onewild thought

A collection of our views, rants and thoughts on design, branding, communication, and any other thing we find interesting.

To Them Who Stood By You

 

I loved BB. I didn’t know then but I realize now that that’s what it was. Or what do you call it when having her around made me feel at peace and warm? When I went extra mile to do things for her, things I know I could get beaten for? When I sat beside her in a corner and talked and talked about anything and everything? You only do these when you feel deeply.

The day she was kidnapped, I almost ran mad. I searched and called for her all around the neighborhood, my ten years old mind almost snapping with the pain I felt. The day after when I picked the broom to sweep our compound, I was reminded of how she would have bounded up to me, grinning widely and getting in between my legs while I bent down to sweep. I broke down and wept hard.

I felt as if rock-ball has been dropped into my chest. It hurt so bad.

But as days passed and I and my brother moved on, thoughts of her became less painful. And when we talk about her, the bent of our smiles were bitter sweet. We would talk about her baths, her mischievous little tricks and her deep, expressive eyes.

Then one night, we heard weak scratches on our front door. My brother summoned courage and opened the door and something bony and filthy jumped at him. He took a step back in reflex and let out a yelp. I screamed too and almost wet myself.

Before we could recover, we heard a weak whine, like the sound you make when your heart is breaking. This jolted us and we checked the figure again. It was BB!

Overwhelmed, I bursted into tears. My brother tried to be less dramatic but he couldn’t hold back his tears too. Especially when we wanted to hug her and she stepped back as if scared we were about to hit her. Then we realized to our horror that she had been abused. She was emaciated and has huge sores all over. Her ear had been marked. But worst of all, her spirit had been broken.

We knew this because when we raised her head so she could see us, she wouldn’t look us in the eye.

For months after, we went through a painful recovery process with BB but she wasn’t the same. She wouldn’t come in and sneak up to sleep on the rug like she used to. She wouldn’t lick my hands or grin like she used to when I talk to her. She had been killed inside, our BB.

But because she had been there for us unreservedly, we tried as much as we can to be there for her too. Even when she started to forget things and when she lost her sight in one eye (results of her abuse) we tried. Because of BB, we knew what true friendship is.

She let us know that we are her home and she was ours too. She let us know too, that friendship isn’t for humans alone. That friendship is home, it is comfort, security, the place that pulsates with trust. Friendship is not about the words said, because in our eyes and actions lies the bond.

Because of BB, my childhood dog, I knew that you can smile through tears and you can light up someone’s life by simply just being there.

To all who have stood by you always, not with words alone, but with actions… to them, Happy Friendship Day.

Ibadan: Laid Back, But Savage

When you least expect, Ibadan will politely butcher your dignity then curtsy when done.

Let’s say this is your first time in Ibadan, and you unfortunately don’t know how to speak Yoruba. Let’s say, you look like an uptown guy. You unconsciously have that aura of “those people who are wealthy” and you’re on a commercial, either a Danfo, Okada, Keke NAPEP or Micra.

The direction you’ve been given for instance is “when you get to Apata, take a bike going to Queens Cinema, then tell them you’re going to Gate”. Simple enough isn’t it? Oh, but you’re in for it.

Okay, to continue, you get to Queens Cinema and you see a bike and say “Gate!” The bike man says “100naira” and like a grasshopper, eager to show off your street smartness, you hop on the seat and say “oya!” which, by the way, is one of the ten Yoruba words you understand.

After a ride that you enjoyed (except for the funny smell that blasted you intermittently, courtesy of the swamp behind the bike man’s ears) you get to where the bike man says is Gate. Then you look around and say “oga, wey the Gate?”

The bike-man will look at you up and down, then recognizing that aura of yours will remove his “wind glasses” (one of those black wrap around sunglasses) and say “where you dey go gan gan?”

“Gate na! UCH Gate!”

“ah! Iru nonsense wo leleyi?” he will exclaim.

The market women by the roadside will say “kilonsele?” what is happening? because in Ibadan, your business is everybody’s business.

The bike man will turn to them and say “he is going to UCH oh, and he called Gate!”. By this time you’re bewildered and a bit upset. The women will then turn to you and say “ngbo Uncle, where you going?” in the best English they can summon from memory.

“Gate, UCH Gate” you say, your voice faltering.

The women will look at you and shook their heads and exclaim in Yoruba. Then they, alongside the bike man will try explaining to you that Gate and UCH are two different stops. But after a while, they will understand that you don’t understand.

“he can’t understand, poor fool” one of them will say.

“you sef” one will say to you “when you’re not an idiot ehn, as fine as you are, why didn’t you get directions well?”

You stutter that that’s the direction you were given. The bike man will beckon on you to hop back on, just like a grasshopper. But because you’re disoriented, you will slide towards the bike like a tired sack of onions.

“see how he is doing. What a pity, all that English and no sense! Uncu! They said you should get on the bike!”

You give a start and hop on, blabbering thank yous and some other senseless things. But all you get will sniggers and some biting “ehn, e pele,  sorry oh! Boda stupid”. But you won’t know the insults, we, the onlookers will. Because you’re our temporary comedy flick.

But let’s look at this other scenario.

You’re in your car, on your way back from work. You’re caught in a traffic jam. A Danfo is at your back, another is trying to squeeze in your front, with the driver beckoning at you to stay put while he slides in. But because you have no time for such rubbish, you block the bastard.

So there you are, on a Friday night, “dragging space” with a Danfo driver. By now, you’re both vexed, along with the passengers in the Danfo. But as a civilized human being that you are, you put on your bitch resting face and face front, deaf to their insults.

“Your father there! So because you think you have put this tin can on the road you can be forming anyhow! See as tie be! Better use that tie to kill yourself because what’s your use! Ordinary space you can’t give! Ode oshi! And we have been begging and begging since morning! Na you get road? Na you?!…”

But did you hear? Of course not. Because your shield is up and you’re listening to badass bass beat on  Beat Fm.

Suddenly, you hear a knock on your side. It’s the Danfo driver. He beckons to you to lower your shield, his expression is quite neutral so you think he wants to talk to you about something as he leans across his window.

So you bring down your shield, then you hear the squeak and hawk and scruff of his throat as he hacked up a generous amount of phlegm. Before you could ask what the hell he wants to say so you can move on, as a new space just opened up, you feel something hot, thick, slimy and smelly as Satan’s butt crack all over your face. While you are reflexively recoiling and your senses transmitting the horror of a message to your nerve cells, he has screeched off with his passengers roaring in glee and mockery.

And that, is how Ibadan bullshits you, your esteem and respect without remorse.

Note: These are true happenings.

Mandela: #OneWildConviction

 

Black sheep are different. They are wild, they breeze through restrictions just because…it’s their nature. They stand strong for their beliefs and they keep going towards their goal regardless. You might break them in bones, but not in spirit. But are they always bad? Who says “black-sheeping” is bad anyway?

What does it take to be different? To have a voice that leads the cowardly whimpers of thousands? To stretch out one’s neck for a dare and own up to one’s actions?

It’s guts. Lots of guts. Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela had it in trailer loads and for this he is celebrated till today. However, it’ll be a stupid thing to do not having a deep knowledge of what you are doing while having the famed guts. On the fall of 1964, April, when he made his speech from the dock, he said,

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

This isn’t just any conviction of his actions, it is a conviction based on deep rooted knowledge, marinated in the hot sauce of his experiences and baked in the heat of his dreams for his country. If this foundation of his wasn’t as strong, he would have been a blubbering mess at the Rivonia Trial. He would have bent in Robben Island rather than bend the authority to his will.

Mandela

You know another way Rivonia Trial could have been famous? Right. He could have turned and kissed the government’s ass to save himself from being convicted. But we all know he didn’t. And that, is one wild conviction (in all meanings of the word) that we recognize.

On this day, we rise to the memory of the man who was different, declared himself a rebel and gave the finger to the minority government he fought.

To Madiba, uBawomkhulu… #OneWildSoul