Of lifting particulars and winning
I was a little boy and Tiv dialect was evolving into the simple one we now speak, to arrest that, my village headmaster father brought tapes of Tiv traditional singers, he would explain to me some words that I didn’t understand after playing the tapes. I had to read Tiv Bible too. On how to speak good English I was forced to always listen to BCC and VOA, he was always like “Listen to BCC to have good command of language and VOA just for news.”
Well, I cannot speak the chronic local Tiv language and good English, I don’t know how to write as the village headmaster wanted me to, but at least I picked reading newspapers at newspaper stands, if you see someone that look like me reading newspapers at a paper stand, just know that it is me. Above all, I fell in love with one of the Tiv traditional singers by name Number 1 Golozo.
The other day, I was listening to one of his tracks yes, you can always find his tracks in all my electronic gadgets] when he captured my attention with his lyrics, thus “Yan myam agugu ngula mna angbian kpa lu hen sule wam, myam ngunum mlu hendan ne kpa mda tel suwan bin mkua sha bali wam mlu hendan ye, or ngu a faga nan gbaorun er imam a man mkor patikyula wam mkende huan viin.” Meaning “I bought a motorcycle but gave it to a brother but it was from proceeds from my farm, this one that I am using now I sold Soya beans and bali [I guess an improved variety of rice then] to buy it, someone will sit and be saying that it is dashed to me, I lifted my particulars and the place became quiet.”
His music triggered the memories mentioned above. The lyrics above brought forward thoughts of people’s reaction to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s recent election to become Director General of World Trade Organization in the process becoming the first woman and African to ever head the international organization.
A write up sprang on social media asking people to “Stop comparing ladies in your neighborhood to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Her parents were both professors and her Dad a Royal Majesty. They’ve always been rich. She was just 22 when she finished from Harvard University. You know how expensive Harvard is, right? She was 27 when she earned her PhD, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Someone who worked at World Bank for 25 years, rising to the position of Managing Director. No, it would be unfair to measure your seriousness in life by that woman’s standard. Her brilliance is motivating, but her circumstances are different, if you’ve also had the same parent, you would’ve probably done better.”
The true essence of the gang of mockers is always to open the flanks of people celebrating and expose them to insults and ridicule in the process bringing down the weight of their success, when this is done, they leave the stage and disappear into thin air. The person who authored the above quoted statement might have done so to patronize the mocked ladies but it suffers from the dangers of a single story, by not mentioning the fact that Dr Ngozi suffered and endured the horrors and evils of a civir war that was characterized by starvation as a weapon of war that claimed the lives of 1 million children of her age. The author also forgot what Solomon the ancient King of Israel wrote in his book “Ecclesiastes” 10:7 that “I have seen servants upon horses and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Ngozi defied this to become a success story.
The mocked ladies, instead of facing their mockers since the WTO DG did not send the mockers, they held on to the quoted statement and started getting at her, her haters joined them throwing verbal missiles to reduce the weight of her success.
I thought about how Kelechi Iheanacho the Nigerian soccer international plying his trade with Leicester FC of England, how he lost form and people insulted and simply wrote him off, then suddenly he scored 7 goals in 4 matches and the whole print, electronic and social media became abashed with “Senior man kelz”
I thought about the passing to glory of Yinka Odumakin the “voice of courage” and spokesman of Pan-Yoruba group Afenifere, who got bashing while here but today even his foes are hailing him because he kept working hard and winning despite the bashings. May his soul find rest with his maker!
I came to a conclusion that one of the essence of life here on earth is to win, both in monetary and intrinsic terms as well as to be good at whatever our hands finds to do. The ancient wise king posted in the same Ecclesiastes 10:19 that “A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.” Without this answer for everything which is winning, the king also posted in his book Proverbs 14:20 that “The poor man is hated even by his neighbor.” He went on in Proverbs 19:14 that “Wealth attracts many friends but even the closest friend of the poor deserts him.” His father David who was also King had posted in his book of Psalm 69:9 when he was yet to win that “I have become estranged from my brothers. And an alien to my mother’s sons.”
I believe now is the time to defy odds and those who try to reduce the weight of our success to score goals in this soccer match of life like Kelechi Iheanacho, to work hard like Yinka Odumakin. To lift “patikyula” like Number 1 Golozo the Tiv traditional singer who bought a motorcycle when it was not easy to do so, only to give it to a brother and thereafter, buy another one but his people were still doubting him till he brought out his particulars. Above all, to soar higher and keep winning like Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.