[At the nick of time]

Copyright – Ubani Alexander Chijioke

The time is 5:16 AM; my fingers are on the laptop dishing out the information for the computer to write. Minutes ago, I had enjoyed a good sleep only to be startled by a weird sound. I approached the parlour and found out that the television was on. Guess who was watching e.tv by that early Saturday morning?

I was startled by the sound which was too high for the moment. I approached and did the obvious, then left to continue my sleep. I lay on the bed and closed my eyes to fall asleep, but it refused to heed my yearning and instead remained opened and untouched by my predicament. Thoughts flashed across my mind in an instance and sent my senses to the past. Flashes of the days of molestation invaded my thinking. I found myself delving into the world of yesteryears. What did I do? Minutes ago, I shrugged off a most sleepy eye to take a decision concerning the television, now I find it difficult to continue in that sleep. I shuddered in disbelief and couldn’t but allow my subconscious to meditate on my past.

My mind flashed back to time when our time turned from right to left. I journeyed to the time when tears flooded my cheeks, to a time when the grasses refused to grow green vegetation. I went to the past and remembered the starving faces, malnourished and depleted. Goose pimples invaded my body and sent shock waves down my spine as I assimilated all that the past had in stock. I couldn’t but remain dormant in disbelief of the growing development. The new roads, houses, universities and faces of people made things different from what it used to be. Is this for real?

Back in the years when left was right; we were the children of anxiety. We had the thoughts of ignorance and basked under the euphoria of rust. We championed the cause of the early man. We had eyes of the ancients. But we were intelligent, morally gracious and independent. But we lacked civilization. When it came, it shattered our minds and showed us the way to life and death. It conquered our fears and brought tears to our eyes. It made us pay with our lips and shook the foundation of our moral life. It developed us, yes. But it brought us hard conditions and took away the thinking faculty of our sons and daughters.

Back in the days when we trekked many miles to the farms and women carry their babies on the back. Back in Those days when we had control of our children and our fathers and mothers had the right to a calm, serene and faithful lifestyle. Not now when their eyes have been opened to the goodies of the world when husbands leave the abode of their wives to pursue young ladies, and fornicating with other peoples’ wives and the women running around with ego after handsome dudes, committing adultery to satisfy their lust and desires. No! Things have really changed from what it used to be.

Now, young boys and girls run around in the most fashionable clothing some exposing their bosom all in the name of fashion. Ladies walk up and down the road in nude attires and men employ the most fascinating of ornaments. It can’t get any better!

Back in the days, I remember the serene and love neighbourhood my parents resided. I enjoyed the company of those poor and uncivilized people, their tradition and culture. I enjoyed trekking some miles to the stream early in the morning as chores. I enjoyed the early morning trek many miles to the farm and coming back late in the day all in search of food. There was harmony, peace and special bond of love in the air all the time. We talked, laughed and told fictitious and real stories. We had the best of times and all that the world could offer, only if we believed.

But civilization came and scattered our joy. It brought us joy and sorrow. The green landscape and beautiful flowers, some mast, cars and buildings all attest to the presence of civilization. But, I think civilization brought us some good. Yes, I can read and write today because of the gift of civilization. The laptop, cars, satellite dish and some other goodies are a living testimony of the goodness of civilization. Well, I leave all to be the judge of our own actions because I believe that we are the ones abusing the gift of civilization. It is just natural to say that anything that has advantage (s) must have disadvantage (s) that’s all.

As I sit here and centre my thoughts on this salient and controversial issue, I begin to imagine what would have happened without civilization? Would we have ever grown or would we have remained crude in our own ignorance. What would have happened to the world? Then I know that civilization was a means to an end. But its good surpass the many bad attributes it has. Imagine how life without good roads, advancement in technology, medicine, science, arts, and the many other developments would have been like for our ancient fathers. Imagine living in the comfort of a mansion, a luxury car, holidays and good money a beautiful wife and healthy kids. These are the brain work of civilization. Take a look at the revolutionary way of communication – mobile telecommunication and the internet. These are the glorious gifts of the 21st century made available by civilization.

Africa has remained the home of prestige. Nature flourishes in abundance – animal, plant and human life. The landscape, mountainous regions, islands and the interiors all play host to abundant and ostensible work of creation. It is an attribute, a good will and a precious endowment. Its culture and tradition, language, people and arts leave the mind at awe. It tells of the origin of its people, culture and life. It present Africa as the centre of learning and cities like – Tumbuktu –as centres of ancient learning and of mental accomplishment. No wonder Sixteenth-century traveller and historian Leo Africanus described the city during his day:

“In Timbuktu there are numerous judges, doctors and clerics, all receiving good salaries from the king. He pays great respect to men of learning. There is a big demand for books in manuscript, imported from Barbary (North Africa). More profit is made from the book trade than from any other line of business.”

All these facts cannot be looked at with closed eyes. But in the face of this, our hands have remained in the burning stove and the heat suffocates our eyes. What is the cause?

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Comments 31 comments

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

It sounds like your childhood was very different from your present circumstances. For me the difference in circumstances between childhood and the present is not so severe.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

well, things have changed since at least for the better. good days are ahead.

your thought on this matter is correct. things have really changed. thanks for making out time to read this hub. i so much appreciate.

Tallgardener profile image

Tallgardener 5 years ago from Somerset, UK

What an interesting voice you have. I look forward to hearing more from you. Voted up :)

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Thats tallgardner, i am so motivated. I am privileged to have a poet of your pedigree grace my hub. I read your poem. You know what i think? EXCELLENT is the least of words i can find. Keep it up

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

It's so refreshing the way you make all your shares authentic.. and somewhat compelling.. I can sit and listen to your words... up and awesome my friend FRank

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Oh how sweet your words sound in my ears. Dear frank, your encouraging words have done wonders to my soul. May joy abound in your heart. Peace and blessings shall follow you forever

Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA

Hi ubanichijioke, it is so awesome that you have been blessed to attain the education and benefits of civilization, yet I so appreciate your testimony of your childhood. Though there were most difficult times, you found the value contained therein. It's as though poverty awakens the spiritual man, while riches awakens the flesh. What wisdom you have and I pray you carry this with you to influence your world and the greater world to find the spiritual man again. I very much enjoyed this hub and reading your heart.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Thanks so much judah's daughter. Your words are clear and meaningful. I believe that any state a man finds himself or herself whether rich or poor, is a privilege to acknowledge the grand creator who created everything. However, sticking to good morals and way of life is a trademark all lover of God must imbibe. Much blessings to you. Lots of love

ladyjojo profile image

ladyjojo 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story ubani

How are you?

Keep good ;)

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

I have always enjoyed your hubs. You can be amusing, enlightening and well as informative. I enjoyed this story very much.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

A big thanks to my ever beautiful Abigail. l am fine dear. Thanks for your caring comment. I am most thrilled

my sweet vinaya, bless you for all your thoughtful comments. I am most blessed with awesome friends like you too. Be ever blessed

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Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Ubani,

I loved this hub. You recogize the wonderful gifts that have come with more civilization but also have eyes wide open to the perils as well. Sometimes with advancement we forget the core values and things that matter more deeply than money and power. Thank you Ubani, such a thoughtful hub..

God Bless,


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Dear sunnie, you ve spoken the truth. It is now left for us to make the wise choice that will foster a healthy society. Am glad you stopped by to make such a testimonial comment. Be blessed

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

What a beautiful interpretation of your thoughts about the past,present and now the future. On one hand the loss you feel of the old traditions rooted in your ancestry and the other a wonderment and discernment of the future and all what it brings, whether masked in uncertainty with technology and it's instantaneous changes or reflecting back when life was simpler.

The walk to the farmhouse, down the road or to a fishing hole was much more mentally rewarding, as would be the sharing of stories amongst friends and family. I like how you touched on both and saw the benefits of each. Myself I agree with advancement as long as it does not break down the moral fabrication of humans.

But sadly, technology has brought a separation between what use to be a BOND between families, now it tends to separate them more. Thank you for sharing, this was a most enjoyable read.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

A very most kind word(s) from the master. I am so privileged and do concur with you that harnessing the good of civilization and technological advancement for the good of man is for our own benefit. Thanks for your kind words. I am most appreciative and thankful. Bless you Sir. Peace and loving kindness shall follow you forever.

lyns profile image

lyns 5 years ago from USA

@unbanichijoke: I loved this story, very interesting, thanks for sharing I gave it ups and interesting.


Anaya M. Baker profile image

Anaya M. Baker 5 years ago from North Carolina

There are some really beautiful lines here. Even in writing prose, your poetic background shines through. Well written, touching, and thoughtful :)

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

To my ever lovely & gorgeous Lyns and my sweet and beautiful Anaya, two awesome and wonderful ladies.

Your wonderful comments leave me in awe and a state of bliss. Be blessed you two. Lots of love

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

If I know one thing since we met, it is that you have a big heart and you do care of everyone. You are talented, gifted, and a humble man. Your childhood seemed difficult from your writing, but look at your now. I have never seen anyone fuse words together like you, so beautiful and ellegant are you words. Your respectful, inspirational, and you have a positive soul. Your heart and soul make you. I see many good things for you. It seems you are happy when you can help or make a difference. Just keep being who you are today, which is a great person and friend. I am sure everyone would agree. I mean that too.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

My dear friend, you ve washed me with so much praise that my heart speaks and shouts your name joyfully. Sir, i stand humbled by your words owing to the fact that you re distinguished, honorable, skillful and talented. I am nothing but a struggling poet. You re awesome and full of grace. Be blessed.

qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

You're pretty awesome yourself! Thanks for your kind comments in my Hub about The Fire Place. Today, I'm sending you beacons of rainbow-colored Light to soothe the crying soul. Maybe the life journey is more about inside progress rather than outside paradoxes? Namaste...Gary.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Dear Sir, your awesome abilities and wonderful goodwill has no comparism. May the light you bring continue to shine forever. Be forever blessed

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Dear Sir, your awesome abilities and wonderful goodwill has no comparism. May the light you bring continue to shine forever. Be forever blessed

DrDuchess profile image

DrDuchess 5 years ago from Nowheresville

We hope for better times. All hope is not lost. Great hub

BongSantos profile image

BongSantos 5 years ago from Philippines

Indeed, those were the days - the good old days, and we can only look back, as you so plaintively did, longingly for the beautiful memories now uglified by us all. We can hope, we can pray, we can change. Thanks for the great hub.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Dear Doc, your hope is my hope. We will get there someday. Be blessed and thanks for your kind input. Am grateful.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

As you said, we can hope, we can pray, we can change. Sweet words that give hope. Awesome. Thanks BongSantos. Be blessed

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

This was so well written and very thought provoking. You have experienced so many changes in your circumstances since childhood and so clearly see the positives and negatives of the way your world was then versus to the way it is now. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences and touching us all with your words of wisdom and understanding. Whether poor or rich, leading simple lives or the more complicated lives that are fast paced and filled with technology our greatest concern is for our souls and for the love and respect we show for each other.

Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting.

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

Very well spoken, you ve done so well. Am glad you came by and touched me with those positive thoughts and words. May you be blessed

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

Such beautiful words expressing your past, present and future. Loved reading it.

Wishing you peace and joy my friend!

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos Author

A very delightful comment. I am so glad you could say that. Peace to you!

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