The Burden of History
Every single one of you who has ever read my blog deserves an apology for my absence. So here is it: I'm sorry for not writing. It’s been a hectic two weeks with church and school commitments but we’ve made it to the other side and all the glory belongs to our God. This is a short post/ reflection I wrote sometime last week while I was procrastinating in the library haha. I never shared it because I actually started to do my work. I just reread the piece and the thoughts are relevant so here it is.
The Burden of History
When I came to the library this afternoon, I came with one intention only: to complete my research paper about any topic on gender inequality in the whole wide world. I decided to write about the Rwandan phenomenon; this country has the highest number of women in the parliament but very bad numbers for women empowerment at the lower levels of society. My paper will explore the role of the government in the creation of gender parity in the Rwandan parliament, and explore why this has not led to better gender equality in the Rwandan society.
As I began my research, I opened YouTube to play music while I worked. I came across a video on the daughter of Dora Akunyili, an illustrious Nigerian woman and a personal hero. I first heard about Mrs Akunyili when I was about 11. She was the director of NAFDAC, the Nigerian Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. She dealt ruthlessly with sellers of the counterfeit drugs that killed millions of Nigerians; she was hailed locally and internationally for her courage and integrity.
When I was in J.S.S 2 (I was about 12, so please do the maths if you’re in a different educational system), Mrs Akunyili visited my secondary school to deliver the graduation address. The title of her speech was “Leaving Positive Footprints in the Sandstones of Time”. I've never forgotten that day, although it was some ten long years ago. She spoke about her uncompromising love for God and her decision to hold to her values despite grave opposition, which culminated in several death threats and actual murder attempts. Her speech birthed my determination to be a woman of substance. I decided that day, at just 12, that I would never compromise my values, as espoused by my christian faith, in serving humanity in whatever capacity that God demanded.
As I continue to grow in my personality and intellect, I strive to be a great woman. As much as watching the glowing tributes to Mrs Akunyili after her death two years ago has brought me to tears several times, it has renewed this fire in me. The future may not be easy for this young, christian girl, but I know that no price is too great to pay when living a life of integrity.
On a related note, have you ever thought about how there are some jobs that are emotionally tasking? I’m taking an independent study where I’m writing short stories and the writing sometimes gets draining. It’s so stressful imagining alternate realities and creating characters who have wonderfully complex lives and emotions. Writing stretches me mentally and emotionally so I sometimes run away from writing because creativity is just difficult.
Don't get me wrong, writing is beautiful when it’s going well, but when the stories are sad (as a lot of my stories tend to be haha), they also take a toll on me. Apart from that, there are the
annoying friends who think that my writing about bad family dynamics means that I have turbulent family dynamics or that writing about a character with a bad childhood means that I had an unhappy childhood. Please if you want to tell me that my story is realistic, tell me so, but don’t imagine that my stories and characters are simply extensions of my life. They are not.
Why am I saying all this? First because I’m absolutely obsessed with history and writing; second, I’m trying to procrastinate. But on a serious note, just like Mrs Akunyili, I have a burden on my heart to make my country and the world at large, a better place for everyone. I like to write, so I hope that my writing, like Mrs Akunyili’s resolve, will make the world a better place.
Sadly, things have gotten progressively worse in Nigeria. The wonderful author Okey Ndibe once said “Nigeria was conceived in hope and birthed into …. (something bad, but was it perdition?) Korantema help here please. I don’t remember the wonderfully relevant quote but oh well.
That said, I hope you enjoyed this random train of thought. I wish you all a wonderful week ahead. I hope November has been kind to you.
Featured image from here.