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Meet the Black_Quill.
Her origin, a mysterious clan.
Her people, keepers of a powerful secret.
With which they colour the sky,
And cause stars to rain.
Not by muttering of spells but by strokes of a pen.
Generation after generation, her people have woven silver words into marvellous tales.
You can call them the storytellers.
And she, nonetheless..
You believe the lie. That the darker you are, the uglier you be, That beauty lies in the fairest of skin. It isn't your fault you see. When the colonist came, To steal our lands, they conquered our minds. Black became associated with shame. And everything African was ridiculed. It affected your mind, And you began to feel less. Then you stripped yourself of your African-ness. Centuries passed, but the lie held it's spell. We claim independence, but yet to free our minds from its cell. My dear, it is time to step out of this chain. And our lost identity reclaim.
You know how some people say that there are days you can never forget, and how those days mark the beginning of a new life experience? Well, Thursday, 23rd May 2020 is that day for me. I was a graduate intern working with a firm but that was about to change. It was past five in the evening, the time is still registered in my memory because it was after work and the last customer had gone out the door. My colleagues and I sat in the hall facing Mr Cheryl. "Today we got an email from head office, all interns are to stay back home from now on." He addressed us. He further explained that it was due to the novel virus. I really did not know what to feel. This meant no more waking up by 5am, but it could easily mean no pay. It was the first time I felt the sting of the pandemic. Though the news of the ravaging effect of the virus was and still is everywhere on the news, it never occurred to me that I'd be affected by it. It always felt to me like some distant tale from another universe. Not until the Italian guy showed up in my country, crumbling my illusion of a safe haven. Thus including Nigeria in the united sigh of the world. I had no idea that day would mark the last of my internship. I picked up my bag, walked out of the firm and into the first page of my 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦 story. Pretty much the first page for a lot of other people in my country as Nigeria too, like some other affected countries, observed the pandemic imposed lockdown. Like most of the world, I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. Days seemed to swim in a blur of tedious leisures of bathroom singing, novel reading, sleeping, movie watching and a lot of other stuffs that got old, with each night washing into a new day. The hour hand that divided work hours from rest hours faded into the obscurity of the lockdown. The order of the world was upturned. Then there were accusations and counter accusations. In the middle of all these, mom had a brilliant idea, let me rephrase that, she had a brilliantly "energy sapping" idea. Since we were all home, and the world was experiencing a united lockdown, she thought it the best time to give to mother earth. And so, fearing the universe might experience an economic melt down, mom set us all out into farming. We planted some maize seeds, a minute quantity of water melon seeds and a lot of cassava stems, which by the way was absolutely not my idea of fun. Though, to be totally sincere, the farming had it's bright side. For through the sweat dripping cultivation, my family got to do something together. Something that was productive too. And in a few months afterward, we were smiling to the farm to reap our harvest. So yeah, moms are pretty smart. Now, I know while my family was making family time out of ploughing the soil, the lockdown created a very trying period for the world and it felt like planet Earth and her inhabitants were trapped in a battery-less clock as time felt frozen. With the ever busy industries shut down like a wounded fox licking her sore paw. But more than the curse of the lockdown, we were given a gift. All of us. It was the gift of a pause from our ever busy lives, and in the quietness of the world's lockdown, we found ourselves... ...the part of us that had been hidden by the continuous efforts to make the world work. For me, I discovered the gift of writing, of expressing myself with the power of words and of painting the pictures in my mind on paper with the supplied varieties of letters. Something I'm thankful for. And more than that, it afforded me the time to carry out a lot of personal development, reading lots of books, plus I took some online classes that I never got around finishing -don't judge me, I bet half of the world's population didn't- and to add a feather to that hat, I plan on taking violin lessons soon. Worthy of mention too, is the quality family time it gifted us with, even though seeing one's siblings faces everyday could wear one out, especially if like me, you have two energetic younger brothers always trying to tear the house down. It is still something to cherish and be grateful for. And no matter what sad happenings the pandemic-imposed lockdown has caused, I see it as just one big interlude, you should too and soon enough we'd all get back to life as we know it, like some part of the world have already.
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