I wake up to the rays of early morning sunlight creeping in through my blinds. I stagger to the toilet and turn on the tap and to my utter disappointment, drip-drop! No water! I rush to switch on the borehole as luckily, there’s light. Ha! I haven’t ironed my uniform. The click of the iron switch synchronizes ever so perfectly with the sudden darkness. PHCN and their timing though. The way things are going, I just pray they don’t take the light at the end of the tunnel. I spend the next few hours preparing for school.
I meet my father outside struggling to turn on his car which just got back from the mechanic’s a day ago. The problem is obvious. Fake parts! I board a ‘one-chance’ bus (as we Nigerians call it) praying fervently for a safe arrival. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, the bus breaks down after diving tyre-deep into a massive pothole. Bad roads! I am forced to trek the remaining distance to school. On getting to school, I find a frustrated class teacher who gives me a thorough whooping for coming late while complaining about his unpaid salary. Embezzlement of public funds! The rest of the school day just flies by as more and more half-baked and half-hearted teachers rush through their lessons. Poor system of education! I hitch a ride home from a friend of mine. Halfway home, we are stopped by policemen. Witfully, they coerce my friend’s mother into giving them a mere N200 for them to let us go. Bribery and corruption!
On getting home, I find the entire neighbourhood in commotion. A neighbour of mine has been robbed in broad daylight. Insecurity! I slip into the sitting room thinking of how horrid a day this was. As if that was not enough, my father storms in cursing and swearing at the government. A friend of his had just died that morning after taking fake drugs. Fake drugs! He was rushed to the nearest hospital as the situation could still be salvaged. Unfortunately, the doctors were on strike. Underpaid workers! I retire to my room and read a newspaper for some peace. I flip through the newspaper to find a news article regarding a bomb blast that killed scores. Insecurity again!
I lay my head down to rest as this is all too much to take in and my eyes follow suit. Lo and behold! I see a Nigeria with good roads, beautiful scenery, an excellent standard of education, an efficient workforce, and everything else that qualifies it as a world-class nation. I am however awoken with the sound of a gunshot in the area. Armed robbers. I lay my head down and let my wild imagination produce the Nigeria of my dreams, literally. This is the reality of the somewhat privileged Nigerian child. Talk less of the poverty-stricken ones! This is a plea to the leaders of this great nation. Please don’t kill my dreams and destroy my hopes of a greater nation.
Author: Malami Saeed (@SS_malami)