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.