The Joker

I question a lot of things these days. How did you get here? Why are you like this? Why are you sleeping on yourself? What and who do you believe in? Do you even still believe in anything or anyone? How do you feel? What do you feel? Do you even still feel anything?

These are some of the questions. And sometimes, I have the answers. Most times, I don’t, then I just laugh instead. I laugh a lot about a lot and maybe I do it a bit too much, but laughter unconsciously became my default response to life a while ago. The lifestyle of a joker.

I saw the Joker movie last month and when he said, “I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it’s a comedy” I felt and related to it more than I expected. I mean, I have shed my fair share of tears and oh boy, crying is such a bloody therapeutic experience (you should try it sometime, you know, just let it flow — let all that’s weighing you down find its way through the tears), but there’s something about laughing that is also therapeutic. I don’t know what it is yet, but just like how you laugh at a joke you don’t understand so you don’t get left behind, I will keep on laughing because the show must go on.

It will all make sense in the end, so if it doesn’t make sense now, it only means it’s not the end yet. And when it does eventually, na that time the laugh go sweet pass.

Day 30 (Tales by MoonWright)

I’m currently learning about the connection between consistency and accountability. For someone that isn’t really self-motivated, I’m learning how much I need accountability, thanks to this challenge. If I wasn’t held accountable by some of you, I won’t  have written for 30 days. Knowing that people are out there looking out for me and expecting stuff from me everyday got me on a level of consistency I had never experienced.

It takes a lot to ask for accountability and it’s another thing to actually get it. So as much as I appreciate everyone that has been reading this, I specially thank those that messaged me on days I really didn’t feel like writing. I specially thank the people that indirectly reminded me that commitment should be no respecter of feelings.

As much as I love writing, I had never believed I could pen 100 – 500 words everyday for a month, so doing this is one of my greatest achievements in a long time. And the beautiful thing about achieving this is that I can now put this same mentality and energy into other things I need to be consistent with.

Consistency has some close friends — self discipline, determination, and diligence — but accountability is its closest friend. In order to consistently achieve greatness in any area, everyone needs an inner circle, an A-Team, a team of people that support and encourage you, a team of people you can always draw strength from when you are at your weakest, a team of people that will call you out on your BS. Everyone needs an A-Team, and the A, for me, stands for Accountability.

Yours consistently and ultimately,

Ayo Wright

Day 29 (Tales by MoonWright)

I would like to go on a number of adventures for just one reason: to experience what my favourite fictional characters experienced in these places. I love watching TV shows, I get so emotionally invested in them. And when I’m done watching any of my favourites, I usually do my research on where they were filmed.

So I would love to go to Illinois to experience how Michael Scofield felt when he was there, to be in his shoes planning and implementing a prison break. I would love to go to Albuquerque in New Mexico to have an idea of what it felt like to live a double life — teaching Chemistry and breaking bad. I would travel to Canada with a lot of suits just to have the same feeling Harvey Specter and Mike Ross had while closing cases and keeping a top secret.

New York! I have a special interest in New York. Apart from seeing what it’s like to be Ghost and Mr. Saint Patrick at the same time, I would love to live in New York to see if it’s crazier and busier than Lagos. I would love to go to Los Angeles for three reasons: to feel the suspense Annalise Keaton and her students have been feeling for consecutive years; to live the charismatic boss life Rowan Pope lived as he controlled the White House behind the scenes; and to take in the air that Chuck Bartowski took in when he had all the secrets of the CIA in his head, became a government asset, fell in love with his instructor, then had to deal with loving her even when she lost her memory.

Lastly, I would love to go to Northern Ireland to know what it was like to be part of the Night’s Watch, to know what it was like to be the Lord Commander and the King in the North. You know, to know what it’s like to be stabbed to death by the people you are protecting and then be resurrected.

Your adventurer,

Ayo Wright

Day 28 (Tales by MoonWright)

It was my first night at the Kangere NYSC camp in Bauchi. I had overpacked as I usually do. I’d rather travel overpacked than underpacked. I hate needing something I left at home while being away from home. However, on this night, I wouldn’t have minded leaving 80% of all I had on me.

I was ready for this, I thought, having done a lot of research laden with the past NYSC experiences of others. But nothing I had read prepared me for this moment. We had finished basic registration. I had everything I needed — meal ticket card, bucket, mattress, and everything in my big school bag and medium sized box — except a room. So there I was, carrying or trying to carry all I had on me with no place to rest my exhausted spirit, soul and body.

I can’t remember the details now, but we were about six in this same situation and I hadn’t really spoken to any of these guys all day. I could tell they were all northerners from their accent. After a while of walking around and looking for a room together, I got tired and stopped outside a filled room while they continued the search. I terrifyingly embraced my fate of sleeping on my mattress outside. I was terrified because I had so much to safeguard. I considered being a night watchman for my properties as the thought of waking up with only the mattress haunted me. But that consideration was quickly slapped away by the hands of a thick sleep.

I brought my phone out to call home. The news of my present situation was met with exclamations of “Ahh Oluwa o, gba koso o (Lord take control)” from my mum. She begged me to keep my phone well as I ended the call. I kept my phone in my pocket and hugged my properties closely as I lied down and closed my eyes.

Some minutes later, I was woken up by multiple taps on my body. “Bro, bro. Wake up. We don find room for one side down there. We say make we come tell you so we go go together,” one of them said. The way I leaped with joy from within as I stood up, you’d think I had just won the lottery. They assisted me with my things while we all walked to the room. I remember looking around me, one guy with my mattress, and another with my bucket while I carried my bag and dragged my box. I was gripped with so much gratitude. I kept thanking them for coming back for me and helping with my load as we finally settled into the room.  I would still see them many times on the camp ground after that night and would feel that same grip of gratitude all over again.

Yours in desperate need,

Ayo Wright

Day 27 (Tales by MoonWright)

Liam Neeson is my guy. I love him. I’ve been a huge fan for years. From the Taken series to A-Team to Nonstop to A Walk Among the Tombstones and the rest, he’s been killing it (and people) with an admirable finesse. He will find you and he will kill you. A man of top-notch charisma. He had set the bar really high for himself in my mind, so when I watched Cold Pursuit few months ago, I expected nothing lower. I expected to be thrilled. I expected to be in suspense throughout.

Not only was the movie pointless, it was a complete waste of my time. A complete waste of my efforts to wake up from the naps I had at different intervals of the movie. I was disappointed. It was about a man in a cold state whose son was kidnapped and killed. Then from nowhere the man just starts locating and killing these kidnappers/killers. Maybe the movie writers didn’t want us to know this man had some spiritual gift of discernment or so. I don’t know, but plot wise, it was weak. Dialogue wise, weak. Acting wise, my days! See, let me stop here.

Liam Neeson has successfully taken himself out of my A-team list of actors. He would have to pick up the bar he had raised and dropped in my mind and continue raising it nonstop till he not only walks among tombstones, but lies beside his.

Yours disappointedly,

Ayo Wright

Day 26 (Tales by MoonWright)

A nice Sunday afternoon it was at home, then I was sent to a nearby eatery to get some food. Now me, in the spirit of trying to perfect my driving, decided to go on this errand with my mum’s car alongside her driver. My father, who had not seen me drive, happened to be where the car was parked, so I felt it would be really nice to impress him, you know. I thank God I didn’t disappoint, he was impressed with the way I reversed and drove out. This kinda got me gassed up for the journey to the eatery which is normally about 10-15minutes.

And so I drove to the destination smooth and sound, no problems, no wahala. I went in to get the food then got back into the car to embark on the journey back home. I started the car, reversed and was back on the main road. I should have no problems with this obviously, I mean it was the same path I drove on when coming so it’s no big deal, I thought.

Then this feeling came, where it came from exactly, I don’t know. But at that point it was a wonderful feeling, I felt like I had been driving for years and stuff, like I owned the road or something. I think even my mum’s driver was probably overdosed on confidence about my driving so he picked his phone and was making a call. Now approaching a junction I was to make a turn to the left. Mind you, the ‘bad-guy’ feeling was still present, as well as my mum’s driver still being on the phone.

I made the turn, but before I could say Nebuchadnezzar, like the toothpaste, my car was closing up on the incoming car from the other road. I turned to a disc-jockey on the wheels of steel scratching the incoming car. Right at this point, the ‘bad-guy’ feeling in which I had no idea of its exact source went back to that unknown source. Two other feelings came in to replace it, a very bad combo of feelings, I must say. Now I am sure you would know that by now, the driver’s phone call would have ended (either willingly or unwillingly). The two new feelings I was talking about were fear and confusion. In trying to avoid making it worse, I drove away from the car I just scratched, then in full speed almost ran into the next incoming car. The thing be like film for my eye. Thank God for Jesus who literally took the wheel from this point and then the car stopped.

The driver of the car I scratched came down (probably coming to rant and tell me how much my ‘gbese’ was ) so I started begging with that ‘abeg I be learner’ look…me that was feeling like a bad guy on the wheel before. How feelings are quick to change. I guess that’s why they are also called E-motions.  Anyway, the guy pitied me & left. The driver of the other car I almost hit came down too and started saying stuff like how or why would I be learning in such a place, talking to a young man that felt like he owned the road a couple of minutes ago. How feelings are quick to change. Well, we left the place and got back home. Most importantly, I got back home debt-free.

Your overgassed learner,

Ayo Wright

Day 25 (Tales by MoonWright)

I like the concept of nicknames. I have had about six so far — the common AY, Bam-Bam, BamYogo, Awizzle, Awizz, and Yarnspinna. I like how every nickname comes with an inside story, apart from the default AY. Different nickname for different stages of my life as well. Some were given to me, while I gave myself some. Let me tell you how I got the nickname, Bam-Yogo.

I was in primary school then. My mum, due to her business, usually came late to get me, so I used to keep myself busy with a lot of Capri-Sonnes and ice cream. There was a particular ice cream then called FanYogo. Goodness gracious, it was like my drug. FanYogo was me and I was FanYogo. I can’t remember the taste now or what got me hooked but it was a major stronghold. The mobile ice cream sellers knew me and didn’t have to wait for me to talk before giving me my drug.

The news about my affinity for this ice cream spread all over the school and as soon as my boys heard, that was it. A nickname was birthed. Back then, people called my first name in full — Ayobami. So my guys came together and coined BamYogo. I had no choice but to embrace it. It became my name everywhere — in class, on the football pitch, even at home.

Yours retrospectively,

BamYogo

Day 24 (Tales by MoonWright)

I’m not a fan of travelling. Especially if it’s a very long journey. Apart from the journey itself, I find the packing process mentally exhausting. So when I had the opportunity to travel to the U.K. for my masters, I had mixed feelings. I wasn’t just going to be visiting, I would be living there for more than a year. I mean, I had survived NYSC in Bauchi and Kogi for a year, but this would be different. New environment, new culture, new food, new faces, new weather (my God!), and a new accent. I think what kept calming me and my worries down was God’s omnipresent nature. Pastor Okenwa used to tell us in Kogi then that in life, it isn’t about where you go, but who’s with you wherever you go.

I won’t bore you with too much details. On my first night, I’d see these white men walking so fast with their hands in their pockets and wonder why — Who de chase una na? I answered that question myself few weeks later when the cold and wind almost fell me down. I didn’t need to be told that I needed to dig my hands deep into my pockets and walked like I was being chased.

Before going to the UK, I had been working on an American accent, being a fan of Hiphop and all. But there was something about the British accent that soothed my ears. It sounded melodiously satisfying. So I went on YouTube and started learning the pronunciations. Then I’d pay attention to how the British-Nigerians or British-Africans spoke. Music to my ears. I’d also listen intentionally to British rap and fall more in love. I started picking up the streets accent first; the roadman type. Then I picked up the polished type when I worked in schools.

Coming back to Nigeria, I returned with certificates and my new found love. I still work on the accent till today. Most of my friends laugh at me when I switch, like, guy you’ve left there now, why are you still talking like this? Some think I’m probably showing off, but it’s more than that. It’s love and it’s here to stay.

Yours faithfullaayy,

Ayo Wright

Day 23 (Tales by MoonWright)

“May you eat the fruit of your labour” is the prayer often prayed for parents. It is every parent’s utmost desire. Everyone derives climactic fulfilment from being blessed by something they created or had a hand in bringing into existence. Most parents don’t even use this desire as a motive to do good to their children. They just do it out of the abundant love in their hearts. It’s incredible.

I am not making plenty money at the moment, but the times I’ve given my parents something (money or a gift) out of the little I have, their response warms my heart. The prayers they pray for me in Yoruba give me goosebumps sometimes. Parental prayers are so pure, so genuine, like a kiss on the cheek. It amazes me because I know what I have given is nothing compared to all they’ve done for me; the sacrifices they’ve made for me to be where I am now. I realised how hard it must have been to sacrifice so much when I was studying abroad and needed to pay bills. Having to study and work at the same time, I wondered how they had been surviving this thing called life. I appreciated them more.

I remember bringing home some jacquard clothing materials I bought from Bauchi camp for them and it brought a wide grin to their face. My mum still wears hers till today, she wears it with so much pride and would often say, “Mo’n wo aso Bauchi ti omo mi bami ra (I’m wearing the Bauchi material my child bought for me).” I can never get tired of hearing it. Even just remembering how she says it and adjusts her dress with prestige is making me teary as I write this.

How grateful and prayerful they get after an act of giving (no matter how small) inspires me to be better, it inspires to not give up, it inspires me to want to make it in life. Not just them, but also another mother of mine, Mrs Jackie Dagogo-Hart. Some of you that know my journey know how I feel about her. I will never forget how she took me in as her child and provided for me in a time when I really needed it. A super and beautiful woman, in and out. She also inspires me to want to make it in life.

I am not sure I can repay them for everything they’ve done for me, but this is it. This is really what I look forward to achieving — trying my best to ensure they fully eat the fruit of their labour on my life.

Yours achievably,

Ayo Wright

Day 22 (Tales by MoonWright)

I can’t really say what my biggest fear is. It used to be death.  I don’t know what changed. Maybe it was due to the suicidal period of my life, or when I was numb to almost everything, or the fact that heaven is actually a beautiful place to be in. You know, no stress, no worries, just chilling with other saints and praising God. And I get to finally meet Jesus and man like Paul! Super cruise, man.

I realised this change sometime ago when I slightly avoided being hit by a car while crossing. Little or no adrenaline rush was present. I must have been in some crazy state of mind then because a part of me wanted to be hit. Lol.

There was a time darkness was my biggest fear. Thanks to the nonsense horror movies I watched as a kid. Especially the Nigerian ones; they seemed more real, because na the same country all of us de. So anything can happen anytime. These days, when the power goes out and I’m alone, I don’t fear as I used to. I think this is because I have hacked it that I’m the light of the world, so na darkness suppose de fear me.

Yours fearlessly,

Ayo Wright