‘The maturing process of becoming a writer is like that of a prostitute: first you do it for love, then for a few friends, and finally only for the money.’ – Moliere
There is so much noise being made all over the place about being a professional. They call themselves pros, disturbing public peace with so much noise: professional advertiser, professional journalist, professional footballer, professional lawyer, professional marketer, professional politician, professional pastor and so on. What all these blokes would not want to admit is that they are all prostitutes. The poet has spoken!
Back in our university days the noise was that somebody was doing a professional course, as though some courses were meant for amateurs. The fact of the matter is that those who were admitted to do the so-called professional courses were from the very beginning inducted into the art and science of prostitution. Call it child prostitution for easier understanding!
As the quote taken from the great French comedian Moliere shows, every writer worth his or her pen or laptop is to all intents and purposes a prostitute. At the early stages the aspiring writer is begging just to have a platform to publish his writing, to as it were express his love, without asking to be paid. Then the writer grows by sharing his fledging writing with friends. At full maturation, the writer will not lift a finger until the money is on the table. Samuel Johnson put it famously thusly: ‘No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.’
Of course this attitude does not include poets like me, for poetry happens to be the language of the gods which no man can pay for! The prostitution ring encircles all other forms of writing: the novel, short stories, plays, screenplays, newspaper articles, sundry commentaries, biographies, etc, which happen to be the havens of hustlers!
Moving further afield into professions like law, the name of the game is money, liquid cash, period! There is actually no difference from the prostitute’s credo: ‘money for hand, back na ground!’ Before a lawyer can agree to write a short sentence for you, which any typist can actually write better, you must drop good money. The incomprehensible writings of lawyers and judges alike belong to the highest bidders. This way, there is nothing more buyable than justice. Hurray for prostitution! Then you have the doctors who charge too much for their very bad handwriting. Little wonder they are eternally on strike, always asking for more money! A tear for them!
The professionals of accountancy, banking and suchlike are by their very training usurers geared towards using whatever skills and abilities that they can boast of to make just money. Little wonder young girls in the banking halls these days are given impossible monetary targets to be met by the use of their holy of holies! In the realms of finance, nothing is sacred save prostitution!
That is actually why I like professional boxers because they do not in anyway hide the fact that their own pro stands for prostitute! The boxers call themselves prize-fighters! They are fighting for money, pure and simple. Any wonder then why the celebrated boxing promoter and manager, Don King, will enter the ring with one boxer and leave after the fight with the winner! In his career, the legendary heavyweight champion Joe Frazier once had a fight with another boxer who in his spare time wrote poetry. Of course the no-nonsense Frazier knocked the hapless boxer-poet out, prompting the defeated man’s wife to urge her spouse to quit poetry since ‘you cannot raise four kids on fantasy!’ The boxing game that prides prostitution so much can in no way accommodate a true poet. Forget the bad rhymes of Muhammad Ali!
In the sporting professions, footballers are bought and sold and used like – you have guessed it – prostitutes! Once the money is right, the professional footballer is at your beck and call like any prostitute out of Isaac John Street in Ikeja GRA, Lagos on a good Sunday night! For instance, the Arab owners of Manchester City Football Club are on the groove buying all the pros on earth, not minding that they can only field 11 players – call them prostitutes – at a time!
In all, I can only advise that nobody should quake in respect when anyone boasts of his professionalism. Even if the so-called professional happens to be the richest barrister on earth, just know that beneath the haughty wig, the exquisite coat, the well-cut tie, beneath all the dash and fizz, inside his heart of hearts ticks the soul of a prostitute!