It was on a Friday news of the virus hit me for the first time. I was with friends when I started to get reports, calls and messages from family and friends in other locations. Reality didn’t hit until three days later when schools and all other public places began to shut down. Then it dawned on me; the final defense I had been looking forward to for months was no longer a feasible event, everything was shut down. I had to hurry down home just in time before the curfews were enforced.
Now came the second part of my struggle; living basically under house arrest. Stuck indoors not by choice but by necessity, having to maintain the strict guidelines, living with anxiety and fear, waking up to the news of people dying everyday (both people I was familiar with and otherwise). Nothing was the same anymore. In all of this some friendship bonds were strengthened, new bonds forged and some bonds broke sadly. For the first couple months I was lost, I lost touch with myself and reality I was basically drifting cause nothing prepares one for
the sort of year we’ve had. At some point it seemed like I’d found a new light in the darkness of the pandemic but that fire burned out as quickly as it was lit. LOL.
Slowly but surely with a bit of intentionality I began to find purpose again and started to channel my energy towards being productive; writing being my niche, I put my focus there and it helped me regain some control and sanity. Fortunately, I got engaged with this platform and its been a beautiful ride thus far; working with fellow young creatives and putting out content that other people across the world can relate to is a joy. Knowing that now people can read my work and gain from it is a surreal feeling and it’s humbling.
Then the protests came along and I had never been prouder to be a young person in Nigeria. RIP to everyone we lost during the protests and kudos to those who held strong in the fight. I pray we all live to see the country we dream of. In spite of it all, God’s been good, we’ve survived the worst of it and we’re here seeing the backend of the worst of it.
All in all, its been a refining experience these last few months; I can say I am not the same person I was back in February and I’m grateful for that and grateful for everything it’s taken to get to this point.
Looking forward to what 2021’s got in store; hopefully no more pandemics.
Osi Elame, Contents and Operations Director, BYJOLAA