Nine years ago, I visited a powerful comrade who was one of my best friends. While his dad was away, a visitor came, so we asked the visitor to wait. He barely sat for five minutes when he turned to me and said, “Young man, you’re going places and your war is a great one, prepare for it.” Then he faced my friend too and told him, “You’re a world celebrity to be, a big glow subduing all darkness. You will be very powerful in world politics and even after you’re gone, millions will write about you.”
He left after that, and when my friend’s father returned, he denied knowledge of acquaintance with any man of such description. We waited for the man but he never showed up again. Theories were made on who he might be, but all those don’t matter anymore, my friend died a year later and all his brilliance, dreams and visions of greatness were buried with him. So a certain threat hit me, prophecies of greatness from clergymen assure nothing. I realized, man is not only required to dream, he’s also required to protect his dreams in whatever way possible. The responsibility of protecting those dreams rests solely on his shoulders before, perhaps, it rests on any divine Being’s.
Being born an ambitious man is like being cast into Atlantic Ocean, the swim is endless. Getting tired means drowning and death, and so, we’re left with no option than to tirelessly flap our arms and ignore the muscular pains. Today, you may be told by a prophet that you’ll become a governor or a president, but that, my friend, does not mean you cannot die tomorrow. That, my friend, again, assures you nothing. Do you want to tell me that the children who died young were not destined for anything in life and were destined to only die unripe? The realest part now, be aware, your family would weep and soon forget and the same prophet, I repeat, the same prophet who told you you’ll be UNO Secretary is the one who would preach to your family after you’re dead that your death is God’s wish; that that’s how God had planned it. Your girlfriend would weep too but would soon giggle at the titillation of another man’s tickles, another man messing around her explicit geography. You’ll be forgotten and the office of the UNO Secretary prophesied for your butts would never know you existed. The prophet who told you the prophecy would say nothing can happen out of God’s schedule, he was told by God that he’s going places too, wasn’t he? Yet, before he crosses the road, he firstly looks right and left. What’s he afraid of? You don’t know? This is it. He sure as hell knows if he’s hit by a Dangote truck, he would die and the prophecy wouldn’t wake him up to say c’mon, you’ve not fulfilled me. He knows that the threat is real, that the threat is alive, he just wouldn’t tell you.
The mysterious messenger told me I’m gonna fight a great war, I should prepare for it. Maybe if he had told my friend the same thing and not a pesky assurance that he’ll be a world celebrity, maybe my friend would’ve prepared to fight too and thusly not die just wastefully. Let me tell you a secret of what we young men are afraid of mostly, poverty, that we’ll not be poor, that’s what we go to church to earn/hear, not because we love God. Argue with your conscience.
All through secondary school and NCE days, I was always learning, but my real education however, started after the last sand was deposited on my dad’s grave. I discovered that I was entitled to nothing that a polygamous father owned and that no prophecy was reliable. A year before my dad’s murder, a prophet told him no human born of a woman could ever kill him, that turned out to be a joke, didn’t it? No will was written in my favour, no money was kept for me, no treasure was meant for me; I was on my own. And then, the education that some people will never know until they’re forty started for me at my early twenties. I realized that people only respected and/or feared me because of my dad’s influence. He hardly hit the ground when attacks started coming from everywhere, both physically and spiritually, from relatives, friends and neighbours. Life became very difficult and you see, nobody except mum gave a damn! Nobody cares about anybody in this life. If someone would care, it’ll be someone you never imagined would care; your angel. Your relatives are only jovial with you because you’re not their responsibility to bear. If you are, you’ll come to constant usage of this sentence, “He’s not picking my calls!”
On one Sunday morning after it became certain that my girlfriend was gone too, I picked a sheet of paper and wrote a prophecy for myself. Because it appeared after all, all earlier prophecies were fake. The only prophecy that is real is the one we pragmatically write by/for ourselves.
I wrote: “The man, Moshood Babatunde Adebayo is a great man if he sees himself as such, and from today henceforth that he sees himself as such, he rules his own destiny; he builds his own legacy; he ceases to be a child; he’s a warrior now, bandoliers slotted with poisoned arrows across his chest. There shall be days he’ll laugh, he shall be aware that laughter is distractive. There shall days he’ll cry, he shall be aware that tears do not move a pin. Days he’ll be right there shall be, days he’ll be wrong, days he’ll conquer, days he’ll be beaten, days he’ll be proud, days he’ll feel like a total joke, but again, to him shall it be known, that emotions are noises, the only thing real in the crowd of the noises is the goal, not even the ephemeral warmth of a local comfort must give him a sense of fulfillment. His victories shall not delude him into thinking he cannot lose; his loss must not reduce him into thinking he cannot win. He shall have good things but shall never be foolish to think he cannot lose them; and he shall not be so timid to think what is lost is irretrievable. He shall be aware he’s finished if he allowed laziness in his soul. He shall not relent, he shall fight, he shall fight, he shall fight, and then he shall be aware that death is inescapable, and someday, like all men, he shall close his eyes forever, in moans of lovers. And after he’s gone, he shall be compared with his father in whose shadows he lived in the earlier days of his life, and indeed, he shall be said to have performed better than he, to have been better than his father in everything. He shall be a gentleman, jovial but disciplined, humble but confident, a topic for history classes he shall be if he’s willing to take risks every now and then. This, being an ultimate prophecy superseding all other prophesies that are likely to be spawned from religious houses in the future, as received today from the hands of a hardened heart, in the presence of man and God, shall guide the hero’s life.”
I placed it in a frame and hung it on a wall, an ultimately sacred prophecy that tells the tale of my life in its entirety, superseding all other prophecies that are likely to come from Islamic, Buddhist, Traditional or Christian prophets. Nonetheless, this prophecy doesn’t work on its own, it requires constant sacrifice, and that is hardworking, persistence and prayers. I’m prepared to fight, I go after whatever I want, and I usually get them. Life has never been easy for me, but it’s not easy for anyone either. I only must struggle to make it easier for me and my neighbours. I’ll not listen to any clergyman assure me that I can’t be killed, I’ll carefully watch where I tread. Because I know it as a fact, that the threat is real, if one doesn’t work, no prophecy will work for one; the threat is alive.
Write your own ultimate prophecy today, my friends. I’m living by my own. Be aware, the threat is real.
-Lord eBay (and his random ruminations, 2017)