I feared this, that in my various introductions to the blogs posted to commemorate my Decade of Blogging there would be someone with whom I have a relationship and yet I would draw a blank as to what particularly brought us together.
Suffice it to say that Ayo Oyalowo and I have followed each other on Twitter for a long time and there is much that has transpired between us and so many topics from Nigeria to the issues of life. His incisive articles and analysis of Nigerian political issues on various forums shared on Twitter are very engaging and thought-provoking.
In the piece that he writes for my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series, he asks questions about the rat race we call life and how to live from day to day in times of satisfaction, contentment, hedonism, keeping up with the Joneses and then come back to our stark reality.
I guess I have over the last few years written a lot about these issues too and for that reason, I think this blog allows us to reflect deeply and hopefully learn some lessons about putting a better perspective on the particular and the general.
Ayo Oyalowo has interests in many life issues, he works as a financial analyst, but comments on politics and life generally. He tweets with the Twitter handle @Ayourb.
What exactly are we looking for?
It is that season again. Christmas is in the air, you can feel it, can't you? We all can feel it and almost touch it. Harmattan, dust, hazy weather and dryness all over. Our own version of white Christmas is the white fine dust blowing all over us. The children are ready to join in as the schools are on holidays. Gifts must be purchased, new dresses for the children, toys, amusement parks etc.
Christmas is a great time of the year that almost everybody looks forward to. But as I move around in Lagos I ask myself “to what end and intent is our daily toil and struggles?” The average Lagosian will bear witness to the hellish traffic we've been experiencing in the past few weeks. A journey of 30 minutes could end up becoming a 3-hour torturous ride or more. Especially going to the Island (Lagos or Victoria Islands) during the day or returning in the evenings. Terribly long lines of vehicles of every shapes and sizes meandering through the ubiquitous dusty Lagos roads, with commuters looking forlorn and worn-out. It is a rat race.
Added to the traffic is the upsurge in violent crime. I have a credible report of people who have been and are daily being mugged inside their vehicles or otherwise as they are trapped in the regular but infamous traffic and are mere sitting ducks. We've been trained to wind up our glasses and pin down our car doors, but I have it on good authority that the boys at Apapa don't bother looking for a careless motorist who forgot to wind up their side window, they simply break your side window and "obtain" you.
These set of crooks are those who have not arrived during the year but must travel to their various villages and towns in December to show there folks that "I don hammer" a slang for have not made it financially. Meanwhile in our usual ways, nobody bothers to ask how they "hammer". As long as they are generous. Most of the stolen money will be spent on riotous and irresponsible living for about two weeks until the first week of the New Year when they all arrive back to Lagos from their various villages and towns to begin another 11 months struggle, and the cycle continues.
I also consider the rest of us who are not necessarily petty criminals and violent robbers. I see people struggling to be who they are not. Many planning expensive getaways outside the shores of our land so that they can display pictures and mementoes to their less fortunate neighbours and acquaintances. After all, we are Nigerians, and we are the happiest people even if you can't see any tangible reasons why we are such pronounced.
Ah! Christmas is a great time to reflect and plan for the incoming year after taking stock of the outgoing year. Let us ensure to spend wisely and within limits. Remember the children resume schools in the second week of January and schools fees... yeah that small matter of school fees payments, DSTV subscription, house rents renewal, annual street dues, and several other bills.
Life's good isn't it… Enjoy your Christmas holidays, but reflect on my rants ... while at it, ask yourself, to what intent and purpose is our various life's struggles?
This is to celebrate Mr. Akin Akintayo's ten years in blogging, wishing you many more years of blogging and positive contribution to humanity. A great man I must add and also be ready to host me next year when I visit the UK. Have a blast people.