DAY 1: 10 Things that make me really Happy

On the 31st of August, I came across a picture about a 30-Day Writing Challenge and like most of my life decisions, I impulsively decided to commit to it. Some of the topics on that list are a gamble, demanding that I spread my legs in ways never imagined. It’s a big risk, but like a deflowered belle looking at the stains of her hymenal discharge, there’s no taking it back.

HERE IT GOES. The definitive list of 10 things that make me happy in no particular order, except for No.1 and 2.

  1. FOOD

God, food is so sexy, I mean. I can die for food (not literally). Food makes my heart light. The sight of food washes away all thoughts from my mind. Let rapture come when I’m eating, I don’t care. Jesus can wait. I will go with second batch. Esau is my role model. Let me be honest, I might have done the same thing in his place. I mean, na living person dey enjoy birth right. I don’t discriminate against any type of food, except porridge. For some weird reason, I just can’t stand the sight of porridge or how it can qualify as food for human beings. Every other thing, I will eat. One Love. Bring it, I can eat all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2. MONEY

A few days ago, a friend of mine (the same one who brought this writing challenge to my notice) told me that she was getting paid by the school management for good grades and holding executive positions. It brought tears to my eyes. Chai. Since my year 1, all the executive positions I’ve been ‘chopping’ since, who dash me one kobo?

Money makes me calm. I feel like Jesus in the boat. Let the world be collapsing around me, I will just be observing from one corner. I don’t mean money to spend though. I mean reserve money or savings. I might be broke, penniless, but just the thought that I have some money stashed somewhere, untouched, just makes me calm and less prone to getting depressed. But the moment I touch the money, Baba Nla moodiness will just catch me like SARS when they nab innocent boy, behaving like G-Boy. So yeah, money makes me happy.

3. BOOKS

I say it every time, the best and cheapest gift anyone can give me is a book. Like my taste in food, I will read anything and everything, even Playboy magazines. Yeah, I learnt about the Vietnam War from a porn novel, titled, ‘Best Offer’. That’s why I read ANYTHING. There’s always something completely unrelated to the theme to take away from them. It’s the easiest way to become my deep friend. Books unleash the imagination. I saw the fall of the Versailles Palace during the French Revolution. I was part of Leon Trotsky’s Red Army, fighting against the invading Germans in World War 1. I have seen the end of the world. I saw the beginning of the Nordic Enlightenment and its early betrayal. I was one of first settlers in the American Wild West. I was one of the writers thrown into jail by the General Buhari. I was the close friend of Romeo. Books are my safe refuge. They are my reality

My friend, Elijah always says that when I get married, my wife must have at least two things in common with me – love for food and books. While I’m yet to agree with the former, the latter is mandatory. Its one of the things I love about my parents. In fact, I can’t talk about my love for books without talking about my parents, so I’ll talk about them.

4. MY PARENTS

Like I said earlier, my love for books came from my parents. Both of them are book lovers, but it wasn’t transferred to me by way of genes. They taught to love books before I knew my name. My Mom would put me on her lap whenever she read, and run her fingers on the words, so that my eyes follow her finger. According to her, I would take the book later, running my fingers on it, as if I could read anything. She taught me to read. By the time I was 2, I had finished my first book – a book about Peter Pan. My Dad was initially sceptical about her approach, but when he saw its success, he flooded me with books, many of them beyond my comprehension. By the time I was 10, I had read most of Shakespeare’ popular works.

If I give my children nothing, the power to imagine with no boundaries is the least I owe them, and only books can achieve this.

My joy in this naughty and annoying pair comes from the relative freedom they’ve given me to explore all opportunities available. I’ve made many mistakes in my life – academics, money. But never have they tried to control me decisions. We’ve fought. But they’ve talked to me but never denied me the freedom to learn my own way. Talking about them would demand a separate blog, but they are one of my sources of joy.

5.AGBOOLA ELIJAH

While I’m in this in mushy mood, I might as well give this silly boy some space. I can’t remember the last time I told him ‘Good Morning’. It must have been when we were in Part 1, and were not so familiar with each other. Tah. I can’t imagine myself greeting him. It’s either ‘Idiot, Weyrey, Monkey, Ode, You dey mad, Olodo etc’. I’ve said several times that I want to change this, but the ‘Mumu’ will do something that will just deserve that comment.

Elijah can be caring in an unsettling way, especially for someone like me that’s not so emotional. My academics, my obligations, my love life etc. We nearly have no secrets between ourselves. Considering the fact that we are opposites on several respects, it can be funny that we are friends in the first place. His love for football and my absolute ignorance about the concept of the game (How can running about with no direction for 90 minutes qualify as a fun activity?). His exuberance, where I am more reserved. I owe him a lot. Some of the activities that I’ve gotten involved are largely due to his push, The Tax Club for instance.

Some people ask when we will get married. Yeah, maybe if he were a girl, I would have asked him out a long time ago. But he’s not, and I have to manage him like that. Talking about girls though…

6.GIRLS

Yeah, I like girls, so? I’m straight. So? There are over a billion men in the world who must be straight, so why should I especially like girls?

Maybe it’s the conversation. Meeting a new girl, any girl, and getting to know her gradually, with every conversation, is like opening a gift box. You never know what you’ll find inside. There’s no fixed way about it, I’ve learnt. Some girls are just as excited as I am about making a new acquaintance and we quickly become friendly. For some, every step must be carefully considered like a cat’s walk. But either way, its fun. The playful flirting, the uncomfortable conversations, gradually tearing the walls of formality, and the mutual motivation.

But there’s a risk though. At times, these friendships cross the line to a hazy region that is neither friendly nor loving. I can only remember it happening 3 times, and in all cases, I’ve been able to navigate it back into safe territory on either side. I respect the girls in my life and would never want to lose them to a moments indiscretion.

Funny enough, many people have the impression that I don’t talk to girls. I’m always shocked when I hear this. They could even swear that I don’t or have never even had a girlfriend…

7.POISON IVY

Poison Ivy. She makes me happy, with her never-ending demand and supply of conversation, the constant pranks and the drive she supplies. The thought of her…well, suffice it to say she makes me happy. I don’t always behave well, but she stays rooted. Let’s keep it short. I might spill, this could get emotional. Maybe days, months or years from now, I’ll look back on this with rueful regret or with a knowing smile, but either way, here and now, she makes me happy, thus qualifying to make this list.

8.RESEARCH

I LOVE RESEARCH. The very act of knowing something that no one else or very few people know is fun, especially when I find a way to apply that knowledge to solve a problem. My research just translates into writing. Everything I discover, I want to share with others, in a simpler form than the way I met it. A lot of people think research is about typing search terms into Google. If you operate at that level, then you’re still scratching that surface. I’m not there yet, but I know that at times, research is about having the right contacts on your WhatsApp chat, or the right email newsletter. Research is not something you engage in, or a light switch that you flip on, on only when you need it. It’s a state of mind – an openness to receiving information from anywhere, without discriminating. Its like Wi-Fi on your laptop or phone, always receiving the closest signal and ready to tap from it. Any job description that doesn’t involve research to an extent will only earn a rejection from me.

9.DEBATING

‘In my youth I took the law, and argued each case with my wife. The muscular strength it gave my jaw has lasted the rest of my life’

‘Alice in Wonderland’, Lewis Carroll

Like I said initially, I’m quite impulsive. I hardly do the things I think too much about. Act first, think later – that’s me.

One of the best impulsive decisions I took was to attend a meeting of the Debate Committee, one hot Saturday afternoon while in year 1. The rest of that story will that another day. I evolved from an obscure unknown in the Faculty to where I am now. Whatever reputation I have is largely due to my competence as a public speaker. Because my position as Debate Committee Chairman and Tax Club Director of Research, I decided that I would step back to give others the same opportunities I once had, and also, because I was scared, to be quite honest.

There’s this expectation that people have of me that can be quite scary yet inspiring. On one hand, I’m afraid of disappointing, on the other hand, I know I have a standard that must always be maintained, even by those that I have to train for competitions.

So, I’m getting back into the trenches. Back to Basics. Back to verbal combats. It’s like sex – the ability to hypnotize, control their thoughts, reactions with my words, pauses, then climax with a killer conclusion, get the audience wild – orgasm.

10. WRITING

Here I am, doing 30-Day Writing Challenge when my mates are reading for Energy Law exam on Monday. Do I have sense like this?

But that’s writing for me. The challenge is getting started, but once I start, stopping becomes an issue. Writing leaves, me feeling good about myself, especially when the Faculty of Law, OAU seems designed to make you feel incapable, at least for me. I can’t speak for others.

I’ve loved writing ever since I knew how to write, although fictional writing as always been my Achilles heel. I guess I should just stick to reading and reviewing fiction.

In fact, one of my biggest regrets as far as an undergraduate is the fact that I didn’t write as much as I know I could. Looking back at all the writing opportunities and competitions that I passed over, I ask myself, ‘Akintunde, what sensible thing were you doing then that prevented you from writing’. Luckily, for me, its not too late. I have my sights on one of them already.

Yeah, I’m also a damn good content writer. So don’t think twice about contacting me about me for my services or referring me.

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Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher

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Akin Ifeanyi Agunbiade

Akin Ifeanyi Agunbiade

Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher

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