16 Mar The Neighbours I do not Speak to
No one prepared me for this. Not one. I remembered how happy I was to announce at the start of the year that I would be starting up my NGO and doing plenty plenty stuffs. It sounded good to me. I mean why wouldn’t it? I had dreamt so long of doing this, volunteered on many projects, gotten myself involved in development projects and now I was ready to do all those fantastic projects I had in my head. It had to be good right? Or….Forget it. I had worked this whole thing out and I wasn’t going to let that fearful part of me get involved.
Anyway, I picked up my phone and had conversations with my former boss. She’s French and always so supportive of me. We had formed a very good friendship before she left for France. However, we weren’t always friends. We had our terrible times but hey that story is for another time. Let’s focus on this gist right before us. So we spoke and I told her my plans and then asked for her direction and involvement in it somehow. I told her I had my plans all over the place and needed her advice on where to begin. THAT I think was my very mistake. People, by the time she finished the explanations on what I needed to do, I knew the next decision to make. I was going to stop this rubbish and forget about the project. Abandoning the project or the audacity of the idea sounded like a better idea than proceeding. I think I mentally gave up…. Or I didn’t.
So, I slept and got haunted by dreams of the project and all the positive things that would come from it. Er… Before I continue to ramble on, I wonder, have I told you what the project is all about? No? Yes? Oh well, I’ll tell you. The project has two basic intentions which are to get out of school kids between the basic education age back to school and to go build schools in communities where they have none. So that being said, let’s continue the story. After the haunting dreams, I decided that I would take her advice. By the way, she was amazing. She told me what I needed to do. Her only crime was that she made me more aware of the huge work involved. LOL!
By morning I was tired of going over and over my decision to quit so I took an empty exercise book and wrote out some plans. I was going to begin the search for a project community. I put it out on social media, asking people to nominate communities and decided to also seek out some. This activity took me to meet MY NEIGHBOURS.
I selected a few communities around me based on suggestions from people. It turned out that those communities were just close to my area. I live in an Estate but the Estate has a village and other smaller communities with the same name. Funny. I mean I “know” of them but I’ve never been there so this Mohammed here decided to take a walk to visit the mountains around. It was no joke. First community I visited left my mouth open. I was surprised to see that people existed there. Kikiki. Just kidding on that BUT I am not kidding about the fact that there is a sharp difference between where I live and where my neighbours live. To be honest I think the estate is more of the community. I mean like village-style community where everyone seems to know the next person and you have all you need in there. School, market, shops, park etc. It is very closed. My neighbours, on the other hand, were more ‘urban’ in a sense than us! The so-called village title attached to it was a bloody deception. Yes, the place was in terms of infrastructure very different but in terms of society and lifestyle? That’s no village. I live in the village. LOL! These guys were living the life except for one thing. The kids had to trek to another district to attend school. I’ll see you guys in the follow-up post. Keep up with my journey from one community to the other 🙂
Photo: Kado Village, Abuja, Nigeria