I Loved You…And Contacted The Virus

by Lakunle Jaiyesimi

When love settles in one’s heart, it could bring within it tools to destroy one. I am moved to say therefore that love moves not without its retinue of counterparts – hate, destruction and the likes.

I was once a savvy young man, who never loved a woman but gave a hand of friendship. This was the introduction of a protégé’s almost personal confessions to me, the first time I visited him at his bedside. It turned around and I graduated. He continued. I loved her. And she loved me, that I became a tool in the government of her womanhood. She heightened her pride and was in total control. She was attractive and I was addicted. I lost my savvy, but really I think I enjoyed myself. In the end, a scientific report was brought, whose authenticity I still doubt, as to the brief of my HIV – status. The disbelief was because only two of three Lab. Reports said yes; one had said no. I tested in three Labs.

The hullabaloo about AIDS had doctored the issue to a level where no one is sure what to happen next. I even heard, not all AIDS people die any more. Cures are everywhere; some others refute this. Whatever the politics of AIDS, multitudes have died to the dreaded four-lettered word. And here I lie like a withering stalk of mushroom, like millions of many others expecting a final whistle, either of doom or survival. Who cares who pulls the strings; whether it be god or some sophisticated political scientists!

My protégé’s words echo that I had thought about a group of young jobless lads, recently gambling away stolen money. They are college graduates seeking all means of survival. They were mouthing the possibility of striking a profit-oriented deal to declare selves HIV-positive individuals. They were sure it was going to turn out as their jackpot.

It never gave another perspective until recently when I came to observe the marauding display of the Campaign of calumny put on by people who paraded themselves as the mouthpiece of the people.

The political Power loves them; absorbs them; and transfer the virus to them.

They become infected with the art of State mischief and the lengthy words intricately woven to herald a mesh that hopes to conceal their nefarious dealings with the national treasury, image and pride. These are Nigerians that, over many years, have conscientiously groomed themselves for the Ministries of Aviation, Culture and Tourism, Information and, no wonder Communications was freshly introduced to justify the office of a Minister gifted with in the art of rhetoric brainwashing.

It is in the circumstance when a critic, technocrat, public protester, labour leader loves Power and render their subjugation to it that we record the overnight elevation of ‘status’; a shift in comradeship to Chief-ship; a change-over from long-drawn sandals to a cart-drawn pair of shoes, and from a simple shirt and a pair of trousers to a shamelessly flowing native regalia or the western alternative.

They usually and always contract the virus and this leads them into other, once absurd, engagements.

The second time I visited my protégé, he informed me that before undergoing the test, he had slept in same bed with several other ladies. He was scared that if truly he had the mystical virus, then all those ladies had it soon after. What a pity! I had related this with how much other followers would contact the virus from these ‘public servants’-turned political bureaucrats. The situation we find ourselves in is such that an average youth tells himself or herself, if so so so and so could do so so so and so, then who am I…? The initial so so so and so refer to respectable society men and women, who appeared to have sworn to stand by their principles and fight till the lot of the masses is better. The latter one referring to atrocities, financial crimes, personality fraud, ‘above the law’ or the sister ‘smarter than the rule of law’ tendencies.

The question my contemporary asks himself/herself, “who am I…” concludes with “…not to steal?” “Who am I not to steal, if so so so and so can?” This brings us to the very quintessence of this voyage; a rather dozy situation of misplaced national identity and unqualified national placement. Every average youth dreams, not of greatness through hardwork, but of plundering most of the national wealth, if only allowed to get to the MainGates of the Power compound. Asking, in their view, for the corridors of Power might be keeping a cat in watch of fried oily meat. Much a request! Just the gate of Power is sufficient to do all the plundering.

To become an instant success, it is only now fashionable to seek political office, either through an elective or selective process. It goes round and round in a vicious circle. I LOVED YOU…AND I CONTACTED THE VIRUS. I CONDONED AND LOVED power; it appoints me to office. I plunder national resources. I embellish the treachery of my people with a well-trimmed moustache and cute face, fluent English, and a command of aristocracy. And I alter societal thinking and national orientation forever. What legacy do I have for people coming behind? An eroded land! A stagnant or receding nation. A nation that moves one step forward and two backwards? A nation of technocrats, geniuses and the physically able who prefer to either enter the Gates of Power or leave the shores of the country. What is left is a disoriented nation. A nation led to the slaughter by high-sounding gamers.

When the welfare of the children in a family is not taken care of, turning them into outcasts, miscreants, rapists, fraudsters, and other social bugs, are they to blame; or the father who loved a whore and like an obsequious servant, follows her everywhere, abandoning the rightful grooming of his family? A once virtuous and disciplined father who now patronizes the vices of a whore!

When one loves a whore who is infected, one gets the virus and transmits it to several others, who in turn continue the network transmission. The society is gorged with the disease and has become homogenously ill. The streets are deserted; the homes, still; the heart of people cold and their pulse rapid. The NATION IS SICK AND IT MOURNS. Yet, father trails the whore about; more will join the train. Our world becomes devastatingly ill; severely dealt with blows of insanity, what then is the hope of survival? When cankerworms become the lot of our standing heritage, structural legacies and cultural monuments, do we talk of a saving grace?

Shall we then look on or shout down the excesses of these national plunderers and usurpers, who once posed as genuine altruists? Shall we then stay home covered with fright rather than go for peaceful protests to drive our points home? What keeps us back; the IG’s declaration of war on protesters? Shall we recede to our libraries, read papers and jerk at selves for the nation’s shamelessness? Shall we sit and win the supreme crown of cynicism? Shall we continually pledge our support to a system that has been hijacked by members of bloody capitalist cabals? Shall we rouse ourselves or lazily stroll into the fog of colourful words memorized by our lost father(s)? Shall we? Shall we lie in bed, rotting away, organ after organ and wait for the final whistle?

The third time I visited my protégé also turned out to be the last. He loved the whore…and contacted the virus and I then found out that he was dead!!!

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