Pray For Atomic, Ghana. Pray for Each Other Too
It was Saturday night and I was at my friend Halima's* house for Saturday night drinks and chill with a few friends, and it being a weekend, her's was my 3rd stop so far for the evening. We were a few hours and several drinks into the night when a girl I didn't know very well showed us the clips online.
It was a shocking thing to see, this huge orange fireball so bright that you could almost feel the heat of it. It didn't stop me or some of the others from finishing the game and heading out to continue our night. Disasters happen in the world everyday, and sometimes this knowledge makes us numb and often insensitive to the plight of others going through these things. I think we subconsciously thank God it wasn't us or anyone that we know and then move on to the next task at hand. At least if i'm honest with myself that's my reaction. If we are all honest with ourselves, it's most of our reactions. "Thank God my loved ones are safe, can you imagine?!" But then one day, you don't need to imagine anymore.
The souls that lost their lives that day, and the scores of people injured horrifically from a fire that burned so bright, that people from miles away could see it. This Horrific accident could have been avoided. And that is where the true tragedy lies.
There are days when it feels as though being African is to be in a constant state of internal turmoil, silently raging against daily injustices yet trudging on resilient and resolute. There are also days when the sun kisses my skin so deliciously it makes my blood sing. Moments between the present and the future where the river of time meets possibilities of creating a confluence of magic. It is a feeling that only Africans can really explain and it moves us. It moves me in a primal rhythm without reason. For those born to Africa my Africa and those adopted by this loving battered Mother, the feeling is the same.
And this is about us. It's about you and me and knowing with our hearts, not just with our heads that all the little things we do matter.
It's not just a statement.
The cook who notices a faulty gas oven in her domain but says nothing; The Policeman who smiles home because he was gifted money to not ask questions: She didn't know the oven would decimate a whole family, it wasn't her intention. He thought the man was just another wealthy magnate, how could he have known of the little girls being smuggled in the back of his gorgeous 4-wheel drive, tinted darker than the devils heart. Girls crying silent muffled tears knowing their world has ended.
It's about you and me.
I love you, you're my guy just one more drink, or 4, or 5 bottles. Something must kill a man.
And then it does.
Every little thing we do matters. Some tragedies we can do nothing about, losing Tagbo, then Dj Olu, then Chime. But some may just be avoided.
I wish I had softer words to end with but I don't. This was a struggle to write, but some days are like that. Tomorrow the sun will rise and we reset. Now pray for Atomic, Pray for each other.