Finally, when I look at Nigeria, I want to run away. I want to leave all traces of my heritage and this country behind and flee this madness.
I want to run far away from these people that seem to enjoy being crazy, and have passed their heated insanity to me. An insanity that blinds the eye to the true state of things and leaves the mind wallowing in false hope saying, “E go better”. Well, good for you. Wait for your better. As for me, life is way too short to keep deceiving myself.
I want to run away from a nation that is uninterested in helping itself. From one that says that it wants to build and develop itself but no one is interested in being a bricklayer; everyone wants to be the construction manager. We are waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting. So we sit around the building site, singing the national anthem “This Nigeria sha, it is well”, watching one or two people break their backs as they lift the heavy blocks. We are waiting for a better which will never come because one person cannot build a castle. One person cannot shoulder a nation.
I want to run away from lawlessness. I want to flee all the melodrama and trouble that seem to follow everything to do with this country. From the Olympics, to the budget, to Chibok and paying salaries, there is no smooth sailing.
I want to run away from the inherent anger that flows through our veins, an anger that has saturated my blood, that makes us ever-ready for an outburst. That creates vast storehouses of tears that flow out without warning when it all becomes too much.
I want to abandon this identity that seems to cause so much inconvenience wherever I go. I just want a quiet, simple life without all this stress and disturbances; without this chaos and lunacy; without so much death around me. I don’t want to manage life, as people seem to do here, constantly hurdling over one Nigeria-made obstacle after the other. I am tired of seeing us only surviving life, not enjoying it to the fullest.
Yet, I want to love my country. I am happy and excited to leave but there is a sadness I cannot shake off, one that’s very difficult to express. It depresses me that I want to escape the place of my birth. It is sad that my departure is a necessity (not just a want) in order to pursue my dreams and be well-trained in my field. I am upset – no, angry – by the fact that there are so many things I am excited to run away from. So desperate am I to get away that I care little about leaving my friends and family behind once more. I wish it were different and Nigeria was normal and functioning, that I didn’t have to look elsewhere for an education, for peace and stability, for a life.
When I look at Nigeria, I wonder if we will ever get there.