Bolade Ogunfuye: What life has taught me thus far [NEW VOICES]

by Bolade Ogunfuye

Pointers on a few insights I’ve learnt in my not-so-short life.

Our education system was built on ideas that existed before we were even exposed to the idea of learning and what kind of person it is supposed to turn us into. It’s based on industrial revolution-era thinking about how learning and memory work. I think it’s outdated and needs reworking to be relevant to us today and tomorrow.

Essentially, Nigerians share things that make them look cool. We want to project a certain image to the world. This is the reason why Nigerians will share content they don’t even read because they’re sharing it from certain sources. It makes them look smart.

This is also the reason why nobody shares porn.

Nigerians don’t like to get old. Being old, to the average Nigerian is being uncool, misunderstood, boring; maybe true, yet I don’t think we all age alike. In essence, the truly cool thing about aging is that the older you get, the harder it is to lie to yourself. And of course, the clichés are true some of the time, age does make you more experienced, more nuanced, and more cynical; though age would not necessarily make you wiser.

Difference between sex and love? Someone recently asked me the difference between sex and love, and I did not know if she was ready for my opinion on the question. In truth, only one of those won’t creep up on you and muddle your senses; only one of the two won’t seek to deceive and defraud you of all sensibility; only one of those probably guarantees pleasure to you, though for how long is another matter. I guess what I am trying to say is you’re not always sure you’re in love, but when you’re having sex, there’s really no mistaking it.

The favorite part of my body is my hands. When I am asked about this I am not surprised when people don’t understand why, but it’s undeniable how much I love my hands. I like the criss-crossing veins and the way the skin on the top looks a bit thinner than most other parts of me. I know how these hands have loved and lost, these hands have worked and suffered, they’ve touched a million people and places and they’ve been through everything with me. Hands cup smiling faces, frame kissing lips, hold sobbing shoulders and carry the dead. Sometimes, I can tell a person’s story more through their hands than from their faces.

I absolutely believe everyone should confront a corpse at least once in their lifetime. I believe life may not help you find respect for death, but death will always give you basic respect for the simple privileges of life; or at the very least put the simple fear of God in you. There isn’t really any way to measure death and dying. It is what it is: quiet, direct, unflinching, absolute. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.

My first true definition of myself has been as a writer, so I have always sought to write. That’s the true essence of my job. But it’s more than a job, it’s who I am, who I enjoy being, the part of my persona that always makes sense to me. I have realized that I tend to have a terrifically pleasant feeling if I create a form that completes itself and even if you can’t walk around it, you feel its teeth around your ankles. Writing has its own essence, its own story, its own circle.

Contrary to popular belief, marriage is not for everyone. In truth, I think some people should never get married. Not everyone has that combination of two-way dependency. You’re leaning on somebody, and the desire to support somebody else, it just doesn’t exist in some people. Nigerians are often caught out when it comes to understanding the back-and-forth symbiosis required to make this dependency work. Usually we just find something that manages to look like its working and stick with it. I think most Nigerians just tend to ride out their marriages in the hopes that their partner dies to put them out of their misery.

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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail