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The rumination of a world weary trouble

By Kole Omotoso
27 September 2020   |   3:07 am
Chorus: No final solution No final solution Ọrọ ta a rororo Ta a gbe pati No final solution THEY say the man lived in Nairobi, in Kenya, down River Road. Nobody knows if he was born there or if he moved there having taken a vow of solitude absolute at the beginning of the new…

No final solution
No final solution
Ọrọ ta a rororo
Ta a gbe pati
No final solution

THEY say the man lived in Nairobi, in Kenya, down River Road. Nobody knows if he was born there or if he moved there having taken a vow of solitude absolute at the beginning of the new millennium, specifically at midnight on 01/01/2000. Trouble had heard of him and went looking for him.

On 01/01/2020 he took another vow to take his own life. Trouble wanted to catch up with him and speak to him, ask the reasons for his vows, and what the world may learn from his decisions.

He was a tall man with sallow skin black-brown and glowing. He was healthy but had the hunted look of those who fast unto death.

He was reluctant to speak certain that his life and his vows had nothing to teach anybody. His reasons were personal and would possibly appear jejune to others who take the world on the way that he could not. Little thing get him going insane and wanting to wish the world goodnight. For instance? The Rape of a baby?

What does a baby have that an adult man wants? How do you inhabit the same world with such a human being? People compare such a person to an animal, even call him an animal. This is an insult to innocent animals. The pain of such incidents drives the old man of River Road insane.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms at sea and hurricanes, the possibility of rising sea levels, and wiping out of island nations, all these are scary and to be feared. How do you prepare for them, build houses and dwellings inspired by the twist and turn of earthquakes? Begin to live like fishes in the ocean, swimming, and building houses with bricks made of water? Or abandon island nations for other lands in a world priding itself of its walls built to keep everybody and anybody away. By people who do not understand that they shut themselves off from others of the world.

When Trouble caught with him, he was on his way to the nearest police station. Why? He did not know why he was going to the police station. He had decided to let the authorities know that he is fed up with life on the continent. Why should the so-called authorities care what he feels? Of what significance is he to think that what he thinks to matter? And anyway, what should they do about his being fed up? Does he see only crimes in the world? Is he forever looking into the gutter of dirt and slime and horrors? What about looking up into the skies, looking into the blue of the firmament, and of sparkling stars at night? He looked at Trouble by his side as if he was not there. These things are not the same everywhere. The gutters are everywhere. In some places, they are totally covered up, kept out of human eyes but they exist.

What can you tell me that I don’t already know and knowing makes me weary of living? Take South Africa. The Africans there have lived with the white folks for four centuries. Yet they have refused to use the vehicles that white folks have used to be world successful with palaces for houses and eggs and fancy foods for victuals.

The first democratic government of South Africa decided to build houses and give them free to the poorest of the poor. Good idea. Bad idea. It does not matter. Some bright souls among those receiving these houses decide to sell the house to begin the process of increasing their wealth. But some would not hear of it. “So,” concludes some people, “sell the house you were given (for free), then go back to the shacks with filled pockets and again in line for another home. It’s no wonder the housing problem does not come to an end.”

Imagine what possibilities lie in this direction of development? So, why go to the police station for this? The old man of River Road said Trouble would not understand. So Mr. Trouble followed the old man to the police station. There is a single building roofed with rusting zinc. Who would roof houses in the hot tropics except for profit blinded British? Zinc roofs in the tropics. The door to the building was open unto a low counter behind which the sergeant on duty sat. As the two men came in the sergeant stood up. They exchanged courtesies and the sergeant ask how he could help them.

“As soon as I leave here I’m going to commit suicide. I do not want the police to investigate anything. Or proclaim that a crime has been committed. That’s all.”

“THAT’S ALL? That’s not all,” shouted the sergeant. Suicide is a criminal offense before the fact. And it is punishable, the sergeant explained.

“What’s the punishment? Death?”

“You would wish!” answered the sergeant. “The magistrate would determine the punishment appropriate to the offense.”

Many countries have decriminalized attempted suicide and assisted suicide. It is regarded as an extreme case of an individual’s freedom to control his or her destiny. And to make the decision of when one’s life ends out of the hands of God.

“I don’t know where you come from but in Kenya suicide and assisting suicide is illegal and are punishable under the law.”

The old man looked at Trouble and said: “Look me look trouble, I mean problem not to confuse you with our trouble! Do you want us to get license before committing suicide? Let’s go, my friend Mr. Trouble.”

“You are going nowhere.” He blew on a stainless steel whistle. Six policemen appeared as if out of space.

“Both of you are under arrest.”

“What for?”

“You for contemplating suicide and you for assisting suicide.”

In no time at all the old man was handcuffed behind his back and locked in a police cell. Mr Trouble pleaded that he was a journalist and writer…”

“Yes, people like you are the greatest problem.” He was also handcuffed behind his back and locked up.
Chorus: no final solution, etc.