A few days ago I had a brief conversation over lunch with a friend from East Africa. It was one of those talks resulting from perceived tardy reasoning when we hoped that our leaders in Africa would have been what we keep dreaming about. But what struck me more was the sudden time travel I was thrown into when thinking about the daunting task of changing the outlook of a continent besieged by many troubles and laden with much burden. I wondered how I would feel on the day that I am to die. Would I be bubbling with excitement that my exit is deserved and my legacy is undoubted? Or would I be crowded by the feeling of wasted opportunities? My feelings were mixed because I have trained myself to believe I will not die an ordinary man, especially being influenced heavily by motivational messages that fill your gut and warrants self confidence from a newly defined self-concept. It was mixed because I saw great chances to make things better and without much cost to me or to my surroundings. But the pot pourri of feelings was not without the the thoughts of ‘what if nothing you do makes any sense and changes anything?’ The rest of that day was filled with random emotions spurned out of the ‘what is’ and the ‘what ought to be’.
Back in school, after sitting under inspiring lectures, particularly those that spin African history into an emotional overtone and overdose, making you feel a spark or a tinge of activism, I entered into endless debates on what role we young men will play in shaping the future we so desire. I met so many like minded folks who confessed exhausted faith in the drama we called nation building. We pressured ourselves into believing we were the gifts of God to our continent, and that we held the ace that will call home the game in our favour. Yet with the fervour, we met peeps who could extinguish your fire with a kind of infectious apathy and unconscionable inanition towards the issue of a progressive society. I will never forget the day, after a hot conversation on disabling executive corruption, that a few guys around simply sneered at all we said and stated clearly why they will grab every opportunity to monetize their virtues. What was more worrisome was their display of cognitive dissonance (the kind I usually ascribe to the Obama era Republican party) in acknowledging the need for honest men and good governance, and yet advising me “Reggie, stop deceiving yourself. You can’t change anything. Eat your own and go your way.” Well, some things were clear at the least, I certainly knew who not to vote for if that time comes…lol