The days have raged like an angry storm
Young men have taken to beer and rum
The feet of the old are pale and numb
Dreams washed away in the fiery tide
Like life has taken us on a ride
Through hardship, loss and trying times
There’s no strength left to stage a fight
All that’s left are falling rhymes
It’s not too late to start again
The sun will smile at us someday
Remember those days when the land was young
We taught our children right from wrong
Those precious times did not last long
Now all the land is filled with dung
On the altar of filth, our values hung
They insulted us and refused our songs
We saw it coming but could not run
He who has a home should not have to roam
Even though the skies appear so gray
The sun will smile at us someday
Let us put away the thoughts of doom
This land of gloom will one day bloom
In the heat and cold, we daily toiled
Our last days shall be greased with oil
Through the rumbling cracks I hear your voice
Our struggles for them will not be void
This long journey should end in joy
We might not live to watch the bud
Let’s hope that they remember us
When the sun smiles on the land again
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chuks Obi is a law student at the University of Ibadan. He writes poems and articles which have been published in different magazines and online publishing sites. He strongly believes in the power of the pen as a tool to make the world a better place.
In Four years, I have moved thrice. But I’m not a nomad.
In my country the Fulani bororoje are nomads. They are the cattle rearers that wander from one place to another seeking green and water for their cattle. Dictionary says nomads are people who move seasonally from place to place to search for food and water or pasture for their livestock – wanderers.
So, I am no nomad. I’m just a city boy with hopes of a bright future. And the pursuit of meaning has made me move thrice in four years.
First – away from my parents’ home.
It was a great relief for me when I received the mail I had been selected to study Neuroscience, a pre-med course in the United States of America. Mummy was exhilarated and she gave a testimony in church the next Sunday. But I didn’t tell her I selected a minor in creative writing. She would almost tear me apart. That was an unserious adventure for which I could not convince her of the benefits.
I would face the long hours of creative thinking. I might live at the back seat of my car or be rejected a number of times by big-name publishers. There was uncertainty in the horizon, and the only light flickering on was the passion torching within me. To Write. It refused to go out since the ignition many years ago when I was in primary 5. But then, mummy wanted me to bring money home. So I kept the news away.
I moved from Ibadan, Nigeria to Rosenberg, Texas. The pasture was greener there though, and everything seemed big. I had struck one. Still I’m not a nomad. I only entered College.
College went past like a breeze. Not without swaying me farther from my dreams. I got enthused with Pre-Med and topped the class, graduating summa cum laude and was offered a placement at a prestigious Medical school. Meanwhile my box of unfinished novels and articles lay stacked under my dorm bed. When I listened to their intermittent screams, I managed to send in a few articles to here and there magazines anyway.
On the night of graduation, I moved again. I REJECTED the offer and instead proceeded for a Masters in Creative Writing. Mummy didn’t know anything. Just that I was sending money home – from the three day jobs I juggled at Kroger, Wal-Mart Store and McDonald café. I didn’t have much money – just me my car and my apartment room – but I reckoned that as long as I lived fulfilled, I’ll keep moving.
I am not a nomad. I just moved.
Three – I met a girl.
Now you’re thinking I fell in love. Not really.
I churned out my first work – a short story collection on what mattered to my publishers. It sold really big, but I felt I was in a parched land. Six book signings and a mini nationwide tour later, I still felt thirsty and hungry for green land. They wanted me to write what came to mind – what sold in the main stream market – like Sci-fi, romance, thrillers or suspense novels. I wrote it for them and I got paid for it.
Until I met Marsha – the thirteen year old without a home though she lived in her parents’ house. There was constant fighting daily and she had no one to teach her the rudiments of a good life. She moved out at thirteen and in with her boyfriend. Few months later, I met her at a life Clinic where I volunteered for two months. She wanted to have an abortion. I almost missed her if not that I looked up from my laptop as her feet shuffled and the entrance bell dinged.
There and then I moved. My writing passions shifted from the mainstream genres to… well I don’t know what it’s called. My publishers couldn’t give a name for the kind of story I wrote, so they let me go, not before stealthily stealing the right to my first book success. But I didn’t mind.
There may be no mane for it yet. But what I write now touches the heart of teenagers. It helps them view life from a different perspective now. My sales are not in the big digits, but I reach one teen at a time – at teen camps, support centres and Clinics like the one in which I met Marsha.
I am not a nomad, but I moved out of the rat race. From a well-worn path into a green-fresh one – where my soul leaps for joy every waking day.
I say “I’m not a nomad”. I am only moving away from the status quo, the expectation of people about my life; into purpose. I’m only aspiring to get better at it every day. And to fulfil my call. If it takes me to move daily, I will reach for the greens.
But isn’t that what nomads do?
Anchor text: I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14 [HCSB]
If moviemakers use behind-the-scenes, then I would use between-the-pages, right?
(Article ends here)
P.S.: I wrote this article on February 11, 2014, as my entry for an online magazine. The editors liked it, but didn’t use it, but I love it because this is actually an alter ego of the story of my life
About the Author
Joshua Toluwanimi Babarinde is a writer, graphic designer and physician in training. He has worked on numerous projects that reflect his passion for creativity and his desire to see young people connect to God early and begin to live the adventure-filled life of fulfillment that God calls them to live, on the uncharted terrain of their individual lives.
He has four words that ring in his ears daily: Connect, Learn, Grow and Shine.
His first book, “Donut,” an interactive non-fiction, was released in December 2014.
Learn more insights and imaginations from from his blog on www.heirwalk.wordpress.com.