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« AIT Deserved Some Sanctions, Not A Shutdown! | Main | Nigerians are the only way out for Nigeria: Not Leaders without any Passion for the Nation »

November 01, 2005

A Life in our Short Days: In loving memory of the Bellview 117 and Mrs. Stella Obasanjo

by Uche Nworah (London, England) ---

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne (1572-1631)

This morning, I woke up as usual and knelt down and prayed. Uche (my wife) was still sleeping and so I made my way to the bathroom, finished my business in there and went into the kitchen. Breakfast as usual, halfway through she met me in there and we discussed our plans for the day.

After we had both jointly prayed our common prayer of agreement, I kissed her goodbye and left for work. My car was still parked in its normal place, inside everything was just as I had left it the previous night and I drove to work. Down the road, I saw a few of the regulars and early risers making their way to the bus stop and tube station, it was a typical October morning in London and the rest of the city slept on.

I could imagine the bus conductors in Lagos at this hour calling on their early morning passengers, Oshodi o! Oshodi o! Oshodi oke o! Oshodi o! enter with your sense (change) o! conductor no get sense o! or Festac-21-last bus stop! For those going in the opposite direction. I wondered what the conversations inside the buses will be at this time, and the different takes of the average Nigerian about the weekend’s events.

Back in London, traffic had already began to build up at the Blackwell tunnel, fathers and mothers, boys and girls going to work, I spotted some school kids at the back of some of the cars. Having mastered the trick of crossing the tunnel in record time, I deftly manoeuvred to the right lane and cruised on slowly. By 8 am I was already at work, no week day routines broken as yet.

I checked my emails and read the newspapers online, still more comments and analysis about Stella and the Bellview 117. I quickly put together my stuffs and waited for the 9 a.m bunch, a teacher’s job is never done, I had prepared that morning’s lectures the previous night and I was ready. At 10.30 a.m, the students went for their 15 minutes break, deserved or not, oblivious of death and the events in Marbella (Spain) and Lisa (Ogun state). By 12.30 noon my first class was finished, it was time to unpack my lunch, the leftover from last night’s rice and chicken stew. After lunch, I called my wife and checked up on her. This was my morning.


Alex, my Kenyan colleague, an avid observer of Nigerian events tried to engage me in banter, but my sullen mood didn’t encourage him. By 2.30 p.m, I was back in class for the last lap, teacher and students tested each other’s temperament and patience for the next two hours, some of them didn’t want to be there, I didn’t ask them to be there but the system has brought us together, we contend and tolerate each other till the end, some had reached the tube station by the time I had finished sharing out the homework, who cares? This was my afternoon.

By the time I got to Room A29, they were already seated, the head of the faculty, and the programme managers, plus the other lecturers, ‘Uche where have you been they asked’? I mumbled a few words and quietly sat down; it was meeting time again. They took turns and droned on but my mind was far, and my mood low. Finally we all trooped out, happy that we had survived yet another day at work. ‘See you all tomorrow’ rented the air as we each grabbed our coats and made a mad rush for the car park to begin another journey home, over the thoughts of home, sweet home.

A friend called me from far away America, a new - breed Nigerian politician, we discussed the weekend’s events, and the futility of life, and of wealth acquisition, deep inside we were afraid. After dinner, I talked some more with my wife and watched some sitcom re-runs on television, as a new Friends convert and fan courtesy of my wife, I found the Joey, Ross and Phoebe characters interesting, Joey is like me, we both love food, Ross is like most men I know, always embroiled with women issues and Phoebe brings out the child in all of us. I would have loved though to be watching football on Sky sports, but everything for love.

Afterwards we watched our other favourites, FBI Files and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) on the discovery channel and then sleep beckoned. We prayed and thanked God for life, we also remembered the dead.

And that was my day, and yours?

In loving memory of the Bellview 117 and Mrs Stella Obasanjo. uchenworah@yahoo.com

Posted by Administrator at November 1, 2005 04:59 AM

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