“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,
It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
We had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
We were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way,
– in short, the period was so far like the present period,
that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received,
for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
A Tale of Two Cities, English novelist (1812 – 1870)
And so it came to pass that I begin my scribbling escapade during a period that is the complete depiction penned above by Charles Dickens. If he was alive today, and, by chance, visited Nigeria, he would think that he was in the period and location he portrayed aforetime. Indeed, those words, though authored almost two centuries ago, describe our present reality. Nigeria is a tale of contraries. How those contraries conspire to co-exist side by side is one of the many wonders of the world.
On the one hand, there are extremely opulent politicians and top civil servants, and on the other hand, there are destitute ordinary Nigerians. There is not much in the middle to merit the term, “middle-income.” That is, if those two terms can still be written together in Nigeria. Slum dwellers live next door to the castles of the elite on the same street, and no one thinks there is anything amiss with that image. There is an explosion of awareness among Nigerians. But also, there is a deafening escalation of ignorance among the same population. There is phenomenal religious enlightenment, so much so that there are churches and mosques at every street corner. At the same time, there is a pervasion of immorality and crime. There is sadness, sighs, weeping; and there is unspeakable happiness. We have even been dubbed – rightly or wrongly – the happiest on earth. We are a country of contraries. We are such a people that only superlatives do us justice.
It is in this period and location that I begin. I do not pretend to have the magic equation that that will make things perfect. No, I do not! That is not what this blog is about. This blog is my attempt at making sense of it all. Just debris from my mind. An expression of how I see things, in my own unserious and playful ways. Don’t be surprised if you find ugly poems or fiction here.
So if you missed your way and found yourself here, don’t worry. I missed my way too. We shall keep each other company and make the journey together. I wish that there will be laughter and introspection along the way, though I cannot promise either. In the end I hope we both enjoy it.
PS. I’m not an English major; I’m an engineer.
PSS. No, we won’t be talking about engines (I hope).