Tuesday, 11 March 2014

CONVERSATION WITH PAPA.............1




We sat around the evening fire warming our cold scaling skin, dried like a smoked tilapia fish from the harmatan breeze. My joy knew no bound as i sat beside him, he was constantly cracking his knuckles and spitting into the burning fire, his eyebrows were greyed, he was aged in wisdom and in physique. I listened with rapt attention as he recalled the beautiful memories of his boyhood, when Lagos/Ibadan expressway was not bloodthirsty, when children played on the streets without the fear of rapist or kidnappers, the days when you do not have to rob a bank to eat good food, suddenly he sighed and murmured the good old days.
I could not longer stomach the storm raging in my belly, i was quick to ask what happened to those days? I screamed loud, we are constantly being raped by your generation, the nascent democracy is stunted, our beloved nation is on the edge of precipice, she has become a theater of absurdity, a den of corruption with the world wildest breed of profligate politicians, our hospitals are inhospitable, our universities has become an abattoir, our roads a death trap, he watched and listen as i tried to rewrite the Christian holy book of lamentation.
He spat into the fire again as he called out to the little boy and begged him to fetch us more firewood, he coughed and spat into the fire for the umpteen times.
He requested for the cold cup of water I had with me, that had become almost hot, he collected it and thanked me, he tried to lure me into another discussion on the benefits of warm water, I kept mum, he took a gaze at me , and he immediately sensed my glaring lack of interest in that health talk.
At this moment, his voice was becoming faint, i moved closer to this sage whom is the patriarch of my genealogy,  with tears welling up in my eyes, i asked him how do we come out of this "wahala"?
He gave me a stern look and asked me what i knew about Switzerland and the Swiss model of government...............................................................................................................................
I racked my brains immediately to avoid a break in this fertile intellectual intercourse between two generations, i was quick to recollect my previous conversation with grandma whom we fondly called "iya agba" before she sailed across river Styx... To be continued

Onyibe Oliver

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