixated with people’s approval. I can be very protective of my work, like a mama bear. Just a whiff of diapproval and I’ll fomaing in the mouth. I’m learning not to take things to heart though.

I blame Adata for planting it in my mind, and I also want to hug her. During our conversation she said, “Too many interests. The burden of creatives. We tend to be confused about what path exactly to tow.”

So true. If I had to make a list of the things that tickle my fancy, it would go on and on.

It can be a burden. Yes. Those things you love to do can become your obsessions – you can become slaves to your passion. It’s a lot harder for people who have a multitude of interests. Many creatives stumble and fail because they are stretched too thin. Looking for perfection because they want people’s validation or they suffer from imposter syndrome. Those that confound people’s expectations and excel in all soon find all of their energy used up.

Is it worth doing if creativity becomes a burden?

There were days after a shoot when I got back home, fall flat on my face, and did not move for hours. I was exhausted to my soul. My brother called it ‘the death sleep. because I would sleep with reckless abandon.’ The next day I would be up and out of the house to do it all over again. Days when I walked away from my writing in disgust because it just doesn’t make sense. But always I come back to it.

But if it’s not convincing enough, do as my friend would say, ‘It pays the bills.’

It does pay the bills at least.

But quite a number of creatives feel burdened by doing the work just to pay their bills. It takes away the fun of just playing around with ideas and just doing things at their own pace.

In an interrview with The Q, Adele opened up about 30, divorce and her struggle with fame. She mentioned that she drifted from music at some point because music which was her hobby became her job.

Why not make creativity less of a burden…

Oui! Did the older generation know better? Do we know better? Whatever creativity is, it is what gives the world its edge. Like sparks from a charcoal stove, it is brilliant and fascinating to behold.

Take Bill Cunningham for instance. A New Yorker and renowned fashion photographer is known for haunting the streets and taking pictures of what he considered interesting fashion style. The man rode a bicycle to work. He even showed up at work with a leg-cast, band-aid, and walking stick…now how did he manage that riding a bicycle?

My point isn’t that you shouldn’t buy a car or call in sick for work. Creatives can go overboard for their art. No wonder society questions their sanity.

You can check out this article on How To Overcome The Crushing Burden Of The Creative.

I think that you should be able to find for yourself a balance with your art so that you no longer perceive it as a burden. Let it become more than paying your bills if possible. Do it so that you can enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

#Day 20 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 19 – Mood

Rigozo

I blamed my mood. Of late it has been all over the place, manifesting in fits and starts.

When all is said and done, you cannot return it – the past – if you so choose to go back, all that will be found is a vast wasteland. You’ll achieve naught but to stir memories that have long turned to dust. It will enter your eyes and burn like fire, until alas you weep streams of tears. It will block your vision, and leave you wandering lost in the wasteland.

All that you hear in such a place are echoes and the ravaged cries of dying dreams.

My mom, she came to my room and watched me. After a moment she said, ‘It won’t change a thing. Stop thinking. You’ll only hurt yourself. There’re some things you can’t change.’

I looked at her and wondered, ‘Why would thinking hurt me? Why should finding answers prove fatal?’

Why does the rainfall on our heads and the streams and rivers run over our feet?

I’m not the only one searching for answers. We are many that look for meaning in every dust mote and fluttering leaf.

It’s human nature. It’s man’s burden to always seek – for companionship, for power, for wealth, for love – for more.

Is ignorance truly bliss?

I read somewhere that innocence and ignorance stay side by side. Once you lose one, you lose the other. When you don’t know a thing then you can claim ignorance, and therefore your innocence remains. But knowledge brings death to ignorance and innocence is lost in its murky waters.

I asked the man why he walked slowly for miles under the scorching sun, he replied, ‘It’s just the time when everything is somehow. You can’t make sense of it. Don’t bother to ask why. What must you do to come out of it? Oh! Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You stay put until it passes. Sure…it’ll pass. I guess.’

I asked him, ‘Is it enough to just wait and do nothing. Why won’t you look for answers’?

‘Hush…No questions.’ He scolded.

I sulked like an errant child, ‘But I’ll always have questions.’

And he was silent.

Why did he not say anything? Was he mocking me? Have I truly lost my innocence by casting off my ignorance?

Then I remembered my mother’s words, ‘It won’t change a thing. Stop thinking. You’ll only hurt yourself. There’re some things you can’t change.’

#Day 19 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 18 – Shame (Part 2)

Rigozo

My birth weight was 8.2 pounds. My mother said that if after all the damage I caused coming out of her –  she managed to survive – she could survive anything.

Every argument and every fight I had as a child was more often than not because somebody made a comment about my weight. The doctors said it was baby fat and, in all likelihood, I would shed it as I matured. But the damage had already been done.

‘Humenah. Babe, are you alright?’

‘I’m fine.’

I couldn’t even raise my head up to look at Kitan. I knew the feeling all too well.

It was shame.

‘No, you’re not.’ Kitan said softly.

True. Not since that unfortunate day in high school Children are scary. They say and do the most hurtful things without fully comprehending the consequences.

That day we had visited a farm for a school field trip, and by the end of the day the kids were calling me ‘Moomenah the Cow’. At 14 years old I was easily twice the weight of the average kid in my school. I was used to the name-calling and thought that soon it would pass. It did not.

‘Tell me what’s going on.’ Kitan pleaded. He held the box as if it was a chest of vipers.

‘Miss perfect Humenah here doesn’t want you to find out about Moomenah her alter ego.’ Fred blurted out.

‘What? Who’s Moomenah?’ Kitan asked.

My heart slammed into my chest, and I slumped on the couch when I heard Kitan say the name. Now his voice would be added to the other voices in my head that were taunting me. I felt cold all of a sudden, and wrapped my hands around myself to stop shivering. Kitan dropped the box and rushed to my side. I allowed myself to be hugged by him as hot tears rolled down my cheeks.

Shame and regret.

I was called Moomenah up until I graduated from high school because I was unable to lose weight at that time, even though I starved myself in the name of dieting, took weight loss pills and syrups, and exercised until I dropped from exhaustion. There were many nights I cried myself to sleep, and I even developed medical problems – was hospitalized at some point.

I wept for my younger self that suffered at the hands of her tormentors; the young girl that was never loved for who she was. I did not even love myself – never had a kind word to say to myself – just had hate and disgust for my body.

I was my worst enemy.

But as I matured, I realized that I was no different from the people that bullied and mocked me when I was younger. Even after losing weight and years of therapy, some people would still see me and call me ‘Moomenah,’ like it was all fun and jokes. I was ashamed that I had put myself through excruciating pain just to fit their standard.

I didn’t want to put all that baggage on Kitan. I couldn’t let him see my scars because they were ugly. I didn’t want to know what his reaction would be once he finds out the truth that I was broken and a complete mess on the inside.

Not yet.

Part 1

#Day 18 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 17 – Box (Part 1)

Rigozo

‘What are you looking at?’ I asked my boyfriend, Kitan, as I walked into the living room.

He was pulling something out of a basket filled with junk.

‘Is that you babe?’ He asked.

‘Yes, it’s me. Were you expecting anybody else?’ I rolled my eyes.

He pulled out a box, gave me a cheeky smile, and moved to the couch.

‘Hahaha, very funny. Come and see for yourself. I found this in the storage room while I was in there with Fred…’

‘What were you and my maniac of a cousin doing in the storage room?’ I moved closer to him.

‘If you let me finish talking, you’ll find out. We were just….’

‘Is that the family pictures you’ve got there?’ I squeaked.

‘Smh. That’s what’s written on the box, right? It’s so heavy. Wow! Must be hundreds of pictures in here.’ Kitan started to open the box

‘Stop! Don’t open it.’ I shrieked.

‘Why?’

‘Just don’t open it okay. Give it here.’ Kitan pulled his hands back as I tried to reach for the box.

Fred came in just as I climb on top of Kitan to get to the box and the pictures within.

‘What the hell guys. Get a room.’ He made gagging noises.

‘Give me the box.’ I growled at Kitan, ignoring my cousin.

‘Ah-ha! I told you that she would flip if she sees it, but you didn’t believe me.’ Fred said.

‘Bloody rascal…you say a lot of things, and it’s a lot safer not to trust a word that comes out of your mouth. Humenah will you get off me already. Why don’t you want me to see what’s inside the box?’

I struggled the more to get the box but Kitan managed to crawl out from under me.

‘I can tell you.’ Fred offered.

‘Shut up your mouth, Fred.’

I panicked. In that box, Kitan would find truths about myself that I was not yet ready to reveal.

Part 2

#Day 17 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 16 – Different

Rigozo

‘Good morning, everyone!’ Ama called as she breezed into the office. She looked like a K-doll and smelled like a flower shop.

Terry rose from his seat, all facial hair and buck teeth, and wrapped Ama in a bear hug.

‘Girlfriend mi! Good morning, Ama-zing. OMG, you look and smell so good. Yum! Is that Chanel?’ Terry gushed.

In my opinion, Terry’s personality and voice were a disappointment when compared to his profile. He should be in a documentary for evolved wildlife on Nat Geo Wild – all that body hair was not normal.

‘Ama! Why didn’t wait for me yesterday?’ Dorcas cried as she rushed over to them, ‘I called you but your number was not reachable.’

She tripped, and almost knocked Ama down. Dorcas was thin as a bird and was always tripping.

‘Dorcas, careful. I’m so sorry, forgive me. I left a note on your desk that I was leaving early to pick my parents up from the airport. Did you not see it?’ Ama asked.

‘I didn’t see it. Oh! I’m sorry, it was my fault for not reading your note…’

I sat at my desk, opposite from them, and my eyes twitched.

Don’t they ever get tired of talking? Isn’t it too early to be so preppy and wide-eyed?

I suspected that Ama woke up in the morning with a smile on her face. I had to consume a gallon of coffee in the morning before I could have a decent conversation with another person. She was Snow White, and I was the Grinch.

Ama giggled and I swear I heard somebody sigh. I tried not to roll my eyes.

I was extra moody because my rent was due, and my landlady was her usual mouthy self before I left the house. I had asked for patience on my way to work so that I don’t end up in jail for choking my colleagues.

‘Hi, Bami. I hope you slept well?’ Ama was talking to me. I spied Terry sulking in the corner.

‘I brought you some herbal tea that my mom made herself. I told her that you caught a cold last week, and she insisted that I give this to you. It does wonders for the body.’ Ama said in a rush as she brought out the tea from her bag.

I wanted to pull my hair. What is wrong with this woman? I thought. I was just daydreaming about strangling her and everybody else, and here she was worried about me. Why was she talking to her mother about me? I just couldn’t understand.

I knew that we were different people with different personalities. It was not good to dwell on it or to make comparisons. While Ama was a great PR and the department’s sweetheart, I didn’t land my job because of my people skills.

I was melancholic, listened to super depressing rock bands, and had no social life – I loved it that way. And Ama was all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns, and everybody loved her. She was different from me. I had to remind myself whenever she rubbed me the wrong way.

‘Are you alright? You look pale. Did you see the doctor?’ She placed the tea on my desk.

‘Yes…yes. I’m fine.’ I cleared my throat, ‘Thank you for asking, and for the tea.’

‘Oh! You’re welcome,’ Ama said as she moved to her desk, ‘And If you feel tired, just let me know, I’ll help you out with your work.’

Sigh. She made it really hard to not like her. I checked above her head to see if I would find a halo. Nope, just air. Maybe I couldn’t just see it.

I took deep breaths to steady my nerves because there was always the possibility that I would lose my patience and take somebody’s eye out.

#Day 16 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 15 – Girl

Rigozo

Even though society has expectations and gender roles for girls, there are commonly two types of girls out there. There’s the girly girl and the tomboy.

Who’s a girly girl?

A girly girl is a term for a girl or woman who dresses and acts in the traditional feminine way. Sorta like a real-life barbie, you ken? A girly girl’s manners, attitude, make-up, clothes, nails, perfumes, and everything screams, ‘I’m team XX Chromosomes’.

FYI: Girly girls are not dumb.

Who’s a tomboy?

The opposite of a girly girl is a tomboy. Girls who behave in a boyish manner – they do activities or have lifestyles that are associated with boys.

FYI: Tomboys do not stand up to take a piss.

Movies portray tomboy and girly girl characters. They also like to do it in contrast.

  • Snow White and Mulan (Disney Princesses)
  • Sansa and Arya Stark (Game of thrones)
  • Sam and Carly (Nickelodeon’s iCarly)
  • Black Widow and Scarlet Witch (Avengers)

I’m not a girly-girl

Not in this lifetime.

You may be a bit confused about me if we met for the first time. My friend Vee said I look like Huey from the BOONDOCKS because of my clothes and hair – I took it as a compliment. That day, I was wearing a vintage shirt, sweatpants, and flip-flops (yup, work clothes). My hair was in a twist-out and trust afro hair to be extra like that.

So, does this mean that I don’t do girly-girl?

Nah.

I have the best of both worlds

I get to do both girly girl and tomboy whenever I feel like it. This is why being a girl is AWESOME.

Here’s a description of myself.

I’m brown-skinned.

I’m 5’9. I want to get to 5’11 or 6’.

I’m slim. Some say I’m petite – together with my height I give off a wannabe supermodel vibe.

I’m soft-spoken. I get complimented for my voice – but in my opinion, I sound like a bird in distress.

I wear glasses sometime. I look like a hot nerdy girl on a good day. Or a hot mess – which is every other day.

I don’t wear make-up. Not because I don’t like it, I just haven’t learned how to do it. The best I can do is eyeliner, which gives me the goth look.

My wardrobe consists of t-shirts, hoodies (stolen), jeans, sweatpants, leggings, shorts, flip-flops, sandals, and sneakers. Black is my favorite color for outfits.

I like the outdoors. If it involves photography, hike, and nature walk, count me in.

I watch Disney. My favorite Disney princess is Mulan.

I wear hair extensions and wigs. I can be a blonde or a red-haired wench.

I want to ride a power bike. I’m yet to learn how to ride a bicycle.

I enjoy sewing. Yup, I learned how to sew professionally. I can sew gowns, skirts, shirts and blouses, trousers, etc. I rarely sew clothes for myself, but I can if I want to.

I get my monthly red paycheck. It’s so annoying that cramps are literally a pain-in-the-ass.

I like pink. More like baby pink.

I can’t stand strong fragrance. Perfumes can be tricky.

I love romance novels and books. Jane Austen is my woman. K-drama is superb.

I love action movies.

I don’t cry. Except when I like to break a nail or something.

I paint my nails. I grow my nails long, and I must confess that painting them myself is therapeutic.

I think heels are insane. Even though I can’t wear them without breaking my neck, I still love how elegant and fancy female heeled shoes are. I just need practice.

I make googly eyes at kittens and puppies. So cute.

I do yoga.

I wrestle with my brothers. This is no longer a frequent or fun activity because my brothers can swat me like a fly.

I like books, cakes, chocolate and tea, please. I also drink with my pinky-up – elegant.

Yes, and yes, to ruffles, laces, sequins, and glitters. Just don’t overdo it or I’ll puke.

I always wear jewelry. I don’t have a preference. Gold or silver; chunky or moderate; minimal or over the top. And I like craft pieces too – beads, ropes, stones, etc.

Conclusion

There’s everything right about wearing my extra-large t-shirts and shorts – it’s comfortable. And, I also like that I can do a switch up to a girly girl. So for every girl out there, if you are reading this, know that it is okay to be you – no matter what society’s expectations of who a girl should be. Whether you choose girly girl or tomboy, or do both, being a girl means you have the best of both worlds.👩🏽👨🏽❤❤❤

#Day 15 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 13 – Single

Rigozo

There was so much drama at work and in my life, and the stress was taking a toll on me. It was lunch hour and I couldn’t wait for the day to be over.

I was at my favorite lunch café – away from the office – but was still working on a report for my boss.

Suddenly, there was a commotion, and I looked up from my work to see what was causing the disturbance.

And that’s how the pen I was holding slipped from my fingers, and my jaw hit the floor. What…!

I couldn’t take my eyes off of the hot specimen of a man – fine bobo – who had just walked into the café. No wonder the place was buzzing. Chai! It should be illegal for him to be out in public.

‘Na wa o! God dey create.’ I said reverently.

Every woman, myself included – and some of the men – watched the fine bobo as he made his way to an empty table at the far end of the café. I felt goosebumps all over my body.

If a riot broke out, I wouldn’t be surprised. The bobo looked like he was the lead male role in a romance novel – like the Duke in Bridgerton series, and it was affecting me somehow-somehow.

I felt my womb clench and turned my face away from him before I did something stupid.

I shook my head to clear the fog that had covered my senses and tried to focus on the report.

‘I will not lose my job today because of one fine bobo,’ I declared.

Unfortunately for me, my inner vixen was already awake and had other plans.

She had been docile only moments ago, but now she purred like the engine of a brand new Telsa. Her mood was clearly ‘single and ready to mingle‘ because her ‘hot man’ alert was going off like a banshee.

‘No o! Stopeeet! I’m not ready to mingle.’ I told her, biting the end of my pen as I tried harder to focus on the report.

She ignored me and brought out ‘the ideal man list’ like she was about to go shopping…

  1. Must be tall but not too tall
  2. Must be handsome
  3. Must have fine melanin skin
  4. Must have well-defined muscles but not too big
  5. Must have beards
  6. Must not be bald
  7. Must dress well (suit and tie ranks as premium husband material)
  8. Must have a good car
  9. Must have his own apartment or house
  10. Must be well educated
  11. Must be financially stable
  12. Must not be a first-born or last-born
  13. Must not be stingy
  14. Must be God-fearing but not too spiri-koko
  15. Must have a sense of humor
  16. Must not be a mama’s boy (a plus if the mother has gone to meet the lord)
  17. Must not be a player
  18. Must not be obsessed with football…

‘Go away, you psycho, and let me concentrate biko.’

‘I’m not going anywhere!’ She was already checking the fine bobo out.

I had to stop myself from checking him out too. No need to encourage her.

‘Just look…look at that human-sized chocolate ice cream, and tell me that all you want to do right now is work.’ She hissed at me.

‘Yes, I want to work. I want to work in peace.’ I insisted.

Fine. You can work him; you have my blessing,’ she said.

‘Seriously…what is your problem? Please just go away already! I beg you.

‘Beg me? YOU SHOULD BEG HIM. YOU NEED A MAN. Do you want to die single?’

‘With that outrageous list of yours, it’s bound to happen.’

‘Tueh! I reject it. There’s nothing wrong with having aspirations.’

‘Are you also aspiring to get me fired?’ I asked because it seemed that way. My lunch break would soon be over and I had made little progress on the report.

‘You can try to change my single status another time. For now, leave me alone, and mind your business.’

She agreed wholeheartedly and said, ‘After all, you are my business. Just trust that I always have your best interest at heart.

‘Nope…I don’t trust you. Now shoo!’

It was hard but I managed to shut her out and focused on the report. Fine bobo or no fine bobo, I had enough drama already.

#Day 13 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 12 – Goodbye

Rigozo

I don’t like goodbyes. It’s one of the hardest things to do. Whenever I have to say goodbye, I try to convince myself that it means that a chapter of my life is over, and I’m better for it. I trained myself to go months and years without looking back at the past. Instead, I did my best to look forward to the future and create new memories.

About a month ago, my dear friend Jay told me of his plans to quit his job. In the weeks that followed after he dropped his resignation letter, he earnestly began preparations to tie up loose ends.

Soon it was a week left – Jay made sure to keep me updated on all that he did, and even sent pictures by the dozen. It was unofficially a countdown.

In retrospect, he was performing a ritual leading up to the day when he would say his final goodbye. It was so that it was bearable for everyone involved.

Depending on how attached you are to the life you’re leaving behind, goodbye is never easy – you can either rip it off like a band-aid or you can take it nice and slow like my friend Jay was doing.

I didn’t give it much thought, having said more goodbyes than I ever imagined was possible in less than a decade. On reflex, I lock a corner of my heart away and put the memories of that time behind steel bars – toss the key into the ocean. I have left people and places – Lagos, Ibadan, Makurdi, Abuja, and Kaduna – and have become adept at saying goodbye. Or so I thought.

That same week, unexpected things happened.

I was leaving the bank when I ran into Bolu, an old friend from school. Bolu showed up in front of me out of nowhere. It was like a punch in my gut. Ten years ago, I met him for the first time during our post-utme at the University of Ibadan. And six years ago, we said goodbye and went our separate ways. I didn’t think I would see Bolu ever again.

Because our lives are connected like threads on a loom, every tug inevitably reverberates from end to end. And so another shock came two days after that chance meeting with Bolu. I got a call from Grace – my ex-roommate. Grace and I said goodbye after our service year five years ago. Although we’ve tried to keep in touch as often as possible, it was a long time since we last spoke.

The next day, as I stepped out of the house to get groceries, I saw Eddy, a pal from a long time ago.

Suddenly, it felt like my past was haunting me.

Memories that had long been swept away by the tides of time came flooding back. Little things that escaped my mind were no longer obscure. It’s like moments in our lives that feel like we are caught in a fast-moving current – unable to halt our headlong rush downstream; impossible to move against the current.

I thought I was an OG at goodbyes. I saw it as business as usual. I wasn’t aware that everything that was happening with my friend Jay was chaffing at the binds that held my emotions at bay. I didn’t know that my heart was getting involved every single day.

And so, by the end of the week, hard-girl was a complete mess – I broke down the day after Jay officially left his job, failing to keep my promise to him not to cry.

It was a painful reminder that it hurts to say goodbye.

#Day 12 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 11 – Coronavirus (Part 2)

Rigozo

Kay finished his food, drank some water, and set his plate aside.

‘The pandemic was caused by Coronavirus – Covid19.’ Kay started talking and Ogechi leaned closer.

‘It all started in December 2019, when the Chinese people in Wuhan decided that they just had to have a delicacy of wild bats.’

‘I don’t think I follow.’ Ogechi looked aghast.

‘Let’s just say that many health experts believed that coronavirus was transmitted from wild bats to humans, and the first confirmed cases of the virus were in Wuhan, China.’

‘Okay. What happened next.’

‘Because the virus was then transmitted from human to human, it spread far and wide before other countries could set preventive measures to protect their citizens. Some people thought it was just the common cold or malaria because it had almost the same symptoms. At the time, authorities in China tried to cover it up, or so the news reported. But they couldn’t keep it under wraps, not with social media and the internet as it was at that time.’

‘The first case of the virus in Nigeria was in Lagos – an Italian man that worked in Nigeria had just returned from Milan, Italy on the 27th of January. He was rushed to the hospital and quarantined. In a few months after the virus was discovered, a lot of people had died – all over the world.’ Kay said softly.

‘How come you survived? Wait! Are you the only survivor?’ Ogechi gasped.

‘Stop being dramatic you this girl…smh.’

‘For your information, humans are tenacious. We had a common enemy – coronavirus. And for the first time in history, we set aside our differences for a time and tried to work together to save as many lives as possible. Health experts all around the world started working on creating a vaccination or better still, finding a cure.’

‘In the meantime, there was a worldwide lockdown – in 2020 many countries closed their borders, businesses, schools, and public places were shut down. Social distancing became a norm – people were asked to stay at home and keep their distance. Facemasks and hand sanitizers were a must in public places to help prevent the spread of the virus. A lot of people got addicted to TIK-Tok. Even so, economies were in a depression, and in some places, the death tolls kept rising.

Ogechi’s eyes were huge in her face.

‘I can’t imagine…It sounds like a sci-fi movie.’

‘I know.’

‘Did…did you lose anybody?’

‘Yes. My mum. She was one of the health workers on duty in Lagos during the lockdown.’

‘Oh my God!’

‘Ah! Kay, I’m sorry…I didn’t…’ Ogechi covered her face with her hand.

‘You didn’t know, right? I guess you believe me now huh.’

Ogechi felt rotten for what she said earlier.

‘Kay…’

‘It’s okay.’ Kay said. ‘But I think I’ve said enough for today. Should we return to the library?’ Kay asked trying to change the topic.

‘I can’t concentrate…see, I’m really sorry Kay.’

‘Na wa o. Shebi I said it’s okay…there’s no need to beat yourself up about it.’ Kay stood up and picked up his bag.

‘I’m going back to the library. I still have a lot to study before our next class.’

Ogechi hurriedly packed her things. Now that she believed that Kay was saying the truth, she had a lot of questions to ask. Did they find a cure? How was he able to time-travel? What was Tik-Tok?

‘Kay, wait for me.’ Ogechi shouted and ran after him.

Part one

#Day 11 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

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Day 10 – Future (Part 1)

Rigozo

So, you’re from the future? Ogechi asked

‘That’s right.’ Kay answered.

‘I don’t believe you.’ Ogechi pointed a finger close to his face. ‘You are trying to prank me. Is this is the new level of 419 in Lagos?’

Kay sighed.

They were in the school’s library and Ogechi’s loud voice was attracting unwanted attention.

‘Keep your voice down.’ Kay hissed. ‘I’m not trying to scam you. I’m from the future – the year 2022.’ Kay said.

‘Must be hard to say twenty-twenty-two,’ Ogechi said the last part slowly like she was suffering from brain damage.

‘What’s your point?’

‘Ahem! Nothing.’

Ogechi watched as Kay flipped the pages of his book with long manicured nails. Ever since they met at the Conference Centre on orientation day, they had become fast friends. She had observed that there was something different about him. In fact, everything about Kay made him stand out, and not just because he looked way cooler than everyone else in their set – and in the school.

‘Do people become stupid in the future?’ Ogechi asked after several minutes had passed.

‘I don’t understand your question.’ Kay replied.

‘Either all humans become stupid in the future or you are the exception. No offense.’

Kay looked up from his book. Sometimes Ogechi confused him. She was frank and had no filter in her mouth, but she would never talk about anybody behind their back. She was also bossy, but she had the kindest heart. Today she had finally succeeded in getting the truth out of him, but she’d said she didn’t believe him. Next, she’s asking weird questions about the future. Are all women a bit crazy or is Ogechi one of a kind?

‘Well, I’m offended.’ Kay said.

‘No, vex. It’s just that, I don’t understand why you are here. Of all the places in the world you could have visited in the past, you chose here. 2009 in Nigeria – the era of suicide bombings. Is Boko Haram a joke to you?’

‘First, keep your voice down. They’ll send us out of this place or even ban us for life. Second, I told you earlier, I have some things to do here. And no, I can’t tell you what it is. Please, I beg you, Ogechi. Stop asking difficult questions.’

‘Alright. Guy, be calming down. Just tell me what you can.’ Ogechi said as if he was the one harassing her.

One day he promised himself that he would shake her until all her teeth fall out.

A few hours later…

They were at the cafeteria and had ordered their usual rice and beans, with fried plantain and fish. Ogechi was stealing his plantain like the criminal that she was.

‘Tell me more about the Apocalypse abi Pandemic.’ Ogechi said after stuffing another of his plantain into her mouth without any permission.

‘Lol. It’s pandemic, and stop eating my plantain you this small thief. By the way, I thought you don’t believe me.’

‘There’s love in sharing. Our elders say that he who eats alone, die alone.’

‘Oya share your own plantain.’

Ogechi hit Kay’s hand as he reached for her plate.

‘Abomination!’

‘Although I don’t believe you, I have to confess that I’m intrigued by your stories. You have a crazy imagination, you this boy.’

‘SMH.’

Ogechi rolled her eyes.

‘I’m not supposed to be telling you these things. I don’t know how it would affect the future…’

‘Talk joor.’ Ogechi snapped.

‘Okay…you self be calming down. Let me finish eating and I’ll tell you.’

Part two

#Day 10 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

Photo Credit: Pexels