” Thank you ladies and gentlemen” “Now, I will call on our mummy here to present the award for the best student in Government for the academic session, may I have a round of applause?” Mr. Lanre was booming on the mic with the full force and gusto expected of an event anchor. I was sitting calmly in the designated area for final year students of the college, my heart beating rapidly. “You might as well get up, boy, you know this is yours” James said, turning to me. “Man, I.. I don’t know, let’s just hope, right?”, I said, faking a smile. “Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this award is one of my very own students, a great, eminent scholar and she is also a very social person…”. ‘She? What’s he talking about?. I paused and took a deep breath. It could be a grammatical error, a slip of tongue, I’m certainly not a female, that’s for sure’. “… yes indeed, this person is no other than….. Ezeanyi Jane!” Silence. Deep Silence. Emptiness. Blandness. Void. A multitude of faces turned to me on my seat. I could not face them but I knew they were all thinking one thing. What happened? Right from SS1, I had seemed destined for that award, and here it was, stripped away from me, right before my eyes. Heavy as my hands were at that moment, I managed to applaud feebly as she made her way on to the stage with her mother. Yes, she was my friend, but I found it exceedingly hard to be happy for her at this particular moment. I felt robbed. “Ex….Excuse me please”, I muttered to James as I made my way up and away from the canopy. I didn’t have a single idea where I was going to but there and then, I felt murderous, or rather, like I’d been murdered. As I trotted aimlessly down the sidewalk, I saw my uncle from afar. Oh God, I’ve disappointed him, I’ve disappointed myself. I tried to turn away but he caught me by the arm. “Ayomide, where are you going?” I looked at him. Slowly and solemnly, holding back tears from falling from my eyes..”Uncle Johnson, let’s go”. “What do you mean, let’s go? Go where”, he asked. “Uncle Johnson, we have to leave, now” “This is your fucking graduation, we can’t leave now, you haven’t even gotten food..” “Now, Uncle Johnson, else I’m going to fucking break down in front of every goddamn person in this place. Let’s go”. I turned around and walked as fast as I could, away from him, away from everyone, I felt betrayed. July 19 2018.
2018 was a rather disappointing year for me. I was disappointed in the society, I was disappointed in school, I was bitterly disappointed in people, and most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I learnt a lot of lessons about good, evil and morality. I learnt about the vanity of life, the wicked and conceited nature of men and even the weakness in myself as a person. Throughout the year, my mental structure was on the verge of collapse. Stress, Anxiety, Fear, Worry, Angst, Lust, Hatred, Envy; my mind was feeding on too much of these things and it became a very insecure place. It all starts from the mind. It’s in the mind. You don’t love anyone, you don’t hate anyone, you have no worries. Everything we face, first builds up in the mind, rather than anywhere else. Before you do it, you think of it right? Superiority, Dominance, Charm, Charisma. It’s all about manipulation, influence, the ability to hold people spellbound under an illusion. My favorite villain of all time is Batman’s Joker, but of all the people who have played that role, none enthralls me as much as Heath Ledger’s joker. That raw ability to be a psychopath is something I have always admired. The drive to do crazy things, to be a maniac, to be a complete madhouse, just because you can. I loved his Joker because you could always see the sheer lunacy in his voice and even by mere eye contact. Another thing I love about the Joker is the fact that there is no sane motivation behind any of his actions. The man’s unpredictable. He’d bomb a hospital today, the next day, he’d be stealing a crown jewel from some Scandinavian country. And no one, fucking no one can ask him why he did what he did (Probably because they’d be dead anyway) The third thing I like about The Joker is, he’s a fucking sadist. That is something I do not have and I wish I did. The ability to torture people in the most horrible manner and not bat an eyelid. Power. Dominion. Influence. And of course, a deadly smile and laugh, which he always wears on his face. He’s so good, even Batman himself acknowledges that The Joker is the best foe he has ever come up against. That’s something to aspire to. The ability to be so good at what you do that no one could fucking deny how great you are, even your enemies. To be honest, I don’t give a shit about New Year’s resolutions. What makes this year different from the next? We do. People do. Fuck January and the other 11 months, we could make a difference anytime we want to. I figured people just need that extra semantic piece of motivation to finally do something reasonable with their lives. And there it is again, the vain and futile nature of humans. People sometimes see me as negative energy because I try to be frank, honest and straightforward in all my dealings and conversation but I have to be honest, I lie. A lot. But unlike most people, I lie for the benefit of others, not mine. I am the worst person to ask for fashion advice because, unless you’re my mum, my sister or my best friend, I would tell you that you looked great, without even looking. I figure people have better opinions of you when you tell them exactly what they want to hear and so fuck it. Why do we put emphasis on the value of truth and honesty when we ourselves don’t do it?
Personally, I think a lot of drama could be avoided in life if people just swallowed their pride or were truthful and tolerant. Some people label me as a proud person, I really am not, I just tend to have a strong belief in myself most times. Not myself per se, but my knowledge. A lot of girls think they’re smart just because they raise their hands up in class and suck their teacher’s toes blah blah blah (Boys do this too sometimes but it is predominant among females) I believe intellect is something that’s relative, diverse. For example, I; Mide, am a very bad mathematician. My math knowledge is similar to that of a seventh grader but on the other hand, I can beat my chest on some other subjects like English Literature and Government. If you judge me by my ability to perform calulations as a measure of my intelligence, you’d believe I was the dumbest boy on earth. You don’t judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree. That’s exactly the problem with the Nigerian Educational Sector, but anyways, I won’t go into that now. After all, politics is a boring subject is it not?
In my final year of high school, which was earlier this year, my friend Joshua and I would often talk to our favorite teachers about academics, socials, and trivial issues of life. Among these teachers was Mr. Adewale; a man whom I cannot forget in a hurry, because he gave me a lesson in pride and self-exaltation, which is why I know the difference between those two concepts today. We both went to Mr. Adewale’s class and sat down in front of his desk, discussing about Government and politics. Of course, we found him easy to approach as he’s a relatively young man who we felt we could relate with. The conversation led to a dispute on intelligence and intellect. He asked us if we considered ourselves smarter than majority of people in our class to which we replied in the affirmative. “Do you consider yourself as smart?”, he asked me. I can never forget that day. “Well…relatively, when you compare with others in our class..” Joshua laughed and said he agreed with me fully. “Ah, I know your problem now” he remarked “Excessive hubris, that is it. Do you even know the meaning of hubris?” “Of course I do” I thought. Hubris was a verb meaning extremely musked out and dusty. I told him this and he smiled knowingly. “That’s not the meaning” “I know it is sir” I said, “Let’s see what Mr. Oxford has to say about that”. I reached for the dictionary on his table and looked up hubris. I was wrong. Or rather, I had confused it with another word; “debris” “Well”, he said “You certainly can’t claim to being alpha intelligent when you don’t even know the meaning of the word”. In an attempt to prove our intelligence, Joshua and I exchanged facts with him, some he knew, some he did not, and some, he countered with a more accurate fact. After a while, he simply laughed and went on to lecture us for quarter of an hour about various world happenings and historical facts and figures, some of which we knew, some which we did not, and some which we countered with our own. He pointing out to us that, throughout the course of our conversation, not only had he learnt new things, but we had also. He said that the fact that you know something someone else does not, does not mean you’re superior to the other person, it just means you have made a conscious effort to acquire something he did not. He said that the day we considered ourselves elevated or superior to other people would be the day we started losing ground. “Always be thirsty in your search of knowledge” and till today, I have made sure I have that message at the back of my head. To always be thirsty without satisfaction because this life is full of mystery and shrouds and as long as there is life, there is knowledge unknown, and hence, we are doomed to remain forever thirsty, in search of what we know we can never fully acquire, but yet we chase doggedly after it to acquire scraps, bits and pieces of the bigger picture which we can never fully comprehend. I like being the smartest person in the room and I feel challenged when there is someone of equal or superior intellect. This fuels my drive to do more and learn more. I was only the first position in my class once. Fola; the girl who always took the top spot told me something I also cannot forget. “I don’t understand you, you’re smart, you almost never read for anything and yet you always pass, the problem is, you’re either to lazy or to scared to apply yourself fully to academics.” I felt insulted then, but I think back on her words now and make sure I always keep my head down. As smart as you may be, you hold yourself to be or people assume you are, there is always someone out there better than you. And you have to push yourself to be the absolute fucking best, which is my solitary goal in 2019. Being successful gives you some leeway to be an asshole, I always point out the example of Jeff Bezos, who might be an ass, but no one cares, he could purchase all their homes anyway. And that’s exactly what I intend to be. Weird. Eccentric Strange. Uncool. Rich. Successful. Mide. Have a very merry Christmas and an exceedingly blessed new year ahead.
Ooh I’ve written two hundred and nineteen words in this post, I hope this is a sign or something