I want to start this series of posts for three main reasons. They are (in progressing order of importance). For security reasons I would not be disclosing full names.
1. Because I want to look for trouble
2. Because I want to appreciate people
3. Because the lessons I learn from the people around me changes my life.
So here we go…
Ella, as we call her, has been a good friend of mine since SS1. My secondary school didn’t give us much room for social activities so we made do with what we had especially when it came to birthdays. Since we couldn’t get wine, or more sensible gifts besides cards, perfumes and jewelries and on rare occasions, actually sensible gifts, we made do with what we had.
It quickly became a norm that the more cards you had on your birthday, the more loved you were and of course everyone wants to be loved. To us it was like getting a lot of mentions, FB posts, DM’s and pings on your birthday. My birthday was never in school so I never got to feel the love but Ella…a different story.
I remeber in SS1, there had been a previous records of a person getting just over a hundred cards. That was before Ella’s birthday. After her birthday there was just Ella’s cards. The cards were ususally counted by the birthday celebrant’s friends and family, the gist does the rest. So we ususally don’t get the info till the next day.
The night of Ella’s SS1 birthday I was too broke to afford a N150 card. So I felt particularly bad for not making my contribution. That was till I ate the nutritional requirements of the day. Then again I hardly ever gave gifts to anyone on their birthday. I actually have no point with this birthday story, I just felt like adding it.
My point here is after the birthday. Seeing as I was just “that guy” and I didn’t deem it fit to pay my dues with the birthday card I naturally expected a repercussion or maybe even an awkward reminder of my “misdeed” sometime in the future. But it never came because the thing that Ella taught me is that things don’t matter, people do.
Today a lot of people befriend bank accounts not humans, they date clothes not guys, they seek to maintain cordial relationship with libidos not character. I have seen marriages to wedding rings not men so can you blame anyone for why the world is selfish, why our leaders are selfish. In the words of Oby Ezekwesili they are after account building not nation building. They chose the country’s resources over the country’s citizens.