You are unable to find sleep; something makes it evade you. You cannot say what it is, you just know you need to write. It’s a longing, an itch. To tell it as it is in your soul, to let the world know how you feel. So you give in to this itch, this longing that won’t leave you alone. This thing that wants you to make ‘her’ known, make her heard, make her seen. You get up, turn on your computer and begin to write.
You tell the story, as it is in your heart, you tell it how you want others to perceive it, you tell it without mincing words. After all, you are a visionary. You are here to correct ills with your pen serving as a tool, to refract errors by lending your voice with the pen. You write it all – the tales of corruption, of extortion, of death, of promises unmet, all of it. It is as clear a picture as it is in your head. Oh, so clear it is!
You write the story of a heart broken, a heart destroyed because it had dared to trust. You write the story of betrayal, of distrust, of longing! Your notepad has become your shrink, your channel of peace. So, you write to let it all go.
You write so that the demons can go to sleep and let you get some too. Your fingers bleed as you tap the keys impatiently, still you do not relent. Now that the job is done, you publish it and finally get your much deserved sleep.
Morning comes and you are greeted by a notification of Temidire’s birthday. So you login to Facebook with the intention of giving her a shout out. That done, you decide to take a lazy stroll through the streets of Facebook. Just then, you think to yourself how much the social media platform has changed, since it first became a thing in Nigeria…. then a post on your feed catches your attention. That’s when you realise whose words they are. Yes, the same words you wrote that long night when sleep robbed you of rest – the ones you wrote to pour out your heartfelt pains and grief.
You don’t lose hope; you scroll down towards the end of the article content with the hope of possibly finding your name at the end of the article as the author. You scroll to the end of the page, only to find that your name is nowhere in sight, yet you do not lose hope.
After all, in your haste to scroll to the end, you might have missed your name at the beginning of the article, so you scroll back up and that’s where you find it: ‘Article Written by Peter Fakeye‘.
You feel hurt, like a knife has just gone through your chest. These are your thoughts, your ideas, your hours of fluidity, of trying to string your thoughts into without being unnecessarily verbose; and then someone takes credit for all your hard work simply by copying and pasting? You feel like your intellectual depth has been raped by a total stranger, invaded without permission. Your insides plunge in without the barest concern. You feel like a child bride taken by force, by that rich Alhaji.
You wonder how to relieve this pain, how to rise out of this hurt. Then your eyes go to the screen ahead of you as your feet lead you. You sit on that chair, grab the keyboard closer and begin to write again! You let your notepad lead you through therapy as your pain gets unleashed, on the journey to recovery!
This is to the ones who rob us – those who take what we work for, slave for and make them theirs. It is to the ones who call themselves imitators of our art, but who are really thieves, if truth be told. This is to the ones who have become thorns in our flesh, parasites. Cheers to the ones who rob us.