The past few weeks have been a lot and for a person as disillusioned with existence and reality as I am, it’s been extraordinarily hard. I say it all the time that I never want to die as much as I do when I’m brought face to face with the stark reality that not only am I alive, but I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria. It doesn’t get much worse than that.
Life sucks on a different level here. The country is riddled with corruption and ineptitude from top to bottom. The culture of shirking accountability and the notion that it is sinful to criticise and question older people and people in positions of power coupled with religion and the sheer wickedness that is often characteristically Nigerian makes it so we’re colossally fucked. There’s rot from top to bottom. Our totalitarian president; government officials who in addition to their ridiculous salaries rob the country blind while refusing to do their jobs; police who extort, rob, rape and kill; civil servants who refuse to offer you the basic service they’re paid for if you don’t grease their palms and “agberos” who constitute a nuisance and then extort you. God help you if you’re a woman or a member of the LGBT+ community on top of being Nigerian. In addition to these heaps of misfortune from people in positions of authority (relative or otherwise), the average man on the street is also a potential threat. It’s a sordid experience.
I haven’t updated my newsletter in two weeks and I’m not proud of it. Not only could I not write because of the befuddlement that comes with sadness and near hopelessness but on Fridays for the past two weeks I’ve been conveniently... inebriated (and I don’t mean drunk) and so, I’m breaking the curse and releasing this on a Wednesday in hopes that it will alter the cycle. I saw other writers put out excellent bodies of work talking about the current situation of things, documenting the events of the protests in real time and I realise that I’ll probably never be that kind of writer. I’m not put together enough and I have crippling anxiety and I think it takes a person who’s put together to write when everything is falling apart around them. Maybe one day when I’ve fully come into myself I’ll also be able to sit in the eye of the storm and write about it and so, two weeks or so after the inception of what is currently the greatest Nigerian revolution of our time, I’m finally trying (and failing) to write about it. This will just have to do.
PS: “My Rolodex of hate” will be a recurring general topic with subtopics on whatever it is I’m feeling particularly abhorrent of at the time. I like to say I have an astounding capacity for hate, because I do and you get to witness my devastating tirades. Enjoy.