It’s my birthday today, and in just under two hours, at 1:22pm, I will be 29.
This might sound a bit like an acceptance speech, but I am so grateful to God that I am seeing another year. For the last few years, I have not been taking this life for granted. My cousin in Naija, a brilliant, ambitious young man, died last year. My father has lost both of his younger siblings (my aunt and uncle) far too early. And six years ago this month, a young Naija man, the son of family friends, lost his life trying to break up a fight in a club. These events have shown me that you never know: you can be here one day, gone the next. We are not invincible. Waking up each morning is truly a gift. So don’t waste time: live for you.
My mother is one of the most exuberant and joyful women I know, and most birthdays she’ll come to my room, jump on me or my bed and wake me up, singing happy birthday in Yoruba. Today was no exception: she danced into my room with my birthday card, smiling and wishing me all the best.
And as I dashed off to work, my father ran up the stairs to give me a hug and wish me a lovely day. And really when your day starts with that, how can it be a bad day?
I would like a gift from you: Tell me the name (or better yet, give me the lyrics) of any Nigerian (Yoruba or otherwise) birthday songs you know of. I’d love to learn them.
Want my monthly messages?
Subscribe for a monthly, often personal, message from Good Naija Girl.