Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thank you, Wale....:)

So someone, namely Wale, has requested a new post and so I will write one today but please forgive me if it comes out all disjointed and convoluted. I've wanted to write all week but didn't really know what to say because I'm going through a whole bunch of stuff right now and am not sure how to articulate my feelings.

You know how last Saturday was my birthday and it was supposed to be this big thing? Then I cancelled the big thing and it was supposed to be a low-key thing? Well after I wrote that post, I found out that our home in Naija had been robbed. THE DAY BEFORE MY BDAY, 4 gunmen forced their into our home and held up my parents and little brother and walked out with money, jewelry, laptops, phones, and basically anything else that seemed remotely valuable. Thankfully they did not hurt anyone badly....the worst they did was hit my 16 year old brother in the mouth to make sure the 6ft 3 inch boy wouldn't get any ideas about acting up. Also thankfully, my sister Ms. Minx, was not home otherwise it may have been a lot worse.

Needless to say, my low-key birthday celebration went out the window. I did not want to do anything but stay in bed all day. I received a lot of birthday phonecalls which turned into sympathetic phonecalls, with friends and family, even my parents, encouraging me to at least get up out of bed to do SOMETHING to acknowledge that I had lived another year and was healthy and so on. So, I did. I went to dinner with a close friend and just talked and hung out. But even then, and up till now, as much as I know in my head that my parents are okay, and those things that were stolen were just material, and I should thank God for their lives (which I have done), I cannot help but be worried, and concerned. I have talked to my family everyday and they have assured me that things are getting back to normal and I should stop worrying. But I can't. The smile is gone from my eyes.

I hate that people were able to just walk into our home and take money that my parents work SO hard for. Things that were bought and paid for with blood, sweat and tears, they just took. I hate that these people held my family at gunpoint and scared and threatened them IN OUR OWN HOME. I hate that they touched my mother because they took her wedding rings and other jewelry from her body. I hate that they touched my baby brother and hit his beautiful 16 year old face. I hate that they pushed and shoved my frail father, who could do little to protect his family because he had a gun pointed at his face. I hate that these people have no sense of right and wrong and think it is ok to just take things that do not belong to them while looking boldly in the faces of their victims. I hate that Nigeria is a country in which help is not readily available to the people that need it. I hate that my father had to go out of the house after such an ordeal, get into his car and go to the police station to call the police, who even now will not help them even try to look for these thieves until they get some money. I hate that this happened at all. Yes, they are alive and well. Yes, it could have been a lot worse. Yet and still, why did it have to happen to us? Why does it have to happen to anyone?

Never will I say that the actions of these armed robbers are ok. But the fact that these men felt no fear in openly showing their faces while robbing us speaks to a larger problem. Nigeria lacks a system that works to help her people. You can't just pick up the phone and dial our equivalent of 911. You can't go to the local police station and pick out faces from a database of offenders. You can't expect a reasonable amount of help from the Police without greasing their palms. You can't expect that your belongings will be returned to you. You can't expect to file an insurance claim and get any money back to possibly recoup your belongings. Tax-Paying, Law-Abiding citizens have NO PROTECTION in their own homes and for their own belongings.

When I meet people here in the States who refuse to go back to Nigeria even when they're slaving away here, I question why. Nigeria is home and home is where the heart is, right? It is when things like this happen that I understand why and start to lose hope in home. As good as life can be in Nigeria for those who have, the have-nots are forced to resort to hustling, stealing and killing to make ends meet and threaten the lives of those who have. So, in the end who wins?

I'm sorry this is such a long post but I had to get it out because I am concerned. And what makes it even worse for me is that my usual optimistic outlook is being slowly snuffed out....and I don't want that. With all of my being, I do not want that.

To everyone who sent me a birthday wish, I thank you. And Wale, you didn't know it, but I needed to write this - so thank you for the encouragement. Till next time y' blessed. And as you pray please pray for Nigeria because by doing so, you are praying for us all.

To pray is to pay attention to something or someone other than oneself. Whenever a man so concentrates his attention -- on a landscape, a poem, a geometrical problem, an idol, or the True God -- that he completely forgets his own ego and desires, he is praying. - W.H. Auden


Enid said...

Happy Belated B-Day Ms. May!!! chic, i'm so so sorry to hear about what happened at home. this is pathetic and yes! it could have been worst but I thank the good Lord for his continues blessings towards yourslef and your family....It is well my dear!!! You've got to stay strong!!!

zaiprincesa said...

Ms. sorry to hear about ur home in naija...we can only thank God that nothing terrible happened to your family...dont let this bring you down cus we cant dwell on "what cud hav"...we can only thank God for what did..or did not happen. Stay blessed.

Icy said...

Ms. May I can not begin to say I understand how you fee. I wish you and your family strength and perseverance to get through this mentally. IT shall be well. Losing your optimism is letting them they. AND THEY SHOULDN'T WIN ... PLEASE. THEY DON'T DESERVE TO WIN.

WalePhotos said...

oh wow. that's horrible. i hope with time you get better.

nigeria is just scary in general. but like you said we just have to continue to pray for her.

God bless Nigeria.

p.s., don't leave us hanging in your blog anymore. some of us have become addicted. ;-) my regards to your fam!

africanprincess said...

I can relate. It really is disheartening and even without the crime, just thinking about so many other basic things that are diffficult/impossible.

Belle said...

You wrote that so! I feel the same way about our country. I love that country so much... but when i hear about stories like this, it scares me. We need an infrastructure. We need to pray and also act...

LondonBuki said...

I'm sending you a virtual hug through Blogger!!!

Thank God for your family's lives! I cannot even imagine what they experienced!

Like Belle said, I hear these things about Nig and I get scared... I am even scared cos I am going back there for the first time in 8 years in Jan 2007. The best thing we can do is pray.

Please enjoy the rest of your week ad weekend and be happy cos your family is well.

Ms. May said...

@ enid: thank you! i hope things are well with you.

@ zai:i'm def thanking God, but it's the overall problem that bugs me. thank you.

@ icy: thanks girl. i know, and i'm hanging in there.

@ walephotos: u asked for it! lol. but thanks for the good wishes and i will try to update more regularly.

@ africanprincess: you're so right. it's so hard to move forward when EVERYONE doesn't have access to basic needs.

@ belle: thank you so much. i def agree that we need to act...i think our generation, especially those of us abroad are better equipped to try to start chipping away at some of the problems. love your blog!

@ londonbuki: thanks for the hug. back at you. i admire so much how you openly share what is going on in your life and with your mom. it is well with your family. and don't worry, i'm sure you'll have a fabulous time in Nigeria regardless of everything that goes on. for me, it's being able to spend time with fam and friends, and all the Naija gra gra that remind me why i love the place so much.

Olawunmi said...

hey ms may, i understand what you're going through.its a tragedy that the people are not safe back home, and nothing is being done to rectify this.

its one of the reasons why i was so upset that tafa balogun (the former cheif of police) was only jailed for 6 months after all that he had done. a good amount of money gets voted for security, and a good quantity of that gets appropriated for the selfish ends of our protectors.

i feel for your family. they must have felt so violated. but lets thank God that they were left unharmed. in the end, that is the greatest blessing of all. the robbers will meet an ugly end, and the things you lost will be replaced.

Happy Birthday. at least u don't have the cloud of a tragedy in the family hanging over that date for the rest of your life....

oya, wey our cake and rice jo? na fanta ginger ale me i wan drink o.

Ms. May said...

@ olawunmi: ose o ti fe r'erin pa!!! no worry....i don send the rice and kno sey na yankee wey me i dey so i no find fanta ginger you fit manage fanta orange? lol

Bella Naija said...

Thank God noone was seriously hurt..
It will be well!

albibie said...

Happy belated birthday!

So sorry about what happened back at home. It's such a shame that these things occur and we pray that it will never be repeated

You were right to be angry and Thank God everyone is safe.

Try to move past it for your sake and your parents so that u don't live in fear of what might happen since you can't control it

You will be fine!

I just wanted to encourage you.

Biodun said...

I am a tad bit late, but all the same, am sorry to hear about the robbery, naija can be a scary place to live atimes. Happy belated birthday too n you should still do something big I suggest, it was the big 25 right? Praying for our country is always a good thing.

Soul said...

I just read this and I'm enraged and outraged.
Firstly, how's mum?. Is she okay? i hope she wasn't too badly shaken. The same goes fr your dad and your brother.. I hope they are well.
One feels violated when stuff like that happens. This is one of the reasons why I'm seriously considering not returning to Naija.

Nevertheless, I'm am extremely glad that your family were not maimed or worse.
It's times like this that I really need to get on my knees and thank God for small mercies in protecting both the people that i know and those who I don't.

Be well.

bibi said...

this is quite sad..its so annoying how unruly nigeria is...thank God for his mercies and protection..Glad everyone was fine..everything else can be replaced but a life can't be.