Let me tell you a bit about death. Of leaving here into another reality.
For quite a while, I became unafraid of it. Of drawing the last breathe. Mine.
But today isn’t the day I talk about my indifference to death and it’s lingering shadow.
Today isn’t the day I talk about the consciousness of the process by which I’ll transit into the afterlife (I believe in one).
Today is the day you know what I saw at 10 and how we die on social media several years from that day.
I was 10 and in JSS 1. The small, short and tiny student in Command Day Secondary School, Ojo: that was me.
One of those days, I was going home with my friends: Peter and Paul after fighting karate in school.
We always fought karate in school after school hours or during the break period or after our Arabic classes (most especially); me, Peter, Paul, Chigozie and late Uyi.
Our close female friends, Cynthia and Jacqueline never participated in our karate ish because pinafore and other stuff. Jacqueline, the first Nigerian-French I ever met; so cute and tender.
After classes that day, we boarded a bus to Ojo cantonment gate. When we got to the gate and crossed it, we had to climb this bridge to cross over to board a bus heading to Mile 2. I was to stop at Mile 2 and the twin at Alakija.
But as we climbed that bridge, we saw a corpse. It wasn’t funny at all. It was the corpse of a mad woman while she was alive on earth.
We stood there, transfixed to a spot, thinking the same thing, “Make we run pass the deadi body or make we go back?”
A question with no definite answer.
Few seconds later, we got our guts back from the evil spirit that stole them; I’m sure it didn’t realize we borrowed it our guts for some seconds. We turned and ran back like mad.
That memory still lingers in my head till date.
Another incident that’s almost similar played out months later. I was still 10 or 11.
Mumsy came to get me from school and as we got to under bridge bus stop that leads to Trade Fair Complex, a speedster knocked someone down.
The individual somersaulted and landed headlong on the coal tarred road. Blood dribbled from his head onto the road.
Our bus screeched to a halt as mumsy and other passengers screamed, “Driver stop. Stop this bus.”
We fled that bus as did other passengers and almost everyone on the road.
Fast forward to the ALUU4, my curiosity led me to watch the video of the lynching.
I didn’t sleep well for more than a week. I kept seeing the guys burning, reiterating how they struggled to free themselves when they were being burnt and how their parents felt on hearing their children died. By lynching.
I wish I never watched that video. The video of humans like me being roasted like chickens, in the presence of other humans.
That was the height for me. I lost it somewhere along the line. My imagination stayed stuck on those scenes for almost forever.
With each of these experiences and every other experiences I decided not to mention here, I’ve lost a bit of my self.
I’ve come to that point where I’m on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria and I’m worried how many people around here has a functional heart with empathy and emotions and can refrain from doing a murder on another human.
That has been my worry.
That’s why despite my love for tech, I’m beginning to see some humans on social media as a syringe ready to inject the virus of death into my psychology and emotions any given day.
That is dangerous. A crazy way to live life in the days of tech.
When did we become unafraid to post, tweet, gram and snapchat grotesque images and videos of death? When?
When did we allow and permit the unsavoury taste of death become delicious?
Where did we lose it to digital cameras taking and exchanging beheaded humans, fatal accidents and the likes?
We’ve come close to becoming a narcissistic community of eulogies.
That’s the reason why I stopped reading or watching the news at age 12 or 13: Story for another day!
For now, it’s wise we stop being the virus of death harbingers, however interesting that news is. And those pictures and videos of death, they’re not share-worthy; we don’t want to see it.
Don’t break that news and infuse a warped perspective of the worth of life into psyches of webtizens.