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Ever changing times (2)

By Debbie Olujobi

Time seems to have an agenda and we zip through the decades, all the while changing and evolving. I was never attracted to the fifties but my fondness for the sixties remains.

The world morphed from decade to decade, some faster than the others; changing in form and way of life. I would dare to say the sixties and part of the seventies were the glory days but fast forward to the nineties and the middle class is now extinct and a new breed of the super rich emerges trailed by the very angry and the very poor.

By this time, mankind bears no resemblance to the golden child of the sixties, the revolution is now well and truly over, the slogan is no longer love and peace but Aluta-continua ( the struggle continues). The balance of power has truly changed and there are no more super powers; money is the new leveller and there is plenty of it in China.

The old super powers may still have military might but they all go cap in hand to those they formerly despised. The age of awareness has begun, the first decade is payback time and it seems we all have to pay for the sins of mankind, dead and living. This is the time when there are no guarantees, good no longer begets good and evil is knocking on everyone’s door; bloodshed and gore is the poster of the new millennium.

We all seem to be in a hurry to do things as if we have a premonition that time, our time is running out. Every single advancement in technology is geared towards making things faster and it seems even science knows we are in a race against time.

A curious thing happened sometime ago in London. My sister and I had been walking past a church and we observed a memorial service was being held, we stood to watch and see who was being given such a grand farewell. There were beautiful testimonials from friends and families for a wonderful person; who had touched all these lives, my sister passed me the pamphlet and to my utter horror; the smiling face of a 15 year old stares back at me. This young man and been a sterling student, a wonderful son to his mother, and a very strong youth leader in his community.

On the day he died, he had been particularly sweet to his mother, even coming back for an extra hug before going to school. During his lunch break, he left the school cafeteria and with a book in hand, sat under a tree to read; he fell off the bench and before anything could be done for him; he had died.

An autopsy revealed that his death was from natural courses; every organ was in perfect order and in my mind no reasonable explanation could excuse a death that was most unreasonable! I took exception to people saying he lived a good life.  Where I come from that is a tragedy!!!

How on earth can you say a 15 year old lived a good life? He had barely lived!!! His death for me is a tragedy and goes against every belief I hold!! It took me back to all such tragic events that occur to shatter the peace of life as I know it but has anybody noticed that it is becoming common place?

Imagine the case of entire families wiped out in the recent June 3rd plane crash. I didn’t know the Anyene family but I know most of us shed tears for a family that lost husband, wife, four children, grand mother, sister and cousin. That particular incident was in my view an abomination!!!

Bad things are becoming the lot of good people and the old have started burying their young. I was brought up to believe that if you lived a good life, good things were your reward; it seems to me that a long life would be one of such good things!!! What words can possibly explain this contradiction in the belief system of basic right and wrong?

So here I am in what I call desperate times and I wish to God I could escape back to a time when life had possibilities instead of impending doom.

At times self pity sets in and I ask how come my generation is the one that looks likely to see Armageddon?  At times like these I question whether this generation will ever produce the same number of grandparents the previous ones gave us? How come life expectancy especially in this part of the world is getting shorter by the day? This last week alone 140 people have lost their lives to religious terrorism in Plateau state. Bombs go off intermittently, crime, especially kidnappings is on the rise.

The times are so desperate that even in the western world one is more likely to die of terrorist activity or something just as vile!! If this is the payback decade I certainly wish the next one will be the give back decade. The new atmosphere in the world is tension; the air is thick with hate and hostility and I am sure I am not the only one dreaming of easier times. I know time will change again; it always does; my prayer is that it changes for the better.


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