Don’t mind my turenci. I’m not about indulging in any political or philosophical sophistry, neither am I embarking on any gruelling intellectual exercise. I just want to tell the story of our lives under this COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and how it’s transforming or shaping our interactions in real life.
Let me therefore first unbundle my jargon. COVID-19 is already a cliché. I need not define it for us again. Transformation is also in common knowledge as a dramatic change. What of Transfiguration? Students of the Bible will be familiar with it as I also first came across it in the early 80s in secondary school at Abeokuta, a total Arts student, and Christian Religious Knowledge, one of my best subjects.
Transfiguration in the biblical context is a term denoting ascension Christ. Now, Thesaurus or some good dictionaries have assisted me with some other synonyms to find more meaning of Transfiguration, connoting metamorphosis, transformation, makeover, change, conversion, transmutation or alteration.
And Coronization? I did not make the mistake of confusing COLONIZATION with CORONIZATION. Rara o. I know very well that Colonization is the process of imperialism of Africa and Asia, especially by Western powers. I know too that it was at the Berlin Conference of 1885 that the Europeans perfected their colonial design or agenda of carving up African and Asian continents and sharing our lands as spoils of war to enslave us and exploit our resources.
As a young student of history, I know very well also that colonization is largely responsible for many of the tragedies we suffer in Africa today. I am also aware that even after the nationalist struggles led to the emancipation or freedom of many African countries, colonization continued in a new phase of neo-colonialization as independence is only on paper because the West continued to dictate essential aspects of public affairs: social, economic, political in these continents in the ordering of polity and public policies.
CORONIZATION in the context and circumstances of today is a derivative of Corona Virus Infection that is spreading a global pandemic and necessitated a lockdown and disruption of our lives. Under CORONIZATION, our movement is restricted. Our contacts and communication are curtailed, resulting in a culture called social distancing.
We cannot attend real conferences and seminars abroad in this period. But ZOOM has come to our rescue to engage and share knowledge and experience in interactive video conferencing. Our lives are now virtual. We can be on WhatsApp all day long chatting or meeting to discuss fundamental issues of public interest or global concern or importance.
Our roads are free, which is good, as pollution or emission is substantially controlled. Our wives and children are at close range and we can see our faces and appreciate our growth and beauty better or more. Wives or husbands escaping homes before under the guise of “its work”, “I’m held up in traffic”, are now under lockdown even as the neighbourhood beer parlours, joints and lounges are empty and crying for patronage and reprieve from the lockdown.
But our churches and masaajids are deserted, unfortunately, a really bad phenomenon, because the consolation of many souls seeking redemption is in the vineyards of the Lord and the gardens of the righteous that the churches and mosques are. There, many souls find rest and comfort in fellowship and worship of Allah with fellow believers. That might result in some spiritual hollowness for those who are just trying to reconnect with their maker.
As for me, I am settling to be a gourmet just as I am developing culinary skills rapidly. Not only am I just rising to be a foodie as a hobby, but I am also deepening my passion for networking. As a member of the Publicity Committee of the Muslim Coalition against COVID-19, we are working to evolve a robust response and relief strategies and programmes in support of the initiatives of the government and the Organized Private Sector to stop the pandemic.
So, it has been days of fulfilling engagements online with representatives of almost 50 organizations, that make up the coalition. Our online meeting has been most enchanting, meeting like minds of zeal and commitment to touch lives during this pandemic. Our target is to raise N500 million in pooling resources together to provide palliatives to the poor as well and personal protective equipment to those on the frontline.
What emerges from this Coronization or lockdown, given my personal experience is that it is not totally a bad development, because of some silver lining that we are seeing in it. If you have not enjoyed what is an ideal leave or holiday before, Coronization has forced one on you. If you have always seen noise as normal, now you get a taste of serenity. Some are even uncomfortable at home with their wives and children. Now they are forced to sit at home, relaxing in family circles.
Certainly, Coronization is one disruption we never thought of as it crippled many businesses. The sour side of the lockdown is that it led the awawa and one million boys to come out to unleash terror in many neighbourhoods. They want food as they are starving because their pre-occupation is seriously affected by the lockdown.
For a few, however, it is an opportunity to relax, unwind, slow down, adjust and realign priorities of life. It also offers one an opportunity for self-discovery, some empowerment, a new consciousness, mental stimulation and intellectual productivity. This piece is a product of Coronization.
Not only is it leading many of us to a transfiguration, someone like me is now on transmigration to some small island in the Pacific Ocean where everything is cool and peaceful, a pure bliss, although we are under a COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos, Nigeria. We will come out stronger, with brighter rewarding future (BRF), Insha Allah.
Abdulwarees, an Assistant Director, Strategic Planning & Corporate Development, Voice of Nigeria is a volunteer for Muslim Public Affairs Centre MPAC Nigeria and member of the Publicity Committee of the Muslim Coalition Against COVID-19.