Nigeria: Calm Bar
Independence! That’s one thing I had always sort my whole life. I was not born into a life of cream, drug nor violence. But I just grew increasingly dissatisfied about living that right about when this essay began; I badly needed a specialist to keep living.
So, as he gazed at me through the thick lens of his eyeglasses, I realized that he was at his best to do what has been trained to do. He wrote down a prescription which I could hardly read but by his instruction he gestured-
‘Hand it over to the lady at the pharmacy. Don’t let your life depend upon this drug. You have to work your self out of this mess…you are too young to be depressed’ he added.
I just turned 17 a month earlier, I was hopeful and ambitious but all through my teen ages, I had entangled myself with one form of negative thinking or the order. It ranged from dissatisfaction about my look to a consequent low self esteem. ‘You can also change your location if that will be possible’ he said while looking at my mother who had accompanied me.
The Calm bar Destination
The early explorers of the present day city of Calabar nicknamed it calm bar. It was largely because of the ambient nature of town and its inhabitant who were later to adulterate the name calm bar for Calabar. They are very peaceful people. Independence comes with freedom and then peace of mind; all of these were my quest.
The part I omitted so far which I would like to hurry over is the fact that I grew up in a commercial town- Onitsha. I was also tired of the bustle and tussle of the town day in day out as if restless in its bee strive. So it was as if I was going for a freedom quest. My state of origin is Akwa Ibom state and is a neighboring state to Cross River state where Calabar is located. Both lie in the southern tip of Nigeria.
Once in Calabar, I remembered the first path to a speedy recovery from any mind related ailment. Writing was not just an option. It was the only solution at my disposal. With it I could bloat out my mind right there on paper. See my age on feeling of fear, uncertainty and isolation. Isolation?
This is completely different from independence. An isolated person has no choice to the predicament of being alone and perhaps does not like the whole idea. An independent person on the other hand is in want of freedom from people and interference.
So for my writings I do choose Marina resort, Tinapa, and Obudu cattle Ranch. The later is much far from Calabar. In fact it is located in Obudu- another town still in Cross River state. It is very cold at some seasons and very misty in the mornings. Its sophisticated aspect involves a luxury suit and cable cars on the mountain with exotic cattle on the Ranch.
Located about 2 miles from the heart of the town, a winding expressway presents a lone picture of independence. One road leads off to the governor’s lodge, while the other leads to Marina Resort.
My change of location is as aspect of seeking freedom…I was not born into the life of crime, drug nor violence but in the bid to improve my human capital, I need freedom through independence. I need a change of location sometimes to achieve this. Who knows where my next destination will be. But where ever I go, I will never forget where my first destination began.
About the Author: Wisdom Hanson is a distinguished poet and creative essayist. He is an award winning writer who had an art column at the Nigerian Guardian Newspaper, part of the Chimamanda Creative Writing Workshop, and a contributor to poetry anthology, as well as the co-founder of Penscript- a literary organization in Calabar wherein he studies Animal science as a
degree student in University of Calabar.