Saturday, July 10, 2010


The sun was so bright that day but its light was nothing compared to the light that I saw in her eyes. She was beautiful not because she had all the perfect features but because a perfect light shone forth from within her. As I thought of this mysterious light I heard her weak voice, but I did not hear her words. I looked around for Frank my friend and interpreter but he was nowhere around. I walked over to her bed side and sat down; I spoke to her with my eyes and my heart for I knew she would not understand the words of my mouth.

I felt like I had known her forever, like she was a part of me, but how could she be? The sun set and sooner than I expected, I had to leave her for it had become dark and she needed rest. On my bed that night I tossed and turned, I could not sleep. My mind wondered of to places that I had never physically gone before. I wonder now if I was losing my mind or I was just thinking of that little girl whose life changed so much in just two weeks as a result of man’s greed and his insatiable desire for power.

Morning came and like sand particles against the wind, I found myself floating once again to her bedside. This time fortunately I was with Frank. Aisha was no longer on her bed, she was nowhere in the tent, in fact no one but her mother was there. With a peaceful smile on her lips, she said something which I later discovered meant “she is alive”. This was ironical to me because Frank explained later that Aisha had breathed her last early hours of that morning. He made me understand that the Goro people saw death as life and life as death. When a child was born, they mourned and when a person died they rejoiced for they believed that death brought freedom and life to every soul.

I have never been more speechless in my life, I thought of the disparity between their world and mine, about their simplicity, their strength and most importantly their sense peace. I had totally forgotten why I was there, each day I learnt something new. In my quite time however I would remember that I had come there to teach, but how could I teach this people who were already the masters of their lives? I realized that I was so empty and they were full, what I thought I had, was only a drop when compared with their river of knowledge. I had nothing to teach them so I chose to learn instead.

I know now that nobody can know it all, that you can only learn when you accept your ignorance, that everybody has something good to teach and that no one is too primitive like we sometimes think. Aisha and many other children in her community died because a certain Mining Company decided that human lives were less important than the diamonds they were trying to find. They died because the so called people on top valued no one’s life but their own and because they were considered a small price to have to pay for a truck load of diamonds. Aisha and the other little ones died because of the greed of a few rich men!!!!

The Goro people believe that the way one lives his life on earth is important because it determines how he will live when he is free “dead”. Strangely, these people believe that a woman is a man’s only equal and the world can attain a state of harmony only when the two work together. They believe that whatever they give to the world or to others, the universe with God as its head will give back to them. So they try their best to live according to the Golden Rule and believe me when I say that they are people with golden hearts.

John Newton, writer of the popular song “Amazing Grace” was a preacher as well as the captain of a slave ship long before he realized that God made all men and women equal. His ships were responsible for transporting 20,000 slaves before he began to see the truth, a truth that is taking an eternity for the whole of mankind to discover.

The human race is a very interesting one, because we are all so different yet so amazingly alike. Different colors, shapes, heights, creeds, cultures, the list can go on for pages so I’ll just stop right here. The whole idea is to point out the fact that we have an astonishing list of differences, but even amidst those differences we are all just human………Don’t you think?

The color of a man’s skin does not define who he is; neither does the color of his eyes. What truly shows you what a man is capable of is the color of his heart. Is it white and at peace with the world or is it yellow and real, perhaps it black and filled with grudges. This color scheme fortunately is all in my head, I often imagine that all our hearts are colored, each color explaining why we act the way we do………what color is your heart?

Most times it frightens me to admit that I know people more by their hearts than by their names: My friends, family and even people that I do not particularly get along with. I’m sure we all have a number of wonderful friends and what attracted us to them was probably the way they spoke or dressed at the time. But if you think about it right now, you’d realize that it is the quality of their heart that keeps you around…………Isn’t it

I believe that as humans it is easier for us to become obsessed with human qualities that will fade with time than it is for us to celebrate those qualities that will last a life time, that are not shattered by age, time or circumstance, qualities that stem from the heart. I will never judge a book by its cover, because beneath the cover lies the true story, what the book is really about. So it is with all human beings and so it will continue to be………. Do you judge a book by its cover?

Years, months and even weeks ago, lives were lost because of silly labels and views, that one was not equal to the other or as important as he. The apartheid, slave trade, killing of Jews and so on were as a result of one man’s desire to be superior and on top of another. But what kind of a heart would believe that the world was created for him alone even when others exist in it and that it is his prerogative to eliminate the others hence creating a perfect world…….have you wondered too?

I have never understood why we cannot get passed our own version of pride and prejudice, why we think we are stronger when we are hard and inhuman to another. I think it all boils down to fear, fear of the unknown, fear of the next person’s abilities, fear that he might just be better than us and an inability to watch him rise above us……… Can you identify with this?

But the world is not stationary and circumstances are by no means static. What rises will fall and what is down will someday move up. Some people say that change is the only constant thing in life, but I don’t only say it…………. I believe it!!!!
Lets us become the positive change we want to see today!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Am really touched, considering that i just got back from the Apartheid museum and all the places where Apartheid has been registered in South Africa, i feel this note will do well on the walls of Nelson Mandela house in Soweto. Great piece my dear.

Jennifer Osuide said...

Thanks darling.......I often pray that one day my words will make a difference...thanks for reading and telling me what you honestly think.

Tahir said...

Brilliant. I love it. Please keep it up and I bet you Nigeria and the world will soon celebrate you. sannu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

deeojadua said...

The world is already celebrating u in her silent quarters. Dis man amongst many make up d foray of ardent n stal(rific) fans.