Your Brief Bio:
Benny Akinyemi-Finisher is art. He creates art , performs art and directs art. He's well known to play with words in his writing and always finding more and better creative approach to art when he dorns his Art Director hat.
As a performance poet, he is Benny Finisher.
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
Felix learns about the word; Gbera. The word breaks him, makes him and tests him. Who is to blame?
Witten by Benny Akinyemi-Finisher.
You tell me; “There is sense in every nonsense and a message in
every mess”. What sense can I possibly get from this nonsense when
none of my senses care to be sensitive? Preach to me the message in
this mess. Maybe, just maybe I can be a convert.
You pray daily; “Our Father in Heaven give us this day our daily
bread…” Heaven’s bakery don’t rain bread. You have to reach for it
yourself with open and seeing eyes to win the bread.
Felix soliloquizes in the furnace of his anger, surrounded by
animate and inanimate environmental features that seem to be
contending with his dreams.
Felix Okigbo was born in a land by the river. A land filled with
opportunities. Opportunity to either reach for bread and win or wait
for another’s bread; to share, to borrow, to buy, to steal, to beg
or extort. This is Lagos.
He cowers in the uncomfortable scruffy makeshift bus seat made out
of wooden planks and raggedly welded iron, with a torn in his jacket
It is typical to think Felix was in a fight considering the pungent
scent of feud perceived between him and the conductor. It was a
struggle with a huddle of angry, sleep deprived civil and uncivil
servers, stewards, learners, hustlers and ‘pocketlifters’ scampering
to commute to workplaces and places of trade. A daily routine they
all engage in either to use, to be used, to be of use or nurtured
for future use.
“Gbera”; a street slang uttered harshly by the commercial bus
conductor under his distorted vocal cords, urging the driver who
takes off tactlessly ignoring incoming and unsettled commuters did
injustice to the sleeve of Felix’s suit jacket.
Apologies and pity chants managed to embrace him as he fumes in rage
whilst choking on every single swear word he could possibly think
of. Still he hears; “Gbera”, incessantly at every pickup and bus
stop amidst other jibber-jabbers.
Enveloped in this mess of shame and disappointment brought by this
nonsensical word; “Gbera”, Felix exhales as he gently and softly
inquires from the culprit who happens to be sitting next to him,
hoping to get a sensible answer.
“What does this ‘Gbera’ word mean?” Felix asks without looking at
the questioned. “Ah bros, ‘Gbera’ is like ginger”, responded the conductor remorsefully. “Is like telling somebody to get up, move
on, be going, ‘Ko ye yin’? Aja 4, Eshin white’…” “That would do”,
Felix cuts in.
A light bulb flicks on in his head as he alights into an encouraging
stance. A gentle cold breeze of reassurance caresses Felix’s face
while the lifted spirit inside of him talks back;
“Fine, you’re in a mess and it doesn’t make sense. You can blame it
on the failed system, blame it on fate, or blame it on your race,
tongue and tribe. You might as well blame it on your ancestors, on
the forbidden fruit consumers who were too comfortable to envision
the effect their disobedience would have on generations to come.
Here is my question; would you rather wallow in your misery and put
a pause to living life or proceed towards your goal in the face of
resistance and difficulty? Get up, dust yourself off, and move on.”
Gbera! Felix hears from a passing bus like the biblical talking
“From disappointments, disapprovals, and disregards”, the voice
continues; “Gbera! From the dark pit of rejection, recession, and
revulsion. Gbera! From limitations, intimidations, and degradation.
Gbera! From poverty, mediocrity, and self-pity. Gbera! From
unrecognized efforts, uncelebrated achievements, and unappreciated
favours. Gbera! From the broken pieces of your pot of dreams. Put
them together. Make a move; one step at a time, one day at a time,
one breath at a time, inhale, exhale, and prevail.”
Gbera!!! Felix yells with excitement as if celebrating the victory
of his favourite football team. Right on cue like a gush from a
busted water pipe, the startled oncoming palm oil seller panics,
bathing Felix with the abundance of her product.
©October 2017, Benny Akinyemi-Finisher.