The road to self definition must, of necessity, take you through many furrows and valleys, even through blind alleys. You will listen to the soothing sounds of the twittering birds. You will also hear the ecstatic chants of your detractors. The orgasmic groans of haters will announce what they think is your downfall.
You must welcome all these sights and sounds. They all should help you along somehow, and urge you to your destiny.
You will encounter many along the way, who are safe and cosy in their timorous silence. This type can only watch history's passing show.
Others will assail you with what George Orwell calls smelly orthodoxies. They are Marxist, socialist or some other hue of grand narrative which they thrust at you like a sword. They titillate themselves with some ideological mashing and smashing. They are an irritant, at best. And, by the way, it was the same George Orwell who told us with his blistering eloquence that elections only allow those in power to don the mask of democracy.
There are yet others with a curious trait: well mannered stupidity. Shun them by a mile.
You will come across the muffled despairs of everyday people. They seek redemption but dread it at the same time. They have internalized their own oppression and become willing hostages to their own abuse and humiliation. Often they celebrate their privation and destitution. They hail and worship their oppressors and they are classically conditioned to resist those who crave only the best for them. Deep down they believe themselves undeserving of greatness.
I pause here. This, in faint, charcoal outline, is a chapter in my memoirs. It is writing itself beautifully and I love and enjoy every moment. That's the way of gladiators, who have drunk from the Tao of Bruce Lee and can say, along with him that we are, "warriors and healers, monks and lovers, creatures of intellect and of flesh and of spirit."
*Boko is the President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).