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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Saturday, 8 April 2017

Educated Idiots Like Myself


   Swirling swiftly across the river and paddling briskly as we all kick and float. The circle is complete, the cycle over done and the heat is escalating. If you didn't know, you would envy us, thinking we are bonding g together for a meaningful purpose. The aim is clear, even if most of us are in denial. We have bonded together to end it all, to die here and not in a beautiful manner, no. We have come here to drown. But I didn't know the reason, until it was too late. I asked the question too late into the journey and did not prepare for the perilous waters. My comrade has made this journey, three times now. And twice he almost drowned. For the third journey, he trained and swam in the sports stadium. He was the envy of many who watched and a twenty year old man trained with him. To test their abilities, they jumped into an angry Lagos lagoon and he made it across from the Ikorodu shores to the trepidatious CMS slanting shores. Sadly, he alone made it. His companion had drowned and he did not notice. Only when that suicidal doctor jumped into the Lagoon and the wrong body was fished out, did he know for sure that it was him. The twenty year old corpse and his swollen face, splashed in front of the newspaper, was unmistakable. The face filled with false dreams of swimming from Morocco to Spain to get the European dream. At least, he was trying, I told my swimmer friend. I on the other hand, was completely lost. I did not know how to swim, was lied to. Sold unserious lies. Told that from the shores of Gambia, that I would see Italy. My swimmer friend laughed and asked me where Gambia was on the map of Africa. The last time I held a map, was in secondary school. I hated School, didnt pay attention. But lied and said I loved School. I failed woefully and lied to my parents that I passed. I left for Lagos, because I lied I was admitted into two universities there. And when on my trip to Lagos, at the busy Enugu market. That was where my money ended. It is also, where I met my swimming friend. Not before I met my pimp and human trafficking gangster. I watched in awe, a well dressed and could smell his designer perfume from two miles. I watched him tell an eager crowd about going by boat to Europe. That sounds even better than going to Lagos, I thought. Just imagine what my parents would say when I call them from Italy. But I had no money, so I did the best I could. I sold my soul to this devil on the streets of Enugu market square. He was rich and very sharp, as I turned. He grabbed my hands and said out loud that the next time they see me. That I would be clad in gold and designer clothes. I was embarrassed but he reassured me that once every year, he found a beautiful light skinned gem he sponsors. And asked if I was lazy. I disagreed and he gave me his leather pouch. It was heavy and when his phone rang, he told me to pick it up. I opened the bag and it was an iPhone 7. Live and in living colour and the crisp hundred dollar notes all around it made my eyes light up. He was collecting a thousand five hundred from educated idiots like my self. Well, I didn't go past secondary school, but as far as I told him. I'm in Unilag on holiday. It was after I have been housed fed and used to convince the rich desperate illegal immigrants to drop more money. That I met my swimming friend. He was irritated by my scrubby hands attempting to touch his hard limbs. He asked me for my story and like a shark, my pimp circled and tried to stop him. My swimming friend was traveling that night and paid for my freedom from his jaws. I cost a thousand five hundred and on our way to Europe, I learned how gullible and naive I have been.
  This circle got tight and drowning people all around, held on to my swimming friend, dragging us to the bottom of the Morrocan sea. My feet touched sand and my lungs start to fill up with water. Just like the story of bullet ants circling and Drowning together. We were all going to die. I opened my eyes and thought of the letter I sent to my parents. The lies I sold about Europe, now I would be one of the African bones at the bottom of the sea. Lining the shores of Spain, drowning in the lies Educated Idiots Like Myself buy. But my swimming friend swam towards me and lifts me high up, out of the waters to the shores. We were just a few meters from Spain. Pumping water from my lungs, I coughed and breath again and then looked all around me. From the one thousand people on our boat, only twenty of us made it. Then my swimming friend shouts at me. Run, they are coming. I looked all around and spot a speed boat with armed police men approaching. Now, my race to freedom begins....
      The perilous journeys of illegal immigrants, seem to never end. Yet, the dream to make it abroad seems to be intensifying every day. I think, somehow we have all been brainwashed into thinking allis great across the sea. The reality is that it is not, but I guess when you cannot brag of four hours of constant power supply daily, anywhere will look better. Although the rest of us accept this date and power generator sets to give us a little sanity in this heat. Yes, it's freaking hot and the heat is escalating. How the hell do those, far away from the sea, the lagoon and canals survive? If Lagos is this hot, I don't even want to think about how hot Abuja is. And this scourge inflicting us, this plague creeping into our lives. Well, not ours directly. But we all know how Ebola reached Lagos. This latest disease is also deadly. I remember as a child, my mum had a poultry. The meals were fresh and the eggs tasted good. Not like the ones they sell now that smells like chicken feed. I digress a little...
 Well, if you had seen what I witnessed as a child, you will have every reason to be alarmed. It was a chicken, with its neck twisted backwards and the disease forced it to walk backwards. My curious mind made me ask and my mother's answer, hunts me up until today.
 What I'm trying to talk about is Meningitis, the disease spreads during the peak of the heat wave in the northern part of Nigeria and affects livestock in the south. My mother's birds died like chickens and she learned her lesson the hard and only way. You never skip any form of immunization for livestock.
 During my NYSC, the national youth service every graduate must serve his or her country. I had friends who dodged taking immunization shots. I screamed and warned them not to. Eventually, they did. We were fortunate enough to have access to vaccination shots. Today, the scourge has forced our nation to make this shots available. But over three hundred lives have been lost up north. Sad, real sad.
  Henrik tried to cheer me up but I was not in the mood.
'I need to take you somewhere', he announced and I gave him a side eye.
'Just let's go'
 This was very unlike Henrik to code and hide where we are going to.
I quickly sent a WhatsApp message to Celine to see if she knew. The babe sent me question marks. Meaning she knew where I was going to. I sent a message to Ajoke and she sent the most annoying three letter words on social media, lol.
My friends where in on this charade, this gimmick to try to lift up my mood.
I just hissed and muted everybody on WhatsApp. If they cannot reveal the secret, I'm not interested in their noise.

  The drive to Yaba, brought back good old memories of shipping in the old tejuosho market. The modern marvel looked good, but the many empty shops, told the financial epilepsy Nigeria was experiencing.
  Henrik drove past and onwards and then he stopped in front of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. I shrieked and understood everything in that instant.
'Henrik, you Hehn', I said shoving him as he drove in.
'It was were my grandfather worked and retired from'
'I know', Henrik adds.
'So what's up?', I add not sure what was next.
'You will see'
 As we drive past the old colonial buildings, I could not help but imagine I was running and walking my late grandpa to work.
We drove past Jerkel's museum and into the building preserved and now a historical landmark.
It had old pump action trains and the gallery was a monument filled with pieces of the old world in this modern Lagos. Pictues of switch operators and all sorts. I know my grandfather was a guard at a point. Senior commercial inspector to
The District superintendent. A beautiful Legacy, catalogued and passed on. Such a beautiful sight.
 As Henrik and I walked round, we took turns trying to lift the heavy gates on display and then laughed at how we missed the signs that said don't touch.
 I was laughing and the someone bumped I to me. It was Celine and Ajoke and the twins.
I shrieked and hugged and carried them.
'Where are your men?'
 I asked in a cheeky tone.
'With their mats on the field's, Celine answered.
'And Pierre?', I asked at Celine who grabbed one of the twins.
'He suggested we come here and relax'
'Did you know that my grandfather worked here?'
 Ajoke nodged Celine.
'I told you'
'I should organize a gallery to honour him and remind all our generations about our hardworking grandpa's
'That would be so cool, but I'm making your outfit'
 Celine shrieked as if the event was taking place next week.
'As long as I design it'
'Babes, me too must get a custom made outfit ooo', Ajoke adds feeling left out.
'I'll join you ladies or you ladies can join us later'.
 Henrik adds, a little anxious to leave us alone and let us continue our talk about clothes.
'So did it work?'
'Yes Celine and I knew it was you. You always put multiple question marks when you are guilty'
 Ajoke burst out laughing and I spanked her.
'And you too, that your l.o.l. is also a dead giveaway'
'We should have code for I'm in trouble'
'How about xyz'
'Thats so random', Ajoke grumbled.
'But our code, nonetheless'
'Okay, XYZ is our distress signal's
 We seal it with a group hug and the I spot a picture of Margaret Ekpo and shrieked.
A woman of substance that fought for women's rights in Nigeria's first republic. She was the only woman amongst many powerful politicians in power. It was funny to see Obasanjo ashead of state and Buhari behind him. Almost symbolic because now Buhari is the president of Nigeria and Obasanjo too became president too. In French scroll there we learnt about moyens... Means of transport and I remember the professor asking if we ever had tramways in Nigeria and I said no. In one of the pictures it catalogued tramways from 1903 to 1933 or there about. Museums really capture history that could easily be lost.
    It was uplifting to see we have come far and to a point, I just want it to be much better. The French songs playing, Celine Ajoke and I tried to decode. Well Celine understood but just played along. It was fun and refreshing.
  The French movie was fantastic, yes it was subtled because my level of French was not yet that high. So I tried and decided what I could.
  What a the barbecue, delicious. It was a lovely outing and just what I needed to relax.

 Today is a good day and then my phone vibrates. The unknown caller made me a little anxious.

  Should I ignore it or pick it up....
What do you think?

**Season 2, Episode 16**

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1 comment:

Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow @Busola Elegbede