By: Andy Akporugo Jr –
A FESTIVAL OF NINE [NIGERIAN] LESSONS AND CAROLS THIS CHRISTMAS
LESSON 1 – Attend Reunions Of Important People And Take Plenty Of Group Photographs
For a while now I have been rummaging through archival material at the furthest closet in my room hoping for a peek at my university certificates, but without any luck. I shall however resist, unless my life depended on it, the temptation to turn over to the other end and check through the paper mess that mostly holds my NEPA bills and receipts. Outside the fact that I would look irresponsible to search for sheep amongst wolves, it would be especially herculean to figure out the graceful purple presences in the UNIBEN Certificate from the arrogant street pink which gushes all over the electricity bills rumpled together in excited disorderliness.
I was still pondering this dilemma when my Classmates [I leave out the year for the sake of creativeness] called us together for a reunion, an event I was sure going to miss because of my fetish against travels in December, until I recalled the power of institutional certification that the reunion photographs would avail me – and so off I went, to Benin City.
Once there, I glistered in photographs, swirling around classmates with practised familiarity, letting out a smile here and sometimes guffaws so loud you would think you heard them from the pictures – many, many group pictures. With classmate Professors, Judges, Magistrates, serving and past commissioners, ranking civil servants and very successful private legal practitioners, including a Senior Advocate; photographs that could in the hands of a prodigiously creative mind, tell more stories in 25 years’ time, than they actually do today, when grey hairs would have won the battle for space in our eye lashes and memories would need some actual storytelling to be jogged – and even then mostly in the direction chosen by the story teller.
Then I would be able to claim that they were photographs of my “Ph.D class” to the confused dilation of the tired eyes of emeritus Professor Edoba Omoregie or of a Judges’ conference or a retreat of Ministers – whichever I fancied; and my friends, even at wrestled remembrances, would hopefully only sigh silently or with the bemusement of elders, simply chuckle, ‘‘this yeye boy sef!!!’’
And then, maybe I would be President!
[NB. I no call anybody name oooooo. I no fit quarrel this hot afternoon abeg!]
Lesson 2 …