THE MAN OF THE MOMENT
By Labo Yari
Amadu Baduku, a jobless and starving writer was walking near Tinubu Square, Lagos, late afternoon when the notorious traffic-jam (a.k.a. go-slow) was at its worst. He began to soliloquize on the go-slow and things around him. His obsessional calling to be a writer started to filter into his soliloquy, gradually gaining a greater part. Years back, while at school, he had won a prize in a poetry competition. That was when this obsessional calling began. His reminiscences on his calling, started in the rural area and ended up in Lagos. These, and the actuality of the day were interwoven in the story.
Ahmadu had a tough time in Lagos, though he made many friends with whom he squatted. When he met Anyanwu, she offered him a place of his own to live. Anyanwu was an intellectual and highly sophisticated, and wanted to mould Ahmadu into a specific kind of writer. Ahmadu resented it. She did all she could to get his manuscripts accepted by publishers but failed. He made her appreciate poetry while she made him appreciate western classical music, paintings and sculpture, which were interposed in dreams and reality in the story. His philosophizing, reading and writing almost drove him to madness. He left the place offered to him and went to squat with a friend in a boys’ quarters at lkoyi.
It was during his sojourn in the boys’ quarters that he realized that he had wasted too much of his life time, struggling and dreaming to succeed in one line i.e. book-knowledge and writing of poetry. He now saw opportunities very close to him but which he did not see before. From this realisation he reached the level of consciousness where material things and success in his calling meant nothing to him. After he had achieved this feat, success came to him: the acceptance of his manuscript, and the news that Anyanwu would be returning from the USA.
The whole story was through the main characters soliloquy while walking from Tinubu Square to lkoyi in a short time of about 3 hours.