Sunday, 13 September 2015

I Dare You by Afoma Chiegboka

(Retrieved from '  on 13/09/2015 )

‘Haayyya!!!’ ‘Kinsh!Kinsh! Kinsh!’ 
 We all grew up with variations of these silly expletives. We’d leap upon our beds with fiery expressions, our ‘swords’ (usually rulers bought with our parent’s hard-earned money) held in a death grip, fighting our enemies (our poor younger ones; we never could win against our elders- it was too unbecoming to see them crying to report to Mummy or on the flip side, turn the play to a real fight…) with the surety in our hearts that we would win because we were the good guys, and the good guys always win, right? And even if we didn’t win that day and we had to weep our broken little hearts out, we’d still try again the next day, and the next, until we were finally able to conquer ‘the Boss’. Yessssss!

I think it was then that we had the real capacity to understand true heroism.
We hear all these stories that take our breaths away, that inspire us but it was only when we were children that we ever thought of taking it beyond a smile and a sigh at the end of the tale. Who wasn’t Jackie Chan when they were little? Who wasn’t Sinbad? Who didn’t try to use the Tortoise’s cunning to outwit his/her family? I even remember wanting so badly to be an Avatar after I watched the movie (and that was in 2011. I could even speak Na’vi!)

When we were little, we tried. We understood that we had to work to be heroes, that we’d have to fight against the world if we wanted our names to be remembered. Now, all we do is live average lives in an average environment and we are OK with mediocrity. What happened to our valiant little hearts?

Everyone talks about how they would prefer to leave Nigeria because other countries are better; how many have stopped to ask, ‘Who made those countries better?’ Rome wasn’t built in a day and it was by the concerted effort of each individual that it was built at all. Come on people, listen to Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror! It is you who can make it better by being better, by doing what you can to make it so. Why would you go enjoy the fruits of the greatness of others when you have all you need to establish your own name here?

You admire heroes because you know that is who you should be. God has blessed you with the capacity to be amazing; do not bury your talent. You may not be able to conquer the world, but if you can conquer yourself, if you can make just one person’s life better, if you can swallow your pride and forgive, if you can love unconditionally, if you can desist from putting others down, you already are. But one thing you must know, a true hero is one who can sacrifice everything for what they believe in, for who they believe in. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains no more than a single grain, but if it dies, it bears fruit in plenty- John 12: 24.

So I dare you today. Make the world remember your name.

For death and for glory!!!

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