In a few days, the year 2017 will wind down completely. In usual fashion, we will be wishing one another a happy new year. And like every other time when a new year is ushered in, many will be full of new hopes and aspirations. It’s a script that plays out every 365 days. It is constant. Unchanging. The truth is, at the end of the day, the Ist of January in any year is just another day, however, one can’t deny the sense of freshness and new beginning it elicits. Whether some of us downplay it or not, a new calendar year will always represent a good time to do a self-appraisal, and start afresh.
It’s the virtual space where we all get to express ourselves, air our views, display a little vanity (for those who are so inclined), exciting family life or lack thereof and keep in touch with family and friends. There have been arguments for and against social media and its use, and the general consensus seems to be that while the virtual community has reunited friends and family and built friendships, it has also done as much harm (if not more) to existing relationships.
Following yet another episode of allegations of sexual misconduct, an eight-year American congressman, Trent Franks, bowed to pressure to resign from office. It’s the new wave. A series of disgraceful revelations that have seen the high and mighty in the entertainment and political world accused of sexual impropriety. Highly respected men whom the average person looks up to as a mentor or role model are being exposed for the “fraud” they really are. High profile individuals are “falling” in their tens, and before the middle of next year, there may be hundreds of them biting the dust.
The Police Special Anti Robbery Squad, popularly called SARS has come under heavy criticism for a couple of days now. What started as a few complaints from one or two people has quickly morphed into a social media campaign that is expected to culminate in a street protest. Nigerians are calling for the section of the Nigeria Police Force to be scrapped. Numbers don’t lie, and the hundreds of thousands of people employing the power of the virtual community to register their dissatisfaction with the operating unit of the police force are enough proof that we just might have another “Occupy Nigeria” looming if the government of the day does not take appropriate steps to ensure the issue is adequately addressed.
I like people who do things their own way. People who are not afraid to be themselves or air their opinion regardless of what others think. I like them because I know that one of the hardest things to do, especially in these parts is go against popular opinion. Everyone wants to belong, everyone sees the need to jump on the next pop culture bandwagon. It’s safer to do so. You don’t stand out, you don’t stand the risk of being insulted, mocked, subjected to snide remarks, and sometimes, public criticism. You blend in nicely, and all is well with you and world around you.
A young man is allegedly stabbed to death by his wife on suspicion of infidelity, and there is silence in the land. Unsettling silence, apart from the usual run-of-the-mill reportage by the media and a smattering of social media posts from individuals. There hasn’t been any outcry over the shocking circumstances that led his death. The human rights activists are silent, “social media warriors” are taciturn, and feminists have lost their voice.
We had been given forms to fill as part of the requirements for opening an account in one of the new generation banks. We had only started observing the mandatory one year of national service as fresh graduates and were due to begin receiving the monthly stipends to be paid by the government. I was in the process of filling my form when she walked up to me. Dressed in the traditional light green khaki attire of the NYSC, she was draped in the hijab, and had the unmistakable accent of one from northern Nigeria.
I don’t trust people who are friends with everybody. Might sound judgemental, but I hold the belief that one who’s friends with everyone can’t be loyal to a particular person or group of people. As humans, we have our individual values, standards, personal code of conduct, and principles regarding how we live our lives and the kind of people we would like to associate with. Now, there’s no way every single person we come across can fit into our idea of who a close friend should be.
“Awon wa’ye wa gbadun ni,” he had said in Yoruba. The spectator’s remarks translate literally to “They came to the world to have fun.” His comments were in response to the auto electrician who had expressed his empathy in that exaggerated manner artisans are known for as he fixed my vehicle. The subject of their small talk? Women. The electric mechanic was also quick to announce that he didn’t like to subject women (compared to men) to any stress when it came to haggling about his charges.
Since I kicked off my writing journey some years ago, my life has taken an interesting and revealing turn. The dynamics of my relationships have changed, and I have found that people relate with me differently. I’m guessing it’s pretty much the same experience other writers have too. I have also observed that there are many assumptions other people have about writers which are generally off the mark, and so this article is aimed at debunking some of the myths surrounding writers. If you have believed the following to be true about writers, you really should begin to have a rethink. Here are 5 misconceptions the average person has about writers;