Wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for your shokoto

Photo credit: Me.

I was once a student of Kwara State Polytechnic for about 2 years.

I never graduated from there.

Looking back, I was living my life and engaging in all those other activities on auto pilot; no personal vision or even a conscious thought of what I wanted to do personally.

So, there I was, in my then completely scattered and anyhow fashion, as we say in Nigeria, forming being in school without actually being registered. I was unable to pay the fees because I was alone and poor. So poor! But then, as exams approached and the threat of not being able to sit for them became real, it was time for the pretense to end. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone. I was so ashamed. However, I did pray! Constantly.

But faith without works couldn’t have been more dead.

To make this situation even more hilarious (if it wasn’t so unfortunate and serious), I rode to and from school daily with my then Pastor, who happened to be a lecturer at the school! The solution was right there in front of me but the shame I felt held be back from telling him I was in a school fees quagmire.

Then one day it happened. I stumbled on a text in my bible that was marked, meaning that I had encountered it before. And then, salvation came!

Apparently, I was my own problem.

“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may do it?” …..

No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may do it” Deuteronomy 3:11–14.

Which brings me to the title of this post, a Nigerian saying which, [loosely] translated, means, “what you seek in a far land is actually much closer to you than you think”.

Then came the realization that no one was going to help me if they have no idea that I have a problem and in dire need of help. I don’t have to tell you what my lecturer-pastor’s reaction was when I eventually found the courage to speak up: utter disbelief.

Thus, my studentship was saved. And that day, a lot more.

‘The word is near you, in your mouth…’

This experience came to mind because I found myself dangerously heading back into that rabbit hole again and needed to pull myself back.

The fear of rejection and shame hold us back, perhaps, legitimately so. But the human mind is limited; no one should be burdened with not responding to what they are not aware of. Thus, we do people an injustice when we judge them for not responding to problems that we are yet to articulate — setting unnecessary traps and complicating relationships. Our emergency may not necessarily be someone else’ priority, nor should we expect it to be, however, we should give people a chance by doing our own part.

Having said that, I understand that it is entirely possible that talking about our problems might not always have the outcome that we hope for. As it might no doubt have been in some cases, rather than find a solution, the reverse could have been the case. Still. Seeking help should not been seen as a weakness.

Given our current social environment, remaining silent and in pain is surely not an option? Our mental health is at risk! Please speak up.

Your life might actually depend on it.

It is in thy very mouth...

May you always know where to go, and may you always see the solution when it is right in front of you.



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Zainab Musa

Proudly Nigerian. Muses but finds it difficult to put pen to paper…when put, vacillates between ‘to post or not to post!’ What you see…