2021: Wells of Mercies
I discovered “hyperlapse” , a camera feature on my smartphone. It compresses the length of videos into seconds, allowing one to see things in quick moments. I wish someone would just play a video of 36 years and just compress it to 36 seconds or preferably 360 seconds - 3 mins. What a beautiful sight would it be to see life’s “ila ilo” - the hustle to make meaning out of life. After the forced rest of 2020 as the universe took a break, 2021 was the opening of the valve and it was a mild gush, it was hard restarting from that lull.
It is very easy to forget this year existed, possibly just think about it as an extension of 2020.
I remembered when COVID-19 started, I was certain that it would be history in early 2021. I imagined that once we all received the vaccine, it was over for this reddish monster that has ended lives and crumbled economies. COVID-19 has refused to leave, it has mutated into a more aggressive variant known as Omicron. Like Feyi Fawehinmi quipped, “ you don't really catch COVID, it comes to you”.
I was locked inside the US for the large part of 2020 but I found that ease to see the world again in April 2021. I am grateful for being intentional in 2020 with goals, classifying into career and finances. How do you explain a man who tries to make sense of the budget for the country but won’t do the same for himself?
The beauty of 2021 is that it looks like a well-thought out year with little curve balls. I am glad to move houses in Lagos, celebrate BudgIT 10 years of civic awesomeness, walk my sister down the aisle and lock new support for our Covid-19 advocacy project. I am also happy to finish my book — The Existential Questions. What a relief. How about Chelsea winning the Champions League? Who would have believed that Havertz would be “in a pocket of space" under the lights in Porto? What a moment! History.
Kwerty didn’t get the lift that I hoped for but I am still bullish on the idea with a slight pivot. While I looked forward to an exciting end to 2021, Nigeria would rear with ugly head with a clear abuse of power launched towards my family. I will soak it all in. Freedom cometh soon.
I had some shocking moments like the deaths of Emilia Asim-Ita, Sound Sultan and Innocent Chukwuma. Those were very difficult days; moment to ask “what’s the worth of all of this"?
I am grateful for the opportunity to see the turn of another year. I always tell anyone close to me that I offer two prayers: May we not be tempted (our faith tested) beyond our abilities and may God’s mercy continue to abide with us. We are just extensions of God’s mercy.
By works of the flesh and inquities, we are fit for slaughter and banishment but God drew from infinite well of mercy for me and my household. I am also glad that the beauty of the Lord’s’ prayer over me, “And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” The Lord delivered me from evil. I am grateful.
For the ease to start again, breathe and hope for brighter days with Olúwaṣeun and the everyone around me, I am remain in gratitude.
All the Glory: God
Friend of the Year: Kehinde Oseni (What a great man with an amazing mind. I am always touched with his effortless thoughtfulness. I have been richer in thought and deed by knowing him).
New Friend of the Year: Caroline Anintah (Always good to be a friend to those around you. Caroline, my assistant puts the work in for the schedule and also chips in wisdom for the work. She has been really helpful).
Book of the Year: The Existential Questions by Oluseun Onigbinde (If not mine, whose?)
Tweep of the Year: @ankaboy — His handle is a bitter staple of the crisis in Nigeria troubled North West region. I am sober to read the harrowing accounts and how he presents them with an objective lens.
Person of the Year: @Tunde_OD (Tunde Onakoya) — He crept in the last hours of the year and enveloped our minds on the beauty of civic action, empathy and human kindness. He’s a legend already.
Happiest Moment of the Year: Chelsea winning the Champions League. (Shameless that my sister got married, my book was published and BudgIT 10th anniversary happened this year but I can’t get over a UCL final win feeling after 8 years of wilderness. Shameless).
Saddest day of the Year: The loss of Emilia Asim-Ita and Innocent Chukwuma. I can’t even describe how low I felt
Song of the Year: More than a Song ~ Dunsin Oyekan (Beautiful to see gospel songs take this space. This is worshipper in another level.