One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to go from being rich to having nothing. Today as I hid in the bathroom, at yet another nadir, begging an old school mate for a thousand naira to get my baby’s medicines, I realized nothing in this world can feel substantially worse.
On April 6, 2015 I got married to my high school sweetheart, my first crush, first girlfriend, first everything in a lavish ceremony in Lagos. We created memories to last our lifetime that night and for our honey moon, we each took our first trip out of these shores and got on a plane for the first time in our lives too. It was in one of those nights in Togo or Ghana we made our beautiful Kamsi who would be born in January 2016, into a very different world.
Neither of us grew up privileged but we had made it out of the sleepy inner streets of old Asaba and somehow beat the odds. As 80s babies, we knew how hard the last days of the military days were. My wife lost two siblings to an Abacha stove mishap and had burn scars she carried everywhere as a reminder of those dark days. Like many Nigerians I was dissatisfied with the performance of the first minority president, for a host of reasons. I know how it sounds but I expected him to have policies that favoured the neglected south-south and come off as less of a weakling. I wholeheartedly campaigned for Buhari for these reasons. We threw our backs into it, so much that my wife wept tears of joy during his inauguration, we were full of hope. It didn’t take long for us to realize how wrong we were. Within months we saw things go from bad to worse, culminating in a double sack on the same day on the first day of work in January, 2016. I went from thriving Lagos boy to being neck deep in unpaid loans, with an inconsolable, jobless wife whose baby was due in a matter of days. The adjustment was brutal and it hasn’t gotten better for me. In the intervening time I’ve had to reluctantly sell off the assets we owned and relocated back home to Asaba. Its been a humbling experience but I’m ready, PVC in hand, to correct my mistake, for Nigeria, for Kamsi.