Bawa cried when he knew it was normal for men to cry too. People need to set their souls free from the sufferings of their bodies. Tears are the medicine of nature and they cure men from suicide
By Adeola Aderounmu
All is not well in this place, this land.
The people have diverse and confusing opinions about the true meaning of life, so it was difficult to find the solutions to their problems.
When Bawa was born and raised, no one provided him with the education he needed. He is from the north part of the land. His parents told him it was enough to obey. Everyday he prayed but he didn’t know if his prayers hit the roof or if they went above the clouds. His family did small retailing and didn’t have to depend on food tickets from the local councils like several urchins in the north did.
When the expanding family business brought him to Ebute Metta, his life changed. He became rebellious and started asking questions every time he went back to the north. He found a perfect companionship with some co-travelers and a few men who have been away also, even further north. One day he looked at the extent of ignorance in his village and felt extreme bitterness in his heart. Someone told him that men are not supposed to cry but he knew that until that moment, he had lived the life he didn’t choose.
The colonial thugs who invaded the land several years ago told the foolish kings in the north never to educate their wards. Stupidly, there was an agreement to the insane treaty. How can anyone think they could be kings or rulers for life? Without the royal blood, no one is born to rule. Even royal bloods do fade.
How can anyone even think that knowledge is the reason for the crises in the Mediterranean? Knowledge is power, not war. It’s true; humans always blame objects and abstract concepts for their foolishness. Sometimes they say they are looking for a scapegoat, as if one was lost. They always find the reasons to go to war.
An old man from the east once said to the people, “10 kings own 10 eras”. He said those who forget their history can never be free. He also said “if you fight a war, make sure it is for your freedom”. He added that “peace comes from freedom and absence of injustice”. But the people are reading less and not showing understanding for the wisdom hidden in books.
The stupid king in the north, just like all the dead kings before him, has also not fulfilled his promises to the people. Like many other places in the land, many people don’t have water, electricity and shelters to cover them. It is worse here in the north. The king and his emissaries have acquired what should have been shared equally among the people.
When Bawa and his gang members started having their secret meetings, they got the people’s ears. Walls have ears too. They soon sold their souls to the elites, they lost their plots.
Hopelessness can ruin a man’s conscience. At this point the people have started wondering if cannibalism will be a criminal offence if that becomes an option soon. Evil grew in their hearts due to deprivations.
This king in the north has no plan. He’s quick to blame the woes in the north on the reign of the king in Abuja. If we had one of us as the king in Abuja, our ancestors will be kind to us and our lives will be better he often said.
But the king in Abuja is really upset. He lacks charisma and hardly spoke but one day he said “ask the king in the north what he has been doing with all the tax returns given to the north and all the pure gold that he receives on behalf of the north four times a year”. Sometimes no one knows what to believe because the king in Abuja usually soaks himself in the pleasures of alcohol and women.
One day when the people came from everywhere to plead with him, he chased them away with whips and bullets. Then another time when the people found the courage to return, he repented and told them to go home and pray. Sometimes when he doesn’t know what to think or what to say, he simply said he didn’t care.
When the people refused to pray he commanded one of his brothers to do so on behalf of the people. His brother dressed up like a knight and prayed the prayer of a fool. The people thought he was insane but he didn’t care one bit. He knew his brother-the king- was too drunk to reason. But he got a lot of gold for his worthless prayers.
Now, frustration is growing in the land and the people do not know where to turn or who to speak to. They can never trust the soldiers. They are men of fortunes and when they had tried or pretended to help they did things worse than the kings could ever have done. They abuse drugs and they denied being homosexuals even when it was not yet a crime in the land. Now it is a crime.
But the soldiers laughed because they know that it is easier to practice homosexuality in prisons. They also knew that going to prisons will not affect their sexual disorders even if the lawmakers still think it is an abomination. Their biggest laughter on this matter came last, because they know that they live in a lawless land. They will never go to jail.
In the barracks, they wonder who really is mad. Someone said it’s the trait of the kings. One soldier who all of his life, had neither tasted tobacco nor alcohol shouted “we are all mad”! When they asked him the reason for his thoughts, he said, because when we sleep at night, we all lie in the same direction.
Then they laughed again because they did not understand his reasoning. He is a soldier from Ebute Metta. He went to bed, worried. How did I end up with these fools, these mad men?
In Abuja, the king had slept several times with one eye open and the other closed. He too is convinced that soldiers are treacherous and mad. Sometimes he had unpleasant nightmares. He’s encountering many strange dreams because his heart is not pure.
One day he dreamt that the dissidents had captured him and cut his throat. Then he vowed never to see the eyeballs of the soldiers from the north. He will never meet with the king of the north again as well.
The king of Abuja rebuilt his network and brought foreigners to protect him. He decided that he would have 99 vehicles when he is travelling on the road. Among the people, he gave gold and silver to the greedy councilors. He called them his loyalists; they will always speak for him in such a way as to create false hope while his reign of injustice persists everywhere in the land. It was easy to find religious people as members of his loyal groups.
When the unrest started in the north it was some of the councilors who gave the rebels tools and the courage to unleash violence. They used some of the monies they stole from the land when they were kings in Abuja and started various propaganda aimed at killing the present king.
Bawa and his friends got along with the treachery when the elites approached them. He started to visit Ebute Metta less frequently. At some point he left the holy books and started to listen to his heart. In their group, as dissidents, they got very rich at the expense of the people in the north. His heart told him that he’s now one of the reasons people remain poor in the north. At a recent meeting Bawa and his group members decided to abandon everything that they believed or were taught. They will make their own rules, now that they have wealth and weapons.
There had been a long call by some fools to return the kingship in Abuja to the men from the north. The stupid idea of born to rule has erased the ability of the north to think freely. Some of their kinsmen are happy to dine and wine with the king anyway. Many of them knew that feudalism is a form of injustice but they want to find a bigger fault with the king in Abuja.
The poor people are angry, infuriated and helpless. There is confusion everywhere. There is something the people are not doing. There are things the kings and the elites are doing maliciously. So across the land, all is not well.
One girl from the west brought a message of fire on the mountain to the land. The people lacked the wisdom to discern her message. They doubt that the gods spoke through women. So the girl went to another land. Then she prospered. One man sang for the freedom of all the regions but they put him in prison and poisoned him. He died.
Every time someone stood up genuinely for the people, the people watch from afar, disunited. Then the freedom fighter is killed by an angry person or someone sent by any of the kings. The land is flowing with the blood of innocent people. Even the gods shook their heads because the people did not understand the signs and processes of freedom.
Bawa and his generation grew up in ignorance. At that time they were easy preys for wrong political purposes. Bawa’s exposure led him to some light, but it was half-light. For vision, half-light is more dangerous than total darkness. But those who don’t know that, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well always argue when taught this principle. Bawa doesn’t care anymore about the consequences of disobedience. His views about life are now at conflict with one another.
Now he, along with the others in the rebel groups, is at war with the society. They will bring down the reigns of the king in the north and the king in Abuja. He doesn’t know what his actual plans are in this senseless war. He and his evil gang members have abandoned their foreign teachings. They have now turned to the evil in their hearts. They are now monsters and their unknown ambitions surprised the north, totally.
There is trouble in the north. There is pandemonium in the east and the west is choking even with diseases due to congestion and migration. The south is polluted, full of treacherous men and unsafe for existence.
Mama Esan is trapped, Chinedu is depressed and Bawa is ready to die for the things he does not believe in, the things he does not even understand anymore.
At the town hall meeting, Mama Esan wept, again. No one could console her. She even refused to be consoled because she needs to set her soul free from the suffering of her flesh. She asked why the kings everywhere have so much wealth, women and property when the people are suffering. How can her dreams come true? Why did things go so wrong? The more questions she asked in her heart, the more sorrowful she felt.
Chinedu in his depressed mood fell asleep before the meeting ended. In his dream, he saw what life was supposed to be and he woke up with a thunderous cry. The hall was empty when he opened his eyes.
Bawa was not at this meeting. He will never come back to Ebute Metta. He had decided to remain incognito until vengeance is achieved. He thought the kings are all wicked or mad as people say. But he also hated those who made him cry.
Indeed, he cried when he knew it was normal for men to cry too. People need to set their souls free from the sufferings of their bodies. Tears are the medicine of nature and they cure men from suicide. He thought his life is upside down and not worth living. He doesn’t know where this will lead him or where he wants to go from here.
Sometimes the king in Abuja speaks after the town hall meetings to get feedback and make new reforms. When the king spoke after the latest meeting held in Ebute Metta, he was far from reality. This was worse than what the people had thought. So now everyone across the land knew the gods have made him deaf. They know what will happen next because that is a premonition that is easy to interpret. This gives an unusual hope that change will come soon.
Sometimes people think that time is their enemy. But time is a good concept. It carries out everything at its appointed moment. Because humans have faint memory, they forget their destinies. Therefore their actions can be in contrast to their desires in life. If you want freedom, you must act correctly or appropriately. Time will bring all things to pass at the appointed moments only if the actions that preceded those moments are just and upright.
In this entire clamor for change, the south remains indifferent because the people inhabiting the place have become like the proverbial soap and leaves. They are used to their sufferings and living poorly in the midst of plenty. In fact they are like the thirsty fish because their land and water lie in ruins. The king of Abuja was once one of them.
Bawa the boy from the north does not believe in the gods. He does not know what the people in the east or west have on their minds but what he wished is what the people said the gods have in plan: that when the time for freedom comes, there will be no going back, that all the kings are mad and that their kingdoms, big or small, will pass away.