Notes on 2020
There have been very few periods where the world has dealt with a common uncertainty; world wars, global terror attacks, Trump. They have tended to be transmitted via the news mostly, but nothing quite prepared us for what we would be facing in 2020. By many policies, white papers, and projections, 2020 was set up and billed to be the dawn of a new decade that would usher the modern world into so many global feats and expectations.
The previous year ended on a relative high of optimism, but with uncountable issues still contending for our attention in many ways than one. It didn’t all of a sudden seem apparent but the first few months into the year did a massive slide tackle on us with the horrific fires and the possibility of a nuclear world war on the horizon, both diplomatic and environmental upheavals took control of our attention. Little did we know that the coronavirus forever to be known in history as COVID-19 was going to take center stage for the rest of the year, and then some.
As the final day of the year breathes its last we are still reminded that nothing in our written history properly prepared us as a collective for what this year put us through. Technology might have mitigated several situations and helped keep the global economy afloat while doing even more to help families, friends, colleagues and enemies to keep track of each other, one way or the other.
From Netflix, TikTok, Instagram, Zoom, etc, people continued to build relationships and interact in ways we only imagined before. Governments began to be exposed for either being adequately prepared or brazenly incompetent. The virus had truly set out to test all of us. The job losses are still happening as we speak while it increasingly becomes obvious that despite the discovery and deployment of a functional vaccine the world might only truly be able to get back to normal in what many estimate to be after 10 months at best.
On a personal note, I cannot say the wretchedness has avoided me. After starting the year on a relative high and on quite the positive note, the pandemic put paid to my short sojourn in Lagos. There was so much uncertainty, but along with it came a new set of opportunities for me. One thing I am proud to have done was to edit the script for a one-man play (which had rave reviews by the way). Creating new and strong bonds with people who I believe will mean so much to me going forward from here on out.
As much as that was a high, I believe my real personal high has been today, making it to the end of a very testing year. I like many others who have spent a significant part of today reflecting on the events and highlights of the past 12 months, the realization stares right back at us with memories of dear ones lost to various –we will not forget the icons, legends, heroes and idols- mishaps. The one which sticks out like a sore thumb for young people in Nigeria is definitely the lives lost during the #EndSARS protests, from the first day of the protests till the 20th of October.
The moment was a point of realization for me, an indicator that the status quo needs to change. It was a moment of hope for me because I saw young people were aware and they knew what they wanted. People were finally speaking truth to power and the regime was shaken. The coming year will see this conversation continue and grow. The state and future of our country is no longer something simply discussed on platforms, the streets are now talking.
Finally, I really don’t like talking about what I hope my expectations will be in the new year. I personally have my own targets which I have set but I am more than aware of how uncertain things can be, so what I aim to be is to be flexible and anticipatory. Anticipatory not in the sense of being reactionary, rather, I would rather be preemptive and proactive, so I actively want to pick up and develop all the habits which will keep me in this state of mind.
“When it’s time to get on your knees and scuba, you do that. When it’s time to get on your feet and jump, you damn well do that. It’s only one life.” — Gimbia