“My brother, abeg I need help, i no fit pay my children school fees. The school go pursue dem comot from school this week, abeg borrow me some money”
“My brother your own even better, me I never chop since yesterday. I no get money to buy food. The kain hunger wey dey wire me now no get part 2”
“Na wa o, which kain wahala be this? I bin hold the school fee money last week but I gave it to my pastor. I sowed it as a seed for his 45th birthday celebration. Had I known, I would have stayed back in the congregation when he made the call for people to come out to the altar to sow the seed for instant financial breakthrough. What will I tell my children now?
“Let meet that man sitting over there. See as he dey chop better food with good wine. He looks like someone with money. He can help us if we beg him”
“Hello sir, abeg help us”
“Please help us sir. We need your help”
“I am Fela Kuti. What do you need my help for?”
“We need money, we are suffering!”
“But you don’t look like people who are suffering. You are both wearing designers’ outfits”
“We are just packaging sir, the suffering in this country is too much sir”
“Suffer suffer for world enjoy for heaven, me I say na your fault be that!”
“Err…Sir, what are you saying?”
“Open your eyes everywhere. Archbishop na miliki, pope na enjoyment, imam na gbaladun. My people open your eyes”
“But our eyes are wide open”
“If your eyes dey wide open you for see say you dey for suffering and smiling mode”
“Are you a prophet Sir?”
“I am a voice of the people but my people are funny. My people them go follow bishop, them go dey follow Pope, follow Imam, them go go for London, them go go for Rome, them go for Mecca, them go carry all the money. Them go juba bishop, juba pope, juba imam, dem go start to dey yab themselves…”
“Both of you should sit down and listen to me as Africans. This is what happens to we Africans every day. Wetin I wan tell you now na secret, don’t tell anybody outside, na between me and you! Now listen…”
“Our ears are wide open Sir”
“Everyday my people dey inside bus, suffering and smiling
49 sitting, 99 standing, suffering & smiling
Them go pack themselves in like sardine, suffering & smiling
Them go faint, dem dey wake like cock, suffering & smiling
Them go reach house, water no dey, suffering & smiling
Them go reach bed, power no dey, suffering & smiling
Them go reach road, go-slow go come, suffering & smiling
Them go reach road, police go slap, suffering & smiling
Them go reach road, army go whip, suffering & smiling
Them go look pocket, money no dey, suffering & smiling
Them go reach work, query ready, suffering & smiling
Everyday na the same thing, suffering & smiling!
Suffer suffer for world, enjoy for heaven….”
Lesson: Africans have become comfortable with bad leadership and oppression from the ruling political class.
Iniobong Leroi Umoh is a storyteller, a satirist and creative writer. He blurs the line between reality and fiction and seeks to create a connection with the reader through engaging content. His works have been featured across various online and offline platforms. He hopes to one day travel around the world on a luxury yacht, sipping expensive wine and documenting all his experiences in a journal.
You can send him a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.