The life expectancy of the average Nigerian is 53.05 years. Now, I’ll be a year older on Sunday and two things came to my mind upon finding out the above information: (1) lol we are fucked in this country and (2) who exactly is the average Nigerian?
Since I am certain that number one is something we are all aware of, my focus therefore is on number two. Average. Again, who exactly is the average Nigerian and how can I ensure that my life is absolutely nothing like his so that I don’t end up dying when I’m 53.05 years old?
These are the thoughts that consume me as I go about my business today. Our beloved country Nigeria is wavering on the brink of turmoil…not just our country sef but the entire world, with hurricanes in the west, political instability in the east, wars and conflict in the north and a different problem just about every where else, some people have confidently sworn that the earth has reached its end. And they just might be right. However, just in case they are wrong and the world doesn’t end in 2017 or 2018 or any other time soon, I think it’s a pretty wise idea to continue planning for the future, while keeping in mind that the life expectancy is still 53.05 years for the average Nigerian.
Today is day number 33 of the ongoing ASUU strike. Today is also a Friday, the start of the glorious weekend, but the thing is, in my opinion, weekends are only fantastic when you actually need to rest (or turn tf up) cos of the rigours of the week. Where however, due to thorough inactivity, there’s no bloody difference between the week and the weekend, what exactly are you celebrating please? My strike experience has been pretty mixed thus far. When the strike was initially declared, I was one of many naive, hopeful idiots who felt that it would end as quickly as it began and the Federal government would settle the aggrieved lecturers and all would be back to normal. Lmao! As if we don’t know our dear country. This hope did keep me in school for the next couple of weeks though, and lemme tell you something, Unilag can be very alright when you have the money, you don’t stay in the hostel and you have the right connect. But like all other good things, it must end and the money did end thus forcing me to return home. And here begins my problem. Home.
You see the place I call home is very different from whatever cave you reside in. I live in Satellite Town, and the most famous and important thing about Satellite Town is that it’s beside Festac Town and if that’s not the definition of average then I don’t know what is. The only thing to do in this place is to leave. Like, that’s it. That’s literally all we do for fun here: leave Satellite Town. While in school, you’ll hear all these deliciously exciting stories about all the many many many children of Unilag that live either here or around, but when you’re actually living here yourself, when you wake up and go to bed every damn day in this place, you start to realize that someone, somewhere lied. Maybe it’s just me yunno? Maybe there’s something I’m not doing right, maybe I haven’t joined the Satellite Town WhatsApp group or something, so many maybes. However, one thing that’s not a maybe, is that I ache to leave this place.
My estate is a very quiet place, most of the youth raised here use school as a means of escape and only return during the holidays. Me, if I had my way, I’d never come back even during the holidays…sha maybe just to see one or two of those very fine females who’ve gone abroad or to private universities and come back with all the latest errm tricks and surprises, but that’s a story for another day. Today, I have decided to make the best of things and live life to the fullest. These are the thoughts that occupy my mind as I prepare to go grocery shopping at the local supermarket. I’m doing shi that I would usually never even think about for a ‘trip’ within my environs…combing my hair and beard, putting on cologne, wearing a watch and sunglasses etc. I step in front of the mirror to peruse my appearance and I am thoroughly satisfied. There’s no way my life expectancy is 53.05 years as I am like this, no way. It’s impossible. Never! As I step out of the gate, I make a promise to myself that all this fine boy shall not be in vain.
Fast forward two hours later and it appears that Satellite Town has defeated me once again. A very important question that might pop up in your mind is “who goes grocery shopping for two hours within his own neighborhood?”. This is not a question I’m prepared to answer at the moment, so let’s just move on. I’m hot (not in the good way), depressed, annoyed, irritated and the only thing on my mind now is just getting home and using air conditioner to kill myself. I drag my feet to the checkout point and dump my goods on the counter for the cashier to assess my financial liability. She makes an attempt at humor but is completely cowered by the look of utter savagery on my face. That’s good. At least if I can scare her into miscalculating then today shall not be an utter waste.
The beautiful thing about life is, when you’re down and almost completely out, the universe (or in my case, your Igbo ancestors) sends something or someone to pick you back up. I dip my hand into my back pocket to get out my ATM card and pay for my purchases and in the process, I get this familiar tingling sensation in my spine and I smile to myself. My radar has never deceived me and it will not start now. I sniff the air and confirm…there’s a babe in the building. I eventually spot her and in the next twenty minutes or less, I walk up to this miracle of a human being and discover just about everything there is to know about her. Lol well not everything, not yet😁
My miracle and I walk out of the supermarket side by side, gisting, laughing and utterly oblivious to everything and everyone. I accompany her to a black car apparently driven by her mum, she gets in, says something to mother miracle, her mum turns around, sizes me up and then waves at me like someone who just met her future son-in-law. I wave back like my life depends on it, I wave as if the car is on fire and my hands can put it out, I wave like….well you get the point. The car reverses and they drive away and I’m standing there, smiling and waving like I just won Mr Nigeria 2017.
As I make the walk back to my house, I am in incredibly high spirits. The sun is brightly shining, the birds are singing the abokis are aboking and I feel like dancing. Nothing can bring me down right now, not even the bastard okada man that almost runs me over as I cross the road.
I get back to my house and I remember the life expectancy article I read in the morning as well as my birthday on Sunday and I laugh to myself.
Average kor, 53.05 is not my portion in Jesus name.