042 State of Mind

Yesterday, I completed the painting of my new apartment in Trans-Ekuku. Yeah, I did it with my hommies. A couple of weeks in Enugu, I can’t tell the level of grasp I’ve got. But yesterday, I made a girl a proposal I’m hoping she turns down. You bet – the last line was a lie. I’m yet to get what I could make out of this town. People here ain’t like the Lagosians. Here, men go to bed on time and wake up after the sun. Here, girls don’t look too sophisticated and guys look too calm – you stare longer at a weird person, knowing it would be long before you see another one. Here, men struggle for crumbs. But amidst all these, I’m beginning to see through the Naija mentality. Everybody wants to make money. Everyone believes God and politicians would butter their bread someday. And everyone blames his neighbor when the bread ends up not buttered enough. In other words, the hero mentality is not in our blood. That is not to say we don’t have heroes here. No! The heroes we know and celebrate here are not the ones we see in our movies. Nope…

Here, boys don’t know what it means to live for a legacy. Boys here don’t think much about the future. Boys here just want to grab the money to prove to their friends they are not losers. The discovery gets me wondering if I’m a Nigerian. Because, when I look around the city, I’m only concerned about what to make out of it. I’m only concerned about how to make sure that in a few years’ time, I could go out anytime in the night to buy whatever I want and not meet some motherfuckers who believe my phone is their’s or get harassed by the police – I hate them. I’m more concerned with how to make my hommies feel their lives are beautiful the way they are. I’m more concerned with saying ‘Fuck you!’ to the government. I’m more concerned with raising a national consciousness. I’m more concerned about living some street credibility my grand kids would boast of when I’m gone. You see, the thing ain’t gonna be beans.

I think the problem with Africa is that Africa can’t see her beauty. We are a consuming society – always in the look out to grasp foreign beauties. So, we leave our Palmy for champagne when we should find a way to make the two compete in the international community. We leave our Abacha for pizza or abandon our ose-oji for margarine. I’m not saying pizza is not tasty, I’m asking why we can’t package our ancestors’ food well enough – foreigners would be dying to taste them. I’m asking why we seldom see people eating groundnut, Okpa or agidi in our videos. I’m asking why we can’t tell stories about the people we know. I’m asking why we must copy American stories and characters in our pictures when we are beautiful enough to display ourselves. I’m wondering what we would leave for our generations yet to come. I’m wondering what we are waiting for. I’m wondering who else would do that if I don’t. I’m wondering what you’re still waiting for. 
Enugu is a beautiful city. I’m not sure any other people speak sexier Igbo. The hills down here could make your jaws drop. The people are deep in a calm way. You could hardly meet men subtler. The food is nice and the bars are nicer. Green bottles seem more like an ID. And damn, the hospitality is killing. The only thing needed to change here into a mega city is transformation of the residents’ mentality. Enugu have built a lot of talents. Once they grow, they leave for greener pastures. I think we should start by asking ‘What pasture could be greener for us than the one we grow ourselves? 

I don’t know why I’m writing this. It could be coz I’m still scared. But I’m here already and no other place feels more like home. I’m here already and I don’t know how to be just another class member. I’m here already and I’ve learnt how not to run when the king of the jungle shows up. I am here to take over this jungle. Where the hell do I start from? And who is reading to join the race? It’s time for a revolution in film-making. My mind tells me the future lies in mobile film-making. And I’m only interested in leaving the past behind. Alobam, come make we show these people some magic…

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