30 years ago, this day came with some fever;
Soothing fever of undiluted excitement.
The next day would be “Independa”
We would be going to Obiozara.
Today, we beamed with such feelings of flimsy excitements, infectious as that which was to be compared only to what was felt on the eves of two other dates; Christmas and Children’s day.
We ran errands boisterously and did chores with ease, performing much more than was required of us.
I really can’t say how much of such is lost to the newer generation.
Our patriotism may have waned significantly, rubbing off on these innocent little ones.
How much things have fallen apart.
Then I try to imagine 60 years ago.
Imagine how Pa Zik, Tafa and Awo et al must have felt on this day.
Their agbada having been ironed to razor sharp, their best shoes burnished, glistening, all in wait for the next day, the big day.
The endless meetings and calls to ensure readiness.
Parades rehearsed to perfection. Flags hoisted, sound men testing the microphone; testing, testing.
The buzz and booze around town; freedom was finally coming home.
I believe the nationalists must have felt unsure of the realities too; a pang of fear of the unknown, the uncertainties that lay ahead of the D-Day – October 1st, 1960.
Could this finally be true? All the struggles. All the years?
And I imagine their loft dreams for the years ahead, the years we now live, the supposed life of eternal freedom.
The new country, they must have envisioned to be the next Eldorado, a land that would flow with milk and honey.
Had those men been gifted with just a blink of clairvoyance, had prescience given them a sneaky glimpse of the events of the days to follow; the pogroms, the coups, the bloody war, the endless lies, the hates, the bigotry, the nepotism, tribalism, imperialism, and all the zim-zim that have characterised our existence.
Had they seen their tomorrow, our today.
What a waste!
Please who knows if the parade holds at Isu tomorrow? I’d love to attend.
I love this country, for real.