Long before the Americans began the protest against social and economic inequalities, corporate greed, and corporate power, now known popularly as the Occupy Wall Street Movement, we had been occupying in Lagos. Yes, every day we occupy the roads in Lagos protesting for our right to free movement, fighting for our rights to earn the next meal, clutching desperately to dreams that are increasingly turning into illusions by the day.
Every day we occupy the roads in search of a living, scratching and digging, our finger nails scrapping for whatever crumbs we can scrape out from the hard and gritty surfaces that represent our existence in this geographical entity we were born into. We occupy in frenzied rush to report to those places where we labour from 8am to 6pm. Places we really don’t like going to. Places we are forced to go just for the pleasure of the SMS bank alert at the end of the month.
And when it is dusk, we repeat the occupation in the opposite direction. This time it is an exhausted rush to that place we hide our bones for the night. To the darkness and the endless chatter of fuel guzzling generators. To unpaid bills and threats from shylock landlords. To kids building their experiences from cable television and the internet as we are too busy occupying day and night to care. To that bed where more babies are made to join those who already do not have enough.
We occupy, in cars bought with loans. Loans that have turned us prisoners of corporate greed in high places. To service the loans, we must feed the greed and continue the daily occupation in an endless cycle. We call it building a career. It requires us appearing in nice looking suits also bought with loans. It is never enough you know. We need to sustain the life that is expected of a career occupier. So we take other kinds of loans. Loans to buy home furniture. Loan to take a wife. Loans to go on vacations. To replay it all, we keep…..
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