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Love, Hate and Hope: The story of Earth mother and I

When I was very little, I remembered that the different seasons we had in Nigeria triggered different emotions. The rain came, and with it, a moody, melancholy spirit that caused us to ponder the nature of existence and its essence. The Harmattan season came during late November and lasted till January, ushering the joyous Christmas celebration and New Year, with new clothes to show off, big pieces of white meat that competed with our canines, and the gurgling of our stomachs caused by endless gallons of sweet drinks gingerly gulped down our throats. The Television was not awash with various natural disasters threatening to end human existence, and the beaches were a place of longing- a place away from the survival mode that has become accustomed to Nigerians.

I will be 27 this year, lived for more than 2 decades and things have certainly changed. Let me tell you how:

The Mmamiri river in mama's village has dried up. That river was called the river of life, now it does not give life anymore. Mama says it is because someone has committed an abomination. I tell her that it is because of climate change, but she doesn't believe me. She says I'm too young to understand. At 27 years!! I am too embarrassed to argue, so I leave her.

There are 11 people in our two-bedroom apartment already because Sister Chinelo allowed Uncle Chizutere and his family of seven to stay here with us. His house and properties had been damaged by the flood. Big mummy said that times are hard and we should brace up for more. I can still feel the back pain just at the crook of my arm because I now sleep on the floor. These days, I catch myself secretly praying they leave my house and I immediately feel bad afterwards. I know I'm not an evil person, but situations can bring up another side unknown to us.

Last month, Bimpe- my university friend- said that the Tilapia fish she bought had plastics in it. I thought she was joking. Bimpe jokes like that. She says silly stuff just to get you all riled up, then says it's a lie. Because I didn't believe her, we did a video call. Turned out that it was true!! We found a little piece of a plastic bottle in the belly of the fish. Plastics we believed were from the "pure water nylons", plastic bags and plastic bottles that don't decompose or biodegrade. It's definitely going to get worse. I shudder in fear to think of what will happen in the next ten years- more fish are definitely going to die as this water pollution gets worse. In my usual style when faced with challenges, I began to think of possible solutions, and a little hope starts to spring up that our country can ban these plastics bag and packaging just like Rwanda did, but I remember then that it is this same Nigeria that has a knack for vigorously pursuing unsound and imprudent priorities. All hopes just evaporated like ice in an oven. We would need more than a miracle for that to work.