Panic Attacks

I woke up this morning feeling really upset. My body is yet to fully heal from the bout of malaria that ravaged it last Tuesday but I’m a lot better now and definitely will resume work Monday to battle the growing pile on my desk.

That’s not enough reason to panic. Work always gets done and I’m quite good at mine.

I then proceed to pick up my tablet to peruse through the news of the day and I remember that stunning free kick Neymar scored in the Olympic final match against Germany last night and I smile. I like Neymar. He reminds me of the Pele movie I saw just yesterday which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Ginga is strong in him. He led this Brazilian side to achieving the historical feat of an Olympic gold medal in football just like Pele did at the 1958 World Cup.

Then I remember that the Nigerian team also won a medal yesterday too in the same sport; Bronze. I don’t know how they managed to even get that far after the impossible challenges brought up by blatant ineptitude and administrative sabotage which they faced. The physical and psychological battle of being stranded a few hours to their opener with Japan, no kits, withheld coaching salary and allowances as far back as 5 months…the boys performed nothing short of a miracle!

And out of nowhere came this wealthy and good Japanese doctor who pledged a hefty sum to the team after he read of their pitiful plight only for the villains in this story of shame to rear up their ugly heads again and attempt to hijack the well-earned gift. The Japanese doctor was no fool; he had a cheque written out in their names and insisted on delivering same personally which he did.

When I was younger, I had this dream that I would do great things for my country, for the world. I was blessed with talents that I had hoped would put my family name in history books. I held onto this dream tightly for a while, curved up into a ball to protect its fragility while I received buffets from very brutal realities on all sides. My head was unprotected so it took several blows after which, my resolve was weakened and I let go.

From that time, I have lived a life of silent discontent, receiving what was given instead of taking what was deserved. Being on the receiving end is pathetic because it takes your voice so much that even when what you receive is reduced, you can’t complain because you know you are still among the fortunate ones opportuned to receive.

This is what Nigeria did to me.

This is what Nigeria did to Efe Ajagba, the African boxing champion who could have brought home an Olympic gold medal if he had adequate training facilities and was given the sparring partner he ordinarily should have had instead of funding the trip of 3 officials who went for sightseeing at the Rio Olympics.

This is what Nigeria did to the Chibok girls. This what Nigeria did to the residents of Agatu. This is what Nigeria is doing to the IDP’s in its North-Eastern parts. This is what Nigeria has done to most of us.

Panic attacks are good. I panic every morning because I am reminded daily why I can’t let Nigeria do to my children, what she has done to me.

Mr. Malcolm.

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