Thursday, 19 March 2015

       We are told repeatedly, 'You all filled your Jamb forms by yourselves' which I'm guessing we all did (hopefully). At times when listening to a boring lecture, I ponder and ask why anyone would voluntarily decide to choose and study a course that requires a lot of voluminous reading and assimilation. What kind of spirits inhabit us that day in, night out we trudge on trying to understand everything about the human body. This is no mean feat and I continuously wonder why we don't just give up.
           I try to justify that it's probably the monetary reward, but it isn't. An oil company worker could easily make more than a doctor without blinking an eye. A politician gets a doctor's yearly salary in like a month ...or less since this is Nigeria we are talking about. Really, it has to be beyond that. I still have no explanation beyond selfless service but that just isn't it as well.
            In a dark and twisted way, I see a lot of doctors and aspiring ones as sadists. I recall our first contact with cadavers. Before we even got into the lab, there was so much joy on faces that we were about to walk into a room filled with corpses on each table. This can't be normal, I thought to myself. We stepped into the room, and there was a scramble. Every one wanted to have the 'best' cadaver to work with. It was basically like a selection process. 'That one on table B is too skinny, barely any muscles. That one has a 6 pack. The one on table A is perfect'. I was beyond stunned. It was like we had all transformed into something else. What shocked me the most was that I was undergoing the transformation also. The human body in rigor mortis thrilled me beyond words. I wanted to explore, to palpate every part of the body. A few years ago, I shuddered to even look at a corpse on tv. It's all part of the transformation process I guess. Sometimes, I look at myself and wonder if I'll someday be the doctor with the stereotypical terrible writing. I guess, this is how it all begins.
       If there's anything I took out of the lab that day, it is that I learnt to value life more than anything. I look forward to other transformations as I'm sure my colleagues do. Most importantly, I look forward to one day saving a life with these hands that roam gleefully and wondrously over a corpse. The long years ahead which will be filled with studying would be worth it for just that. I hope this is not delusional.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

What Your Pastor Won't Tell You

          Your pastor won't tell you this, mine didn't either. 
     With that being said, contrary to everything you've heard, almost every Nigerian will go to heaven. I dare say that the majority of people in heaven will be Nigerians. Let me give you a background story. Nigeria is a country riddled with violence, insecurity and gra-gra. For anyone to survive in Nigeria, you have to effuse a whole lot of gra-gra. Somebody mistakenly steps on your shoes in public, you have to shout and possibly retaliate. You have to be constantly prepared to exchange words or even fight with the most random stranger. This spirit of gra-gra life is passed down from generation to generation. It's in us and it is even taught in primary schools. Remember those nursery school songs like 'Nzogbu nzogbu Enyimba' that involved a lot of feet-stamping and air-punching? There are many others.nI still don't know what 'nzogbu-nzogbu' means but by the ferocity with which the song had to be sung, you are taught early that Nigeria is not a country for songs and rhymes about lilies and roses. It is a gra-gra nation. 
        Where am I headed with this? Just keep going. Now, if you check your dictionary you'll see that gra-gra is the antonym of the word meek. (You can't find it? I didn't tell you to not use an updated 
dictionary). But at least, you've learnt it. A little more research still and it involves the Holy book. It says in Matt. 5:5 that the meek shall inherit the earth. Now, I didn't write that but with a little knowledge of antonyms from primary school and simple grammar, we can simply substitute saying "the gra-gra shall inherit heaven". If that doesn't convince you and you need further proof, look at verse 3 . It says, 'the poor in spirit will inherit heaven.' Not poor physically, but poor in spirit. No country could have people with poorer spirits than this dear nation, Nigeria. It's even a given what with erratic power supply and bad governance and you complete the rest. It's in the holy book y'all that most of us (fellow Nigerians) will make heaven. 
             And yes, once more. Your pastor won't tell you this but I did.