Kayode lay stretched out on a mat woven intricately with colourful plastic strands. The night was quiet yet alive with a melody only of its own. He stared at the star-filled sky and smiled. For some reason, he had never been able to appreciate the true beauty of the stars in the city. They always appeared sparse and dim, but here, in this little town, filled more with vegetation than man, he was mesmerised.
He hadn’t known in what shape he had been until he had been forced to come home when universities closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. He was in his final year in medical school, had only a few weeks to his last professional exam, had been running on pure tension, so close to breaking and hadn’t realised this. Until he arrived home. Greeted by his mother’s comforting hug, his father’s light tap on the shoulder and his siblings’ excited chatter. An unbearable weight had lifted off his chest, his tensed shoulders loosening. He had taken a deep breath, the first in years.
He hadn’t been home in half a dozen years, for he lived in Kano and schooled in Lagos. His Yoruba father had married his Hausa mother and settled in the north. His parents couldn’t afford travel by air and he hadn’t ever gotten one-week straight holiday from school.
One reading this might think that Kayode hated his course of study, but that was not particularly true. He loved medicine but he hadn’t been able to enjoy it as much. The air in the teaching hospital where he studied had been stifling, the curriculum overbearing and Lagos itself had been so full of people and cars. All of this he could have borne with, if not for the deep ache in his heart. He simply missed his family.
His twin baby brothers, Kolani and Tolani who had been 6 when he had left were now 12 and not as chubby. The sweet innocence that had accompanied them as children were still present but tempered now by an awareness. Bukola, his younger sister had been in primary school when he left. She rounded up her WAEC exams just before the pandemic struck. “The girl has grown into a woman” was her phrase anytime they had a conversation about the years gone by.
Kayode closed his eyes and traced patterns on the mat with the tip of his fingers. He had been at home for two months. The headache that had plagued him the past few months had disappeared and his nights filled with restful sleep. He will have to go back, he found that he was not averse to the idea, he missed school. If there was one thing though that Kayode was sure of; he was coming back home right after his exams. His home was his happy place.
By Aisha Lawal M. (nana_ai)
Poem: The Odd
They call me abnormal
Because of my insignificance
They said I’m Alu-jonu (spirit)
Because of my physical impairment
I’ve been totally stigmatized
Because of what they call an unknown terrible illness
They call me abirun (imbecile)
All because of my dysfunctionality
They’ve tagged me all sorts of names
Because of the way I behave
They have concluded that I amount to nothing
Some even call me cause trouble
They see me as nothing but sorrow
Elders despised me
They hated me like faeces
Children have also been trained
To throw spits at me
I’m nothing but a friend of none
An an enemy of all
Come to think of it
What is meant to be normal?
Is it a way of life or a pride?
Does it worth an attitude to imbibe?
But only if humans could see
Beyond the physical
That though I may be abnormal
But I’M ABOVE THE NORMALS
If only the world would know
That I’m just a being
Wrapped in an enigma
For the manifestation of the Most High.
Dedicated to all physically, and mentality impaired people out there. This is just to help them know that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and no one is dispensable, everyone is special in their own way. Let’s embrace them whole heartedly because what most of them need is a shoulder to lean on, a heart that cares for them, a smile to awake the giant in them and a little strength to make their eagles fly.
Poem: Man Walks
Like in his life he has never crawled
With his head held high
Looking down his nose, in pride
He has in his pocket some riches
But not as much as the sand in the beaches
He gives in some cases
To hear the song of his praises
He thinks himself self-sufficient
But when drought comes, he is left thirsty and inefficient
He forgets his lord when he builds his ship
Yet, when the storm comes at sea, he prays in sincere worship
Man wishes to live forever
What is death, if not certain for whoever?
Why then does man strut arrogantly
When even the sun and the moon bow to their Lord in humility.
By: nana_ai (Lawal Aisha M.)
Music for Societal Repair, Hope and Comfort in the Face of Global Paucity
Music is considered the food of the soul; many people see music as the best form of communication than letter or words cannot express. Music they say is more than just the melody, the words, the voice, and the percussion put together. Music is life but whatever way one perceives it that to him is music. Music has neither definite meaning nor definition and cannot be traced to any musician or author.
Why is music so powerful that life revolves around it? Music has been rated as the only source of healing to some countless ailments in the world. Whether health, society, economy, governments, emotions, families, power even to the unseen things music has significantly serve as instrument for repairs, advocacy, campaign, motivation and direction. The human mind is wired to respond to the influence of music anywhere and anytime, and that is why for retentiveness in learning, educators are advised to add musical rhyme to learning process.
It is truism that those who write for music tend to hear a sound, a call, a tone, or a strike which stimulate a rhythm in them for a purpose. This simply means that we are all a walking music box. Music has a purpose and direction and it comes to please or displease depending on the mood of the writer. However music is also the trouble and the peace of the world. It can cause a war between nations, people, stir social unrest, move for revolution, campaign for injustice, instigate violence, and spur panic. The perfect peace giving medium is music.
In the face of global economic meltdown and rise in mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic, music has the enormous power to stir direction, guide and inspire solution to the world and comfort to all that are mourning out of the negative impact of the pandemic. A lot of hunger cases have risen and depression is on the rise due to loss of jobs impacted by the lockdown, and bringing many lives to a pause. This has caused so many people to reminisce about the essence of life. Music becomes tool for medication, reflection and vision for what next. Musicians knowing the shock the world is in should use their powerful tools to inject hope, comfort, peace, courage, faith in selves, and government with the message of we shall overcome. Music which is considered to be the only massage of the soul should be didactically composed by musicians with the aim of healing the moment.
Henceforth, music as tool for societal repair should be targeted at sharing inspiration and hope through music which is contagious. Music as potent enough could lead a person into depression or bring one out. In the present days of social turbulence and disillusionment, music should become our tool for salvation, comfort and peace.
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