Circus in the sky…
Perhaps Africa’s fierce dependence on a “God” might have robbed us of the efficient use of God’s beautiful design — The brain.
This is not an argument for atheism or who deserves your tithe. I once titled an image “When I played God” It stuck out in the exhibition and I repeated myself so much that one day, I almost regretted the move, but you know I don’t mind talking, like Obama, like Jay Z and like your pastor.
Ironically I got interested in photography from the church I attended [ Petra Christian Centre] and I’m not only grateful for the opportunity but also specifically about a sermon where Pastor Ayo Ajani preached on the role of Spirit, Structure and Strategy. It was enough to equip me for the journey, his emphasis on work being as important liberates.
I ruminate a lot about religion and its use both socially and spiritually. It has been quite abusive with enough shocking videos of supposed men of god and their grass-eating congregations — if I do say so myself. But I have also had my fair share of “Peace be Still” prayers and watched situations turn around. When I think about them later over gin and tonic, my logical answers are often not enough. Perhaps it’s reflective of the mystery of the Being in charge. However what stood out in Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ is that Okonkwo toiled, worked his back off even while he trusted in his Chi.
I believe in the metaphysical and I have experienced it as tangible as the fufu I squash between my fingers but I also know well enough that it is a talisman — a compass, not the driver. I like to think of myself as “the captain of my ship, master of my fate.” The good old book asked for work before prayer but neighborhood religious centers convene on a Tuesday morning, cant judge them but i wonder if that might be priorities misplaced?
All success stories are credited to “na god”as if admitting man’s effort undermines God. I like to think all glory is logged to God directly or indirectly — a baby after a filled stomach poos on the mother and guess what? She laughs out loud, glad that the child's metabolism works well. Spiritual rebellion or agreement is an act of praise. I think.
I am worried we have allowed certain practices which initially encouraged spiritual enlightenment to be replaced with catering for lazy succor and pseudo social therapy all of which have eroded the place of action in our new society and none of the religious sect is immune to these errors. One would expect that we would take advantage of that fellowship and preach for unity and patriotic behavior but then the kingdom of heaven is at hand so save up for your jets. Sadly we’ve seen these influential religious leaders fall for the antics of corrupt politicians seeking consensus and using this opium as a leverage. [ There is god oh!].
The human mind is equipped with enough resources to crack the code of existence and even as we continue to surprise each other daily with brilliant discoveries that improves our lives— my continent Africa on the other hand is Benjamin Button, growing in reverse. Distracted and praying away our troubles instead of facing them with the excellent resources at our disposal. (Google Desmond Tutu’s quote about religion in Africa).
One time, a loud thunder strike would have been credited to Sango or Zeus but then these rocks flying around in space might be from Zeus rage while he hurled stones at our dear planet for our misdemeanor [ you’re doing amazing Sango aka sweet baby Zeus] , I personally like the loud sounds and lights that follows after. It excites the kid in me. A reminder we exist in something larger than us with feisty neighbors.
Let me get to the point of the day — I always imagine what God’s perspective must be as a being observing from the skies. This eagle eye perspective excites me a lot and whenever I find a building where I can perch and watch the world below, I jump at it, sorry I meant I climb to it!
The world is different from above, especially human shapes and how the view shrinks them into forms slapped against the earth and people rarely look up from what I’ve observed. “Open your eyes and see the circus in the sky — Mr Sean Carter”. I’m trying to be Lagos’s Ringling brother flipping this imaginations finding gems just like how the good book said God saw everything he made and it was beautiful.
So therefore Africa, I’m just saying you could do better. Let god enjoy some rest, use other equipment in your arsenal and by the way if you want your enemies to die by fire, Jungle justice isn’t the way to pepper dem. Cut it.
PS : Young men living on the mainland Lagos, please always carry with you a form of identification. we live in tricky unsafe times for obvious reasons of economic higi haga and unfortunately it seems the Police are not really keen on protecting you so its better safe, than sorry.