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Behind the Scenes

By Ridwan Sulaimon
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Being a leap year, twenty sixteen
World Stars converge on April fifteen
It’s all in celebration of my birthday
Greatness itself was born on this day
Reminiscence, I shake and nod
Dashed goals quake my head
Though the milestones warms at heart
The story seem preamble, even at that
Here I am, a year older
Like others, I struggle further
Tougher it gets, smarter we get
This Nation really milks one to death
I miss those teenage aspirations, they drove me
The utopian aims for the star, propelled me
Even if I haven’t reached the sky, yet
I’m no more on the ground, yes!
Where there is a will, they say there’s a way

With this, I take-up anything straightaway
A passion was all I thought I need
Alas, some things were never meant to yield
Here I am: the real realisation
I always want to inspire inspiration
All the years, I dream dreams
All my life, to teach thoughts
Yet in processes of employments
To teach in public establishments
I often forsake Participation
Such irony of our generation
This irony has a reason
Between passion and reason
Between dreams and surviva
For many young Nigerians, that’s the dilemma
I wish life was in semesta
In summer, I’ll opt for the externa
I need all the rest I can muster
This part of the world is sometimes a monster
Success stories merely stimulate
But Failure chronicles actually educate
Like mathematics, the earlier teaches the formula
Like further maths, the later proofs the formula
I concur: failure is an option
If everything agrees to your direction
Then you are not innovating sufficiently
This is my biggest lesson, sincerely
When my pockets were full,
I learned nothing, I was fool
Empty pocket teaches a million things
These are not wishes for unfortunate things
Lessons of life would be repeated
Until they are learned and digested
Although I have been through a lesson
Still living like this, seems I learned nothing
Growing up in a world of fury
Fellow compatriots and their misery
Poverty, Admission, Job and Fuel
Dollar –Naira, corruption, like hell
About three decades featuring in the play
The Directors have not changed all the way
Dippy and daft beyond reparation
Same stage, same scenes, story repetition
I hope this ‘Change’ is not a scam
Yahoo boys are full of storm
In the past, shoelessness was the agenda
In the end, it was ‘Transformation in Danger’

Mr President, travel all you want, even if in rove
Just stop telling me the same story, I already know

That was your card and you got my vote
All I need right now is a Change of jolt
Inside every tough man, a soft heart lies
In every great accomplishment, a dire need hides
Within every man of the people, a thirst for care is solemn

Behind the scenes, the need for help is common
Once you attain a level of growth
Indiscriminate lectures becomes your lot
‘Get married’ homilies unsolicited
I know, I know, much appreciated
O ye Ladies! I’ve been thinking
I’m educated, ‘monied’ and ‘God-fearing’

I’m overqualified, no need to jingle
Dear Ladies, how come I’m still single?
On the ‘adam’ of my new age
I woke up, with thoughts of a sage
How best to commemorate this day
Here I am: in such a small way
I’m grateful to God for this journey
Not really rosy, but somehow funny
I take responsibility for fame and blame
Cheering and booing proof you are in the game
It’s my birthday, don’t miss the gist
I get off the train for a day like this
Till further notice, I celebrate it all
Alhamdulillah, glory be to God
I’m not in contest for ‘man of the people’

I want to be fair, sincerely kind to people
However that translates, not really my worry
This is my life, for this I’m not sorry
To those who gave me some opportunities
Sometimes I scrabble, but I find possibilities
I’m just a human, filled with shortcoming
This is the real me, thanks for understanding
To many others I owe gratitude
I remember you every, in solitude
My debt to you is in high measure
Gracias, I appreciate your kind gesture
These quatrains are not a coincidence
Their quantity serves a quintessence
Even without a Birthday hymn
Subtly, they tell how old I am
SULAIMON is a writer and social researcher; today April 15, 2016 marks his birthday and he can be reached on +2347031042977 or via email [email protected] or via twitter: @SulaimonRidwan