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Understanding the fuckening, and how to survive in four easy steps

Understanding the fuckening, and how to survive in four easy steps

By: Edwin Mamman

In this country, you are never short of bad days. Live here long enough and you’ll realise that you don’t even have to do anything to catch a bad day. It will fall on you like the Money and Banana that Davido promised Chioma. Take it from someone who’s had an immeasurable number of bad days. I’ve seen enough to write a book on it. But what we’re not going to do is sit and mope over bad days, no. We don pass that. What I will be showing you is how to survive one or a couple of bad days.

The fuckening is an event or a series of events that happens to you and leaves you thinking, “What the fuck!?” You must understand that the fuckening is quite distinct from shege. Shege is universal in this country, but the fuckening is a special type of shege that happens every now and then. Think of it as an experience inside an experience, like raisins randomly sprinkled inside a cake. If shege is having a flat tire with only 2k in your bank account, the fuckening is your ATM card reading insufficient funds at the POS after your colleague has assured you that they’ve transferred 30k into your account. Kini fokii!

Now that you know what the fuckening is, let’s get to the crux of this Ted talk, how to survive one:

The first step to surviving the fuckening is to recognise that you’re experiencing one. Otherwise, it’s going to hit you like a wrecking ball, and your day or week is going to play out like Nkiru Silvanus in ‘A Cry For Help’ (great movie, by the way), and you’re going to end up totally clueless in a sad corner of your room wondering who you offended or which of your village people are ‘working overtime on top your matter’ as you listen to Ajebo Hustlers’ ‘You Go Know’ (you’re going to listen to it at some point anyways). It’s not your village people, it’s just one of those days.

The second and most crucial step to surviving the fuckening is to take a step back. Yes, at this point, you’ve recognised that you’re having one of those ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’. Now you have to do the needful, which is nothing! Sometimes it helps to just get out of the way of things. Simply take a step back and observe the situation as it unfolds. Sometimes (and in this situation), trying to fix something only makes it worse. So don’t go trying to be Mr. Fixer, not this time oga. Save your energy for the everlasting shege that abounds in this country.

Third step, disappear. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Shey you dey whine me ni?” No. I mean it. There’s no perfect tranquilliser for the fuckening like physically or mentally dissociating from it. Trust me, your mental health and peace of mind will thank you.

This is how to do it: if your job allows it, take the day off. You’re in school? Ditch that one class; it won’t hurt your GPA. Have kids? Drop them off at iya’s place and disappear. Trust me, you’re not being irresponsible. Can’t do any of that? Good news; you can still be at the crime scene and mentally dissociate. Just disappear in your mind. Relax and blast some depressing music or songs that reflect the deplorable state of the country.

Here’s a starter pack: Begin with M.I Abaga’s ‘Money’, then Libianca’s ‘People’. Follow it up with Yemi Alade’s ‘Criminal In Agbada’. Remember that Ajebo Hustlers song from earlier? Throw it in the mix. Throw in African China’s ‘Our Government Bad’ for a touch of old school. But hey, you can’t be sad or depressed all the way, it defeats the aim of my Ted talk. So finish with a happy tune like Asake’s ‘Terminator’, and maybe throw in ‘Dull’ for some motivation. You’d be surprised just how therapeutic music is.

In the event that you cannot disappear, rant about it! Call your mother, call your father, call your baby mama or daddy, your friends; hell, do a conference call and rant about your life. Tell a co-worker or any random stranger with nothing to do. After all, a problem shared is half solved. Or better still, go somewhere isolated and scream at the top of your lungs. (Annalise Keating and her students did it, trust me, it’s therapeutic.) Then resume your day like nothing is happening. Remember step two, don’t try to fix or micromanage anything. Just go about your business as best as you can. Believe me; I be OG for this matter.

Finally, practise gratitude. Understand that this day or week is just one of those little annoyances that life throws at you to test your patience, and most importantly, people are going through it every day in this country, no be only you. Things could be worse, much worse, but e no go spoil for you by God’s grace. When you get home, wash off the day in a bath, eat a rich meal, turn off the lights and call it a day, bearing in mind that bad days don’t last forever.

Do this, and I promise you will live a long life (given the circumstances).

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