By Abeyi Faith Okeoghene (U13MM2054)
I heard the drums beat, the rhythm of the songs and their melodies. It made my heart leap for joy, for it yet another time to get to hear the wonderful story of my father land. As I sat and listened, I tried to understand, but there were rested in my heart several unanswered questions. Everyone talks about the good old days, and a better yesterday with much pride and satisfaction. Then I wondered, what is left for us? my generation-I mean, but the remains of these wonderful tales. My thoughts swung from what happened to how it happened, because I couldn’t imagine the song of my father land sung with such joy and pride; yet I experience only in tales.
When I closed my eyes to sleep, I dreamt of a fatherland I would experience in actual reality. I sort for a story to tell the next generation, I wished for a change yes! a positive change to my homeland. But the false consciousness of my dream gets lost in the dawn of a new day as reality sets in, and I hear the sound of wailing, the dirge of mourning and chants of the bereaved hearts. Then I realized I’ve crossed the bridge of wishes to the sunrise of actuality. My heart begins to bleed as I watch my homeland go from ‘good to bad’ and from ‘worse to worst’. I couldn’t comprehend why yesterday should be held with prestige and today not appreciated. I kept pondering on what went wrong, where we missed it and how far we’ve strayed?
Again! I fell into a trance but this time, I was fully awake-in it I saw a Nigeria I was proud of. So I became excited I was overjoyed, as I now have a story to tell and a song to sing. Hurray! I’ve triumphed over the older generation. Everyone gathered round the table, both old and young, to listen to my story, and hear me sing my song for, it’s yet another time for the moonlight tales.
So I began, with pride and dignity, as I told it gracefully- this is the Nigeria of my dream;
‘A Nigeria where I lived peacefully with my brother, because I knew it was my responsibility to cater for him. I saw a Nigeria so green and sparkling, because I choose to protect my environment. I saw a Nigeria so clean and beautiful, because I choose to keep one dirt away from the street. I saw a Nigeria where crime was eradicated because I choose to be a statesman, and fight against corruption’.
…I paused to observe the faces of my audience-the old wondered at my joy, and my contemporaries astonished by my laughter. Then the vigour in me aroused to keep telling my story and sing my song, so I continued;
‘Yes! I did see a Nigeria, free from war and struggles because I choose to fight only the fight of freedom. I saw a Nigeria where its citizens had smiles on their faces, because I choose patriotism rather than criticism. I saw a Nigeria where the rule of law was supreme, because I choose to guard the laws of my father land, with all diligence…’
As I looked at their faces again, and watch them nod in agreement, I ended slowly by saying
‘This is the Nigeria of my dream; A Nigeria that is my responsibility’.