LOUD WHISPERS: The Float Truck

I know that Loud Whispers is very late this week. I sincerely apologise to all my readers who must have kept visiting Above Whispers hoping that something new has been posted. Even though I know you fully understand that I am very busy with the campaign activites, I did promise that I would try and keep writing every week. Last weekend when it was time for me to start thinking about what to write for this Monday, I was under a lot of pressure, attending to so many things and meeting with a whole lot of people. The time I set aside to write was taken up by political associates who needed help with one thing or the other. Three things made me very sad last week, and I did not have the energy to put what I was feeling into words. Scores of innocent people were slaughtered in Plateau State, in  what is turning out to be a regular occurrence, and the security apparatus in the country does not seem to be able to get a handle on it, and the dastardly acts continue with impunity. Yet, we are not at war. Yet.

As the nation mourned this tragedy, there was a terrible accident involving a petrol tanker in Lagos, killing an unknown number of people, with many seriously injured and a large number of vehicles destroyed. It was a terrible day, the kind of day that the Yoruba call, ‘Ojo buruku Esu bu omi mu’. It is a saying that is used to describe calamities, but it is not easily translated into English. During a court session (this is a true story) a witness was asked to describe what happened on a particular day and she said, ‘Ha! Ojo buruku Esu bu omi mu’. When the Judge asked for a translation, the court translator said, ‘The Day the Devil Came to Drink Water’! I wrote a poem shortly after using that rather innovative translation. The devil has been drinking a lot of water recently. Again, last week, there was a report that in some schools in Enugu State, girls as young as 14 & 15 are being raped as part of initiation rites into cults. Where do we even begin to unpack this? As I thought about all these events, my head kept getting foggier, so I focused on my campaign duties.

Yesterday July 4th, I started a three-day roadshow through Ekiti State with the APC Women’s Wing. The roadshow was part of a ‘Get out the Vote’ effort for our candidate, my husband, Dr Kayode Fayemi, through voter education and sensitization. I had seen our campaign float truck many times, because it always goes ahead of us on campaign stops, with a DJ and young people on it blaring music and heralding the arrival of the campaign train. I decided that since we were doing a roadshow, it would not make any sense to sit in an air-conditioned vehicle, so got on the float truck, ignoring the alarmed looks on the faces of our security people. One of my aides looked at me as if I was crazy. ‘You want to get on this’? he asked, as if my saying No would make his day. The float truck is old and rickety, but quite strong. I was well aware of the dangers of riding in such a contraption, on some roads which are not particularly smooth, but I was ready to take the risk. I rode on it all day yesterday and today, with other senior women leaders, through many towns and villages, handing out gifts to people, especially old women and reminding them to vote on July 14th. In some parts, the roads were bumpy, so we kept rolling back on forth on the truck, but on the whole, it was a lot of fun. And there was so much dancing! For someone like me who has not been on a treadmill for a while, dancing is a great way to keep fit.

This morning, as we set out for the roadshow, the truck started to give us problems. It broke down just as we were leaving our home town of Isan-Ekiti. It did not help that we had just handed out gifts of rice, semovita, milk, salt and so on to an excited crowd. The trick was to hand out the packages and zoom away, but we could not make a quick get away because the truck couldn’t move! We had no choice but to keep handing out gifts till we ran out. Eventually, the truck was fixed and we took off, reloading some more gift items on the way. We were fine till we got to the last town for the day, which was Ikole-Ekiti. Many women had lined up on the streets waiting for us to arrive. We addressed them and started handing out items. When we were ready to go the truck broke down again! After waiting for over thirty minutes, with the crowd getting bigger, we decided to abandon the truck and get into our vehicles. After a few minutes, my team insisted that I use the open roof of my car to address the huge number of women who were still at the roadside and pass gifts to them. It worked like a charm. My people call me ‘Madam Plan B’, so yes, using the car open roof was a good Plan B!

As I settled back into my car, I felt better than I had been feeling in a while. To me, the float truck symbolizes what life is all about. The experiences we go through, our struggles and triumphs, always serve to make us stronger. The old float truck has seen many lifetimes, but it is still going strong. It is still useful and relevant. Ten minutes after we had all given up on it and got back into our cars, the indefatigable truck roared back into life.
Tomorrow morning, I will get on the float truck again. There are more than ten towns to visit tomorrow. I don’t know if the truck will break down again. I can only hope that it will run smoothly, bumps on the road or not. The same way we need to keep living our lives. Will we get it wrong sometimes? Maybe. Will we fail every now and then? Perhaps. Will we succeed? Hopefully. Do we always need a Plan B? We can’t plan for every single thing. Take a risk. All we can do is get on the truck. You will never know till you have gone for the ride. The devil will always need a cup of water. May we never be around when he is thirsty. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

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13 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: The Float Truck

  1. Femi Diipo July 6, 2018 at 7:19 am

    A big amen to that, what a week it was last week. We pray the devil will not be ravaged with that much thirst again anytime soon and May God heal our nation and save us from evil.
    Well done ma’am, I think the best part of it is that despite the stress and exhaustion of campaign you can still draw out these wonderful lessons and choose to have some fun amidst all these. May the lord continue to be your strength.

    Reply
  2. Dom Dom July 6, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Yes you made a promise to still post every week despite your engagements, and the fact that you keep up is super incredible and inspiring. May the ink never run dry.
    As long as we live I also believe that we must try to live life to the fullest, and no matter the bumps and challenges we will come out victorious. July 14 is almost here, the race is almost won.

    Reply
  3. Chioma George July 7, 2018 at 8:40 am

    sincerely, last weekend was really a dark one. It started with our beloved Dbanj losing his 1 year old son, to plateau killings, i heard about the Enugu story and then the lagos incident. I pray these things don’t show up again in our nation. we pray peace and sanity and we hope that as a people we stand up for this peace.

    Erelu, well done. I know how hectic work must has been over there but it’s almost over and it will end in victory!

    Reply
  4. Matilda July 9, 2018 at 11:01 am

    May God help us and keep protecting us. Thanks for sending these encouraging words. Thanks for loving us to remember us in this very busy time. God will help us to victory!!!

    Reply
  5. veronica Imaseun July 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Sincerely, may God help us and keep us safe. Life indeed has its ups and downs. Sometimes, the plans don’t go as planned but the will power to surmount every hurdles make us better and more informed. May God always give us victory and this victory we shall have on Saturday! Well done Mama.

    Reply
  6. Lilian Osagie July 9, 2018 at 11:19 am

    We have to be thankful for every opportunity we get to be challenged because each of these challenges expose us to wisdom and maturity. It is just one life and we need to live it up to fulfillment. Sometimes, take the long walk without the car, sometimes, jump as high than you would have, sometimes, drink garri and take groundnut with some iced water. It is just one life, have a taste of it all. Thanks for always sharing wisdom with us Erelu and I pray that this election ends in your favour.

    Reply
  7. Victor Udoh July 9, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Indeed those experiences were gory ones and we hope we do not have such again. Concerning these killings, I hope they want to sort it out. I hope they are really working because people are getting tired. We are killing ourselves and forgetting too easily.

    Risk is Life, Life is a risk. Thanks for sharing ma

    Reply
  8. Olakunle Olajide July 9, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Well done ma’am. That week of those disasters were full of heartaches. Hopefully, these occurrences would be abated.
    There is always a reason to be thankful and we just hope things get better with every step we take. Thank you as always ma’am.

    Reply
  9. Solomon Nkechi July 9, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    I wonder how you manage to combine all you do. You are indeed a very strong woman and I pray all the effort of the past few weeks get crowned with success. I am really praying and rooting for you. God will keep you and help you.

    Reply
  10. DSEED July 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    A big Amen to all your prayers ma. you are a role model. you are so strong and fit, supportive and encouraging. Ever persistence. And for the past week of tragedy it was indeed a bad day devil drink water. I pray will never experience such again in Jesus name. The Lord will restore back our peace.

    Reply
  11. Shina Dideolu July 9, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for these encourahing words and prayers. May we have songs of Victory!

    Reply
  12. Remilekun Anderson July 11, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Sincerely, we all need to keep praying that we do not encounter the day the devil comes wanting for water. Thank you for sending us such timely prayers and I want you to know that Victory is sure for you my Adorable First Lady!!!

    Reply
  13. Lauretta Idemudia July 11, 2018 at 9:42 am

    May we always have reasons to thank God. We may not understand what it is, but we would understand. Life will always have its ups and downs. It can never be smooth, the plan Bs by even fail but what makes us stronger is who we are and what we have made of ourselves. I like the fact that this article speaks so much about facing reality and being thankful for everything. Thank you for being a pillar of support to thousands of people out there. Thank You Erelu BamBam. Victory is Sure!!!

    Reply

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