While enroute to a friend’s domain some days back to pick up one of my photography gadgets, I had to board a bike that was being driven by a hausa man. In this part of the world, many know hausa men to be dangerous bike drivers but I sensed this one would be different. Besides, I’m used to taking risk with trusting people that many don’t trust.
Midway into our 3-mins journey, it occurred to me that if a pregnant woman was being driven on that road she would either go into labor or lose the pregnancy. To say that the road was terrible will be an understatement. The road was bad. Very bad.
At one point, we came across a group of people fighting over a particular issue. I found myself looking in the direction but quickly turned my head to face forward as I was attempting to discipline myself to be conscious of what goes into this big head of mine. As I turned to face forward, I saw that my professional hausa driver was also looking at the scene while driving. He was quicker to return his face to face the task in front of him. At that moment I knew I had entered the right Okada.
My journey to my friend’s house was a quick reminder of my/our journey in LIFE. The life journey is almost always NEVER on a perfectly smooth road. Like the roads in some parts of Lagos State, it is a bumpy and sometimes uncomfortable experience. Sometimes in an attempt to win over people into the Christian faith, we’ve subtly deceived them into believing that the road will be smooth once they sign up on the lifetime membership. Such lies can’t be farther from the truth. Even the forerunner of our faith – the manGod Jesus – had a bumpy ride while on his short journey here. And that’s why He promised not to leave or forsake us. Instead of focusing on the distractions that exist at every bus stop, He was quick to focus on ensuring He completes the journey without a fatal accident even though His final destination seemed fatal.
For me, that short Okada journey was one of the most exciting journeys I’ve embarked on in the last few decades. Especially when you consider the fact that a plate of Nafdac-approved party jollof rice with fried meat and moimoi plus Malta Guiness was waiting for me at my final destination, I would gladly take such a ride over and over again. (The things we do for food, may God deliver some of us).
It’s so easy to be among the 99% that easily fall into the habit of complaining about the roughness of the road. It’s even easier to blame the government or compare them to a foreign one when it comes to the affairs of our lives. It’s so easy to compare our lives with our those of our colleagues living abroad and conclude that the roads abroad are not just smoother but the life is smoother also (& in most cases that is indeed true). But then we fail to realize that the greatest & most influential people that have lived on this earth many times did so in the toughest and most BUMPY period. Or who else could be more wicked than a biblical king that decided to kill ALL children of a certain age just because He was jealous? Who does that?
As I got down at my destination, I thanked the Hausa Okada man in such a way that you would have thought he was the Emirates Airlines pilot that just landed me in Dubai for the ongoing Expo. He smiled at me in Hausa for compensating him more than what he normally would have collected for such a trip. I smiled back in English for the life lessons I had learnt in just 3 minutes of a bumpy road ride to a destination that sounds like the name given to a Yoruba medicine.
The important lesson I learnt is that although the road may be bumpy, if we focus on where we’re going and not get easily distracted, jollof rice with assorted orisirisi plus Zobo awaits us literally, figuratively & metaphorically at the end of the road if we faint not. Or what other lesson can you carve out from my experience with my Hausa Okada Driver & the Bumpy Road.