My father wanted me to see the world through the scientific study of living things but I wanted to see the world beyond that. I wanted to see the world through a pipe of the mind that is cloaked with imagination and words. I wanted to speak boldly with my hands while the pen becomes my vocal cord and ink will be my silver and not just speak with my mouth. In this twenty first century, many people have delved into the science part of the world or perhaps, this is what my father had blindfolded me to see because of his sentiment. In my country, most people delved into encircle themselves within science environs because of job opportunity and when even focusing on other field of studies they go for the big bang ones such as to become a Lawyer, Chattered Accountant, Engineer; they want to get out of school and be a well paid worker in banks such as Central Bank of Nigeria. I can’t blame anyone since the society influence the shape of one’s identity. The society I lived in had swallowed the seed of corruption and watered it with money. The seed blooms daily and birth thorns upon thorns of divers length, shape and size. Some of the thorns had pierced into our democracy and cut of the tongue of our human right to speech. So, to survive, we need to get some certain lucrative jobs and be in some certain positions. That is why writing is not just a thing of occupation to me but a place I took solace when things fall apart and no longer at ease, and when I become a victim of the country’s vices and political erratum.
Time began to wave my faith and hope to become a renowned writer ever since my friend Edmund was strangled by depression and gave in to death to save him from the depression. We were friends who envied each other’s work both poetry, short stories and drama. Several times we had looked up to the dream of becoming a renowned novelist and poet and even to mentor the younger ones. But now, those dreams will keep on being a dream since we are stuck in a century unlike the old when books were the ultimate place for knowledge and literature was cherish and adorned. I am stuck in a century where people tell me I have no hope to survive the crises of poverty because I am a writer. “My son, since you refuse to study Biology and become a Biologist like me, now that you are under humanities studying English language, you should know the difference between creative work and creative writing; creative work is what pave way now ooo no be creative writing of any sort”, my father said to me one day when I told him I wanted to go for Chimamanda’s annual writing workshop. My brother whom I looked up to broadcast my works especially poetry since he was a lover of poetry, advised me to limit my writings and just focus on writing about nature, God and his love for man and leave other writers to address the social and political vices of the nation because we are not of this world even though we live in it. Since then, I no longer turn to him for a comment or to edit whatever I wrote. The only friend whose heart and flesh could take my tears was Edmund but death has proved its loyalty as the taker of life already on him. I took the jotter he left behind in my house before he died and read through it, the only way I could feel his presence around him even though he was dead. While I flipped through the pages of the jotter and saw some incomplete poems and short stories he never finished, I came across a short note he wrote with a red ink in a page he folded in his jotter. My eyes were fixed upon each word like a goldsmith who stares if a gold was well heated or not.
“What should I do now when sadness cripples in and blow away the remnant of happiness? What should I do now? When fear beats the drum of my heart to pant faster than hope could? What should I do now when the air I breathe chokes because it is poisoned with the curses of love? What should I do now when I sleep and dream of paradise but reality is hell?
Though many people have rejected me and say to me that there’s no place for writers in this century and treat me like John Keat, whose work were rejected by critiques when he was alive until he died, I know after my death, my works shall do what I couldn’t do alive”
Tears began to erupt from my eyes and my fingers became weak to hold on to the book. My heart was heavy like it was sealed with a cement and struggled to take in breathe. As my eyes became blinded with the tears, I thought of how we writers no longer seen invaluable again in my country until you travel out the country and perhaps have a dual citizenship before they recognize you. I thought of how I am lost in the mist of thorns finding the fragment of roses. I am now becoming a walking corpse whose career seems dead but yet lives.