Tuesday, March 19, 2024
[email protected]


young single man called Badluck was bedeviled by all sorts of endemic and pandemic problems. In fact, his ill-luck started from birth, when his mother suffered from intensive complicated delivery process for nine consecutive days. At last she gave birth to him through the excretory canal (the anus), instead of through the normal birth canal. This was unheard of since the creation of the world. On observing that the newborn child's face looked like a monster, the parents were filled with mixed feeling of joy and sadness. They were happy for having their first offspring. On the other hand, they were sad for giving birth to him through unusual complicated method and for his monster facial appearance. On the naming day, they unanimously and equivocally called him Badluck. They were watching and monitoring him closely as he grew up. They had behind their mind this vital question: "What will this awkward child grow up to be?"

During his lactation period, Badluck's mother encountered serious bodily pains whenever she breastfed him. The worst of it was that the little Badluck grew six sharp front teeth just after two months of his birth. Thus he was always biting the mother deeply during breastfeeding. For this reason, she hurriedly stopped breastfeeding him after the third month. From thence on, the little Badluck was fed with solid food, which included coconut and biscuit bones. For this reason the extra-ordinary child suffered from retarded growth. He ended up in dwarfism. His facial appearance looked older than his age. Even he grew beards at the age of 12. When he started primary school he was old in appearance but young in age. He was unintelligent and repeated classes. After waste of unavailable resources, he dropped from school. Thereafter he switched over to learning handiwork. His apprenticeship lasted more than normal. He settled on his own and ate from hand to mouth.

He was a bachelor till the age of forty. When he heard that happiness is the best solution to all problems, he searched through the marriage market for any woman whose name is Happiness. Since he was short in height he fell in love with a tall lady called Happiness Uwaezuoke. He thought his problems had ended. In the course of time, the newly engaged couple ascended the Altar and took the oath of "for better and for worse." When they started living together as husband and wife, Happiness manifested her true colours. Her name and her attitudes were contradictory. She was a fierce lion in sheep's clothing. She mesmerized her husband Badluck such that his bad luck was tripled. His physique depreciated such that you cannot distinguish him from a ghost. Automatically he changed the name of his troublesome wife from Happiness to Sadness. Hence Badluck married Sadness. The marriage was blessed with two stupid children, a boy and a girl. The equation goes this way: Badluck + Sadness = Stupidity.

Indeed true happiness is not found in nomenclature, but in attitude. Let us not make the mistake Badluck made in his choice of marriage partner. Can hunger be quenched if someone bears Food as name? Can someone become a millionaire if his or her named is Money? Can someone become successful if such a person is called Success? A student whose name is Success failed woefully in promotion examination. Will somebody go to heaven just by bearing Heaven as name? I have come across a man who is called Bishop but he has no flock to shepherd. His bishopric ends in his wife's soup pot. Can death claim someone whose name is Immortality? Just few days ago I heard of the sudden demise of a strong man in my vicinity popularly called 'Anwuanwu' (Immortal). He just slumped on the way and died instantly. Tongues started wagging. Some were wondering why he did not resist the cold hands of death. In all these instances we have seen that survival does not lie in name but in action.

Where am I heading to? Our country Nigeria is bedeviled by all sorts of problems which include insecurity, bad leadership, hunger, anger, kidnapping, poverty, embezzlement, ritualism, unemployment, fraud, theft, etc. In the northern states of Nigeria, innocent pupils and students are being abducted in broad daylight from schools without any resistance from security operatives. All over the country traveling by road has become a nightmare due to the menace of kidnappers for ransom or for ritual. Incessant killings of innocent people going about their businesses have become daily occurrence. As if enough is not enough, acute food scarcity, hunger and high cost of essential commodities have strangled millions of Nigerians. As I was typing this write-up I got a sad report that a lady who boarded a boat intentionally jumped into the Lagos lagoon due to the unbearable hardship in the country. She ended her life just like that. I wonder if she is sure of making heaven where there is no hardship, because God forbids suicide.

The mother bedbug asked her young ones to be patient because what is hot would eventually cool down. At this critical time in Nigeria, we should all look for what makes us happy. Sadness is already on the air nationwide. Therefore there is no need increasing our hardship by reading or listening to sad news. It is better to avoid those reports with the inscription "viewers' discretion needed." Many Nigerians are already suffering from high blood pressure. Uncountable number of the victims is placed on life-long drugs. My mother is one of them. For this reason I try as much as possible to avoid telling her sad stories or news that would worsen her already health challenge. Prevention is better than cure. Hence we should be eager to look for those things that can bring us happiness instead of sadness. It is better to watch comedic films instead of tragic ones. Those in the film industry should produce films that make us happy in these days of acute insecurity and hardship. Let us form the habit of laughing always, even when nothing is amusing us. Laughter is medicinal.

In order to avoid pouring fuel into fire, Nigerians should cut their coats not according to their sizes but according to their cloths. The principle of priority of values must be applied at this critical time. The essential and possible things should be done. It is useless to buy tyre when one does not have a car. It is a wasteful venture to dig an upstairs house foundation when you can never afford it. I have seen a man who pulled down his old house and dug a duplex foundation with all the money he had. Now he is homeless. A man went mental after marrying a second wife when he could not manage one. The other day a hopeless man bought a troublesome vehicle when his wife and children are suffering from acute hunger. Also his children were driven away from school for non-payment of school fees. A certain woman bought a lady's motorcycle when her sick husband could not be taken to hospital due to lack of money.

Few days ago, a newly married couple blessed with a set of twins came into my office to register for infant Baptism. When I enquired of their names, the couple unanimously shouted, "Happiness and Hardship (H &H)!" I asked them why? They said, "Because no condition is permanent." In the same vein I encourage the suffering masses of Nigeria to be patient and not lose hope because no condition is permanent. Manage life as you see it. Do not give up. Suicide is not the solution. The world is not a bed of roses. The Nigerian problems are anchored on bad leadership and corruption. Be happy in the midst of the present economic hardship. This happiness should be internalized and externalized. Above all, be prayerful! God is greater than every problem. Make laughter your daily exercise.