This what you say when there is nothing to say by Viola Okolie

This what you say when there is nothing to say by Viola Okolie

Several times you have started to write something and then stopped.I

It is painful when you have so much to say and so little words with which to say them and it is purely on that bases tha

Muhammadu Buhari at an APC rally
Muhammadu Buhari at an APC rally

t I would have to apologise in advance for having absolutely nothing to talk about.


Something gives when you come face to face with a reality you hoped would never come to pass, a thought you had never wanted to entertain or had always pushed to the back of your mind whenever it cropped up. You had all the faith and confidence, you knew that you had done everything right but still, somehow, your aces did not quite line up the way they were supposed to.

And you are thinking of premature ejaculation! Lol. The frustration that comes with getting the job done before the contract has even exchanged hands and I do not mean this in a nice way. You are there thinking “what the heck just happened? This script was not supposed to play out this way”, but even in your un-acceptance of it, you know you just have to accept it because somehow or the other, you had always prayed and wished for the best and in bringing to birth the best, you might need to walk through the worst, to confront your deepest and darkest fears.

Perhaps it is in facing those fears that your dread of them either begin to dissipate, or you find justification in the initial reluctance to venture; either which way, you console yourself with the fact that it was bound to happen.

You say to yourself, “perhaps the stars and the moon crossed each other’s paths in the peak of daylight while the sun was blazing from on high and in that one chance crossing, the universe shifted a bit and did not realign”.  Yeah, maybe that is why you are faced with this most distasteful option. Maybe, if you are one of Nigeria’s super religious, you can indulge in the favourite pastime of blaming God, make it seem like somehow, somewhere, it was his fault that things did not quite work out the way you would have wanted it to?

But then, you have a deadline to meet and you sit hunched over in front of your device, gazing at the blank page in front of you and wondering where you are ever going to find the words? At least 700 of them to march across the page like determined soldier ants and get people interested long enough to spend at least five minutes scrolling on their fancy gadgets. Words that would arrest the imagination and give pause, engage, excite, incite.

You can’t do this. 700 words is a tall order and some days, you just feel like crawling under a blanket and just sleeping it off. You wish there was a big old snooze button you could hit on the alarm clock that would make the world stop, and freeze time for at least 5 minutes, while you collect yourself and think of which 700 random words would work well enough with each other…

But there is no snooze button for the world; it must continue to roll on by, whether you want it to or not. And there is definitely no way you are going to find the words to write anything joor o. Your readers would have to deal with the idea of a blank page but then, it is not all doom and gloom though. You are only feeling this way because you would rather have been the one who has to be magnanimous in victory, than the one who has to be gracious in defeat!

And then you remember – within two months, you are going to be purchasing PMS at N50/litre – damn subsidy and international oil prices and blablabla; you can actually claim unemployment and queue up besides other Nigerians and pick up N5,000 per month for perpetuity – world without end. Matter of fact, you can decide it is too much pain being an adult and decide to go back to school. Not only would you be having tuition free education, you would also be getting a free meal to go with it wherever you are. Economy? What economy? The groundnut pyramids would soon be revived and the global oil markets would be stabilised as a result of that. What about that fancy bag you picked up and were slammed with a $2000 price tag? A quarter of your annual house rent in Naira? Well worry not, pretty soon, whatever currency you hold, will exchange for its equivalent – the almighty dollar would be brought to its knees to run neck to neck with your naira.

And so, with these highly achievable promises fuelling your determination to remain sane and move forward, you smile and think – there are, indeed, interesting times ahead! Can’t wait.

But first, there is still the small matter of 700 words which you cannot find anywhere to write.

Oh well, you have tried your best, you are not a magician, you cannot pull these words out from thin air. Everyone just has to understand with you, you need a little bit of time to come to terms with the unexpected situation.

Maybe next week!


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