I am an Ajebutter. Not by birth, or by formings, or by swag – I am simply an unapologetic Ajebutter by default. I didn’t choose to be born one. God, without seeking my opinion (because He’s God, I guess), gave me the genes of an Ajebutter and a funny Bri-Merican accent . By luck or some twisted work of fate, fortune, Karma (I might have killed ten defenseless puppies in my past life) or destiny, I have found myself in Lagos, crazy Lasgidi, and this is my story…
I walk the streets and I see it in the eyes of all who walk past me. Hope. A longing feeling of optimism that makes humanity cling onto shadows. It hangs onto us, like a disease, infecting our insides with the will to go on.
Why are we here? What's our purpose in existence? Are we some part of a big splash? Minions in a higher order of things. Who truly put us onto this earth, gave us breath and let us decide the rules of harmony, coexistence, and engagement. Do we matter? Does it all makes sense? What truly are we?
Perhaps we all are just an onion in a big hamburger about to be eaten by some higher force, power or being. Each of us leaves earth with each bite, each swallow, each movement of the supernatural teeth, all in a bid to feed order and maintain the balance of things.
In Lagos I see hope all around. From the first window of the sunrise, to the people looking out their windows trying to share a window with the sun. Two windows coming together to form a portal of sacrifice. One, to keep the world in balance, the other, to connect with something greater and awe-inspiring.
I see hope all around, from the people who reluctantly drag through the day, searching for a means of livelihood, to the ones who stay put at home, hoping for a miracle or seeking higher power. I see hope in the smiles of friends shaking hands, asking 'how do you do?' Hope in the hearts of the hungry, who strive on for the daily bread, not content with just survival but knowing that it is enough for now.
I perceive hope in the tears of the lonely and forlorn, people who long to belong, to be adored, appreciated and accepted by the world around them. Many do not want the world, just another person to look into their eyes, hug them and tell them that everything will make sense in the end. That hope drives them to keep searching. Many find, while others are destined to be truly alone, cut away from special human affection and appraisal.
I see hope in the cheer of the rich and famous, those who have found a way to move up the chain of life and craved a niche in the space of things, becoming objects of admiration and worship.
The hope lingers and spurts, energizing each to look forward to better things. But do things ever get better? I have lived, loved and experienced many faces of the cosmic coin. I have seen love gained and lost, seen scorn earned and despair sneak in to claim a victory. I have seen mothers lose trust in their sons, and fathers curse their progeny. I have seen kids take their lives and heard the sorrow in the cries of abandoned infants.
I have seen hope in Lagos, but slowly it is being lost. What happens when it all goes away? What becomes of us when that which is life, is defeated?