I wanted to send-off 2009 by listing ten things that impacted me. I started with five things I really hated about Lagos in ’09 but to prove that I am not all about hate I decided to maintain some sort of balance because, hey maybe Lagos isn’t all that bad (I’m pretty sure it is, but just roll with me). So I completed my list with five things I absolutely loved about ’09. Unfortunately my balance kinda got askew. Instead of five by five I ended up with six things I hated and three things that I truly loved (fine I kinda liked them) Hey Gidi will surprise you like that. So at the risk of sounding like Miley Cyrus’s Seven Things, where the number I advertised ten, is actually more like nine. I decided to just keep on writing. Here are my nine:
1. Barack Obama, I know weird but its just what he stands for. When people in corny movies say things like ‘you made me believe in people again’, I can finally understand. So I’m taking my new found hope for change and applying it to LIGHTUPNIGERIA. If a black man can become the president of the United States of America against many odds, then crazy dreamer that I am will continue to believe that 24/7 electricity is around the bend for Nigeria.
2. Nicknamed Fash, the current governor of Lagos has actually taken steps to improve our city. I am not just talking legislation, but things you can actually, touch and feel. Of cause people are saying he won’t get a second term, that because they are not eating the public’s money anymore. I pray that he helps Lagos beyond what we Lagosians think is possible.
3. The NYSC 15 (This is the polar opposite of the Freshman 15) due to a lack of freedom, sanitary conditions and food of any nutritional value. I lost in just two weeks what I could never shake in my whole college career. (my mother is currently attempting to undo that)
ON THE FLIP SIDE I REALLY HATED
4. The fact that there is still no light. Seriously, within hours of a rumor guaranteeing light in 2010 the minster of power refuted it. If only he was just as effective in finding a electricity solution.
5. The continuous inability of People to keep time, though time is money and it time be refunded, still it remains a shame that talking to other Nigerians about keeping time is just a waste of … well time!
6. Our Christmas day terrorist. I just want to thank Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for tarnishing our reputation. As if Nigerians were not already hated by airport and embassy personnel alike. Getting a visa now will be beyond difficult. Just looking at his stats many more people now fit the terrorist profile.
7. People remain unfair, you have to be someone before anyone cares. This becomes more and more clear to me when I continue to witness things like religious issues and ethnic prejudices that are purportedly on the way out. Try finding a job based solely on your qualifications in an industry were you ethnic group are in the minority and see what happens.
8. To simply say ignorance, would be to undersell my point. My sister witnessed a sick child (she suspected he was one year old at the most) being bath in cow dung and blood in Abatoir market right here in Lagos. Worse than that the culprits were acting under the medical suggestion of a traditional healer and no one seemed even a little bit bothered by this
9. Political unrest particularly rumors relating to President Yar’adua. I seriously lack the words. But I found an online dictionary helpful. Despair defined as a verb: To lose, give up, or be without hope e.g. to despair of humanity. Insert Nigeria between ‘of’ and ‘humanity.’ After getting over my depression I remember that I can still choose to be an optimist and that’s why I’m still here.