Ifeoma is one of my favourite facebook friends, her wit and wisdom and shiny pictures are a delight anyday. She is also a briliant writer- I’m featuring her post very soon, should have done it since but life happened. She made a post about how she accepts now that her alma mater was a glorified secondary school despite fiercely arguing about it with her father and a doting professor. Some people came to counter the post- as expected, and tried to change the focus of the narrative from the school to all government run schools in Nigeria. However, a conversation on that thread caught my eye and inspired this post.
“Rome was not built in a day”- a young woman said in response to Ifeoma’s blistering response to a comment and Ifeoma Ojeifo replied “Make una stop that thing. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it built forever?” I screamed “Yass!” when I saw her response, it warmed my heart that much.
I have been hearing that maxim since I was in nursery school (I left nursery school in 1993) and in 2017, we’re still saying that shit to excuse anything.
Demand better governance from your elected representatives– Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Demand accountability from human beings in office- Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Demand that government overhauls the health sector and creates a system where our hospitals do not remain conduits to the cemetery- Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Demand that our schools are equipped with learning aids and apparatus that do not come from prehistoric times– Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Demand that Teachers at all levels, policemen and military personnel are adequately remunerated for being the defence of the society from chaos and decay- Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Demand that the oppression of certain segment of society be eradicated and prejudice and marginalization buried forever– Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Demand a change in the system to allow creative minds thrive- Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“We’ve been sitting down for so long” is a line from one of my favourite songs- So long by Majek Fashek, it perfectly describes us and our penchant for doing nothing to change the status quo. Rome was not built in a day and it definitely wasn’t built by Romans sitting on their butts and mouthing platitudes. When are we gonna start doing? When are we gonna start demanding for change and following through to ensure that we get it? When are we gonna try another way? When are we gonna forget about Rome and when and how it was built and look at Africa and decide to make it far better than it is today?
It’s a long, arduous road to Uhuru, we might not get there in our lifetimes. However, may it never be said of us that we did not try. May our children not call us a wasted generation, may our ancestors not look on us with shame and lingering disgust when we return to them. Amen.