I’ve been feeling really empty since last month and have been looking for ways to manage it. My life at the moment is looking like this: Eat-Sleep-Read (if I can manage to) – Eat – Sleep and repeat. There’s so much time yet it feels like there’s not enough time, to do the things I want to do. To write and to read and to watch tutorials I had lined up for last month.
I’d thought last month would be great to be honest. I was ready to get back in action again. I’d actually taken a time off from Instagram to plan ahead and gather my thoughts together. I wanted to take a long overdue digital detox and I guess it’d have happened but life doesn’t really go the way we ever plan.
The first week of last month, few days after our Independence day, there was a bill circulating social media that said that police officers had the right to arrest you without warrant or if they found you suspicious. It really irked alot of people but I won’t lie, I overlooked it at first because I didn’t think they’d actually carry it out. The police and SARS officers already did that on a daily basis so I couldn’t for the life of me, understand why the government wanted to support them. As you guys know, I’d been on a twitter detox. A few of my friends on Whatsapp posted about it and since I wanted to get the full story, I went on twitter.
I saw the #EndSARS hashtag trending again for the 4th (or so) time in my life (on twitter). The first time I’d heard about the way SARS officers harassed, extorted and killed people was in 2016, on Facebook. Someone had narrated his experience with them and a lot more others came through with theirs. It’s really sad but Nigerians had been tolerating and enduring them for too long and I think that bill and another sad incident that followed after it, sparked something in them, in us.
The hastag went on from Twitter to the streets and the number of people who showed up for it; they were many. Why it was inspiring and shocking at the same time was because I’d never seen Nigerians that united before, we’re always arguing and fighting with one another, especially over tribal and ethnic issues. So seeing that many people, turning up for protests, in different parts of the country, made me hopeful for Nigeria, for the first time in four years.
I’d given up all hope for the country when I graduated secondary(boarding) school and paid attention to things and people around me. I started to see how rotten and corrupt Nigeria was and ever since then, like every other Nigerian, I’ve been nursing fantasies of leaving the country (never to return). Until the protests started, I felt hopeful and optimistic once again for the country. It elevated my state of mental health and I’d actually drafted a post of awareness to post on the blog but just couldn’t make out the time to post it because I had all my attention on spreading awareness on Twitter and Instagram.
For two weeks, the protests were peaceful and there was this air of unity that could be felt, it was wonderful. People were looking out for each other, cleaning up after protests, giving free food (that were sponsored sometimes but still free) to tired and hungry protesters and being one another’s keeper. I was finally experiencing the Nigeria I’d always dreamed of, even though I wasn’t physically present at any protests. The impact could still be felt nonetheless.
We’ve always known that Nigerian politicians were and are still evil and heartless but believe me, many of us didn’t see what happened on 20.10.2020 coming. Because well, this is 2020 right? No government would actually send the Army to shoot at peaceful protesters, no? It can’t happen but yet, it did. The Lekki Massacre happened and up until this day, I still cannot believe it did.
That night has scarred many people, in every way you can imagine. I had recurring nightmares throughout the week after. I cannot imagine how people who must have experienced that and managed to make it out alive would be feeling right now. In a country where mental issues/health are unfortunately overlooked and not taken seriously, my heart goes out to them. Especially to the woman who risked her life to record the Massacre live.
Our government have been gaslighting us (and the whole world) that none of that happened. No accountability. No remorse. Most parts of the world are focusing on the US elections and other parts have crisis of their own to see to (France, Poland, Italy, Haiti, Yemen, Syria and lots more).
One of my favourite writer once said something like “focusing on politics and what’s happening in the world, would only make you more angry at the world and it could potentially ruin your live, if you’re not financially stable and/or still trying to make it”. I’ve been pondering these words over for sometime and while they may be true, I don’t think it’s fair, to not care about what’s happening in the world or in your own country, just because it’s not happening to you. Just because, you’re privileged, even if you like to think you’re not. I think if you have a roof over your heard and can afford to be online or eat food, you’re quite a bit privileged than many people in the world. These people however, cannot even fight for themselves, because they don’t have the means and resources to.
Even so, it’s all too much and overwhelming, to handle and to pay attention to these things and so taking breaks and not paying attention is needed.
I’ve been thinking alot lately (it’s not something new lol) about Nigeria and the world. I feel that it’d take a long time before Nigeria actually becomes a stable country. I just finished reading Chinua Achebe’s “There was a Country” and to be honest, besides enlightening me, it made me feel more hopeless than ever for Nigeria.
One thing has been taunting us since Independence and I don’t know if we’d ever get rid of it. Government officials are still trying to silent our voices on Social Media and may possibly ban social media in the country, if we give up fighting online. Social Media has its cons but it’s very much needed during this crisis. I pray and hope their plans wouldn’t work. I also pray and hope that Nigeria could be a better country someday, even if I wouldn’t be alive to witness it.
Some people have moved on from everything that happened last month, some people are still trying to process it, others are in denial and many are traumatized and hopeless. The people who’d destroyed this country and every other country going through crisis right now, are dead and/or very old. Some of them did not suffer, karma didn’t get them. Their children and families are thriving and they won’t die painful, excruciating deaths. They’d die very peaceful deaths and have big celebrations thrown for them.
I don’t think people who do bad things actually suffer. I also don’t think karma exists or that curses work and I’m trying very hard to hold on to my faith to God, my life may not be as good as I’d want it to be but I know I have it so much better than most people who deserve better.
I can’t exactly explain what state I am in, I can only say that I’ve been wanting to feel something the past couple of weeks. Anything besides dread and hopelessness. Being Nigerian is draining; mentally and physically. I honestly don’t know how my parents, who were kids during the civil war are still okay and breathing and trying everyday to provide for me and my siblings. Lord knows I wouldn’t still be alive if I’d experienced that war and came out alive. I don’t know how it’s still possible that I’m able to cry.
Well, we’ve got one month left this year. So many people have died, more people due to violence/insecurity/carelessness of others, than the pandemic if we’re being honest. I don’t know if any of what I’ve written makes sense. It’s just a rant I suppose. I’m sick and tired of overthinking everything going on. I want to distract myself from everything happening (how very lucky I am to even say this). I wonder if things will ever get better. That’s all I can do now, to wonder.
I want to try to get back into my normal routine of blogging again but I don’t know if I’d pull through with it. A lot seems to be going on and lack of money is currently a problem, I’m desperately looking for jobs online. The price of things just tripled in the country.
I was finally able to write this because I got a clear head today and I’m very thankful for it. Before I was inactive, I’d left wordpress at 245 followers, I’ve come online to almost 300 new followers. To say I’m happy is an understatement. It’s one thing to follow someone when they’re active and putting out content, it’s another to follow when they’re inactive.
Thank you so much to every one of you who followed me while I was away. I really don’t know what to say because no matter how much I try, I’d always be insecure about my posts. So, thank you all. I’m incredibly grateful. I hope you find my future posts meaningful. I’m still kind of winging things.
So much is happening right now in the world, so much is happening in Nigeria and as someone said on Instagram “Every country seems to be going through such hardships right now, but it always weighs heaviest when it’s happening in your home.”
I’d be posting link to articles concerning the #EndSARS protests since I didn’t delve much into it. There are links to articles and posts that also explain how I feel that I relate to, too. If you have the time, check them out.
2020 has taken a toll on a lot of people’s mental healths. Reminder to be kinder to yourself and to people around you, the world needs it more than ever. I’d be active again, hopefully. As soon as I temporarily get my shit together (if I can). I hope the rest of 2020 will be good to you.
Link to Articles
Nigeria is Murdering Its Citizens
On a really different note, the WordPress block editor seems to be messy and it was really frustrating drafting this post. Please does anybody have any advice on what I should do next time I encounter such problem?