A huge red piece of meat is hanging on a tree outside the “house of play, play and small pickins.” They say it is for children whose heads are hot and looking for a place to play with ideas. Ideas that can change their world and ours. The children are excited and they have started scribbling down what they want to do with “their money.” Some who had previously baked ideas are racing to the cupboards where they kept them.
But I feel sorry for these kids. Why? There is a big tree in front of the house of play, play and small children. Over the years, that tree has been a host to big vultures. They know this house and the chunks of red meat that come from it every year. So they stay on the branches of the tree and keep their eyes on whatever is coming out of the house of red meat.
Once in a while, there will be a big fight and finger pointing among the vultures and the horde of hyenas that wait in the courtyard of the big tree for spoils and crumbs. And the Chief Priest will come down from his fortress with a whip laced with flesh tearing stones. He would threaten to bring down the heavens and drain the swamp until all the fish die of asphyxiation. But he ain’t going to do nothing. The vultures simply fly away to a nearby tree to wait out the storm in a tea cup. The hyenas simply lie down under the tree pretending to be sleeping. They don’t give a damn about the prowling, angry Chief Priest. He never has anything to hold them. They only eat what falls off the from the feast going on at the top of the tree.
After a while, the vultures don’t even bother to fly away when they hear the Chief Priest is coming, breathing fire like a Chinese dragon. They just keep still with a “wetin him fit do look” as the Chief Priest twists and turns wildly, raise a plume of dust like an Ekpoma masquerade until he tires out and he is helped back to his fortress for an undeserved rest.
If you are a young person whose head is hot with ideas, don’t put your hope on the just offered red meat because your leg is tied to a stake. The meat will get to the tree without any doubt, but watch and see what the vultures and hyenas will do with it. It is what is leftover from the hyenas that will be shared among a few privileged young ones whose heads are filled with smoke of indian hemp. These ones never go to the house of red meat. They stay at home playing video games and someone will submit their names and they will get their “gbagam alert.” While that is happening, you will still be at the cyber cafe wasting your precious time typing proposals and attaching volumes of documents.
If you want to succeed here, know your way around. Have your bootstrap on all the time. That’s is the only reliable thing you can count on. Never salivate in front of any Temple of red meat. You will end up choking on your own saliva.
Shop for hot headed young men like you. Pull yourselves together. Untie your boat from the pier, row over the violent waves ahead of you and ask for guidance from your Maker. Some will make it. Others will not. Not for want of good efforts but times and circumstances control the affairs of all. If you fail today, try tomorrow. But don’t ever give up your dreams because no red meat got to you. (Featured image by ace cartoonist, Bulama).