Alright, I think it’s about time I commented on the latest happenings in our beloved nation. I shan’t be first to admit that it is only a matter of time and the Giant of Africa will be down the aisle of self-destruction, never to be salvaged, pulled to remediation by hands and might of the concerned, but it’ll be downright myopic, foolish even, to deny that there’s trouble somewhere, or more accurately, everywhere.

Our problem, in my own superstitious view, started with the vacuous lot who, deserting civilization and precious technology; deserting all sense of judgement and responsibility, devoted themselves to the trekking mania. My first reaction to the knowledge of this was shock; disbelief and scorn set in later, only to transmogrify into disappointment and boredom when, after three-or-so cases, the media continued to water the radiators of these mental patients.  But in their defense, the media, like many other sectors in Nigeria, is desperate! This desperation is not new; in fact, my generation (and, I believe, the previous one) was born in this desperation. You are taught to live through this desperation, bearing it like your personal crucifix, a sacred burden that cannot be shared with another, whom, by the way, might appreciate your help to bear his that is perhaps a lot more cumbersome.

But no one ever lectures you on how to fight this desperation; no, the few that would are quickly rid of their voices by the evil one; and so it sits in wait, multiplying and manifolding, until, once in a while, it explodes in your face in a terribly ravaging situation, like the one we are now mired in. And then (not until then) comes the pell-mell dash for a panacea, something, anything to power your cell with; to start your car with; to take away this diurnal darkness that has suddenly, from no discernable distance, invaded your humanity.

Soon, the banks will shut down, and so will service providers. Your boss, who is ever so considerate, will urge you to sit at home for a while, as your car had, time and again, shamed you and you’ve had to settle for public transportation whose fare is now grossly hiked. You don’t earn much, remember? He’ll say with a genuinely concerned look; and since his words are silent commands anyway, you smile and agree, forgetting, for a moment, what mental gaol you shall soon be plunged into; forgetting that you’ll have to spend day and night in your ‘powerless’ abode, no cell, no computer, nothing to keep your contact with the world intact. Your kinsmen have abandoned civilization, and it shall not hesitate to abandon you…all of you.

What’s happening is that we are being transported back to the days of old, and maybe it is not such a bad thing, afterall. There’s always been a part of me, frankly, that wished ours was an epoch when everyone rode horses and camels instead of cars and jets, and a man’s wealth was not judged by how much money he’s got in his account, breathing, but how much farms he commands and how many sons he has to work on them. An era when trade was by barter and ‘trekking’ wasn’t exactly newsworthy; when, even, ‘news’ wasn’t known as that.

So perhaps I had been quick to wrongly judge the pioneers of this new era, and I shall apologize in good time. But for now, I say to you, oh Trekkers to the Past, trek on.



One thought on “Trekkers to the Past by Atanda Obatolu

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