The Definition Of A Good Life 

Life, has killed my dreams. 

I listened as Babe told me about how his dad had given a looong lecture to his brother about reading well to gain admission into the universiry. It wasn’t new, my own sister was also getting the constant reminders about reading to pass her jamb. All our parents have done it to us. 

Who’s going to tell them? 

Who’s going to let them know that education may be the key but we no longer have access to the padlock in this country? 

Go to school they say, study medicine or engineering or law, graduate with a good degree, get a job, settle down and start your own family – to our parents, that’s the definition of a good life. Live with your family, raise your own kids in a 3 bedroom apartment, have a family car, go for a holiday to your village once a year, don’t settle for less than this, but don’t expect more either. 

Did you know? 

  • It is possible to have 24/7 interrupted power supply 
  • Not every single thing has to be imported  
  • It is possible to have roads without the portholes 
  • Our markets can be clean 
  • Our schools can have quality and state in art infrastructure 

Yet, in my school students are still using typewriters, typewriters! And that’s okay because our poverty and backwards mentality has convinced us to make the uncomfortable convenient. Why spend 7 years in school studying medicine yet people still get flown out of the country for the simplest problems? What’s the point of engineering if they barely construct anything? and what’s the use of a lawyer when half the people don’t know their constitutional rights? 

While I was younger, I wanted to be a lot of things. I wanted to be a counselor so I could listen to people and help them through their conflicts, I wanted to be an actress just so I could get all the scenes with eating in them, I said I would write books and paint pictures, representing history and knowledge and lessons in shapes and colors. I wanted to travel the world doing the things I loved the most, making memories and friends along the way, I wanted to be happy. Ignorance indeed is bliss. 

Now each time I’m on the road, I no longer see innocence or beauty, all I see is the hardship and struggle for survival. Everything I see is ugly. I’m not thinking about owning several mansions or private islands or Jets, nope, let’s leave that for when we get to heaven. For now, we survive under harsh conditions and complain. 

It’s all we do now, complain

Complain about the roads, complain about the prices of foodstuffs, complain about the cost of even the low quality education, complain and blame the government, blame the witches in our villages so we give all of our life savings to pastors. Complain but not do anything ourselves because corruption is sewn into our genes and brewed in our blood. It is in our very essence. A land full of hypocrites. 

But I am a part of that system too. I look at my younger self full of innocence, hopes and dreams and my heart bleeds because she’s long dead. I no longer hope or dream. I just survive. And complain. All I do is settle for my parents’ definition of a good life because that mentality is now a part of my daily life. Settle for less, settle for less than less. 

Nigeria, has killed my dreams. 


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