Published On: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2018

OPINION: The Last Auction…

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By Diipo Fagunwa
An Auction happened in the years of old, on a day that only the rich would be proud to attend, and the aspiring looked with hope in their hearts and expectations in their minds, that one day shall be one day – the pig shall get to Òyọ but only the noise it would make shall be dreadful.
The Auction started with all the brilliant bids. There were bids for the papyrus of Egypt, there was a bid for the gold of the streets of Gao. It was touted that an astronaut travelled from space to bid for the regalia of Kúrunmí used for the Ìjàyè war, and Wọlé Ṣóyínká had to be restricted to Ìṣarà Remo to avoid a bid for his white hair.
This was a big auction but somewhere in that same hall waiting to be auctioned was an old gòjé, a traditional stringed instrument and violin. Its wood was beaten and its colour was faded. It was dusty and had been kept in the artic from the period before the fall of the Òyọ́ Empire.
This gòjé was spent and weak, looking exhausted like the intern of a saw mill, and unattractive like the foot mat of a busy place of worship. Its auction was delayed until the end of a decent haggle, to forestall a disgraceful end to a graceful day. But there is no way the penis can enjoy bearded meat and the dawn/daylight shall refuse to come.
The time of its own auction did come.
“Who shall buy it, who shall pay for it?”, the auctioneer called out without enthusiasm
“Ten Kobo” came the first bid.
“Twenty”, was the second.
“Thirty” came the yawning third.
And so on they went till they got to One Naira.
One Naira for a whole goje?
One Naira for a traditional violin.
And the auctioneer finally said
“Going! going….!”
But before he could say “gone”, a voice came from the stand and asked for the auctioneer to tarry so he can examine the instrument.
Out came a young maestro who walked up with the confidence of the Master of the Rolls.  He took the spent instrument, wiped it clean of its dust and toughened the strings.
He picked up the bow and tended the strings with a passion and love that can only be matched by the faith, honour and dignity of the inheritor of a worthwhile legacy.
The young master played a sákárà that belonged to eternity, and his fingers moved with the fluidity that later echoed an àwúrèbe rhythm that could only be heard in paradise. He finished his concert with the mimic of ìyẹ̀rẹ̀ that could only be matched by an adagio that was last heard during the reign of Saul, and was played by David to free Saul of his melancholy.
The auction went somber.
The bid matured out of vanity and the power of the master glittered on the horizon.
The auctioneer wept, the bidders shed tears, even angels worshipped God in heaven with humility as they listened to music that belonged to the glorious, and was played by the anointed for grace and favour to flow on earth.
The musician gave the auctioneer back the gòjé for auction again and new bids started.
The gòjé had suddenly been transformed and new surge of life had been breathed into it. The auctioneer picked it up with reverence and the lots happened with new bids calling.
“Ten thousand” sayeth the first bid,
“fifty was the second”.
“Five hundred” was to follow and “One Million” came from the shy fourth.
In the end the gòjé was auctioned for five million, paid by an anonymous bidder.
So what transformed the instrument? Everyone seemed to ask. Even the auctioneer wondered.
The gòjé was transformed by the celebration that came from a musician who knew the worth of the instrument, so that its glory can be sought after.
He did not complain about the state of the instrument but wiped the dust, polished the rust and toughened the strings. He knew it was of value.
He then played a melody and the melody was the good news that transformed the cheap instrument to one of value to be cherished.
We, (you and I) Nigerians are the gòjé and we need to know its worth and work to celebrate it.
There are many more nice persons among us than the misfits. We have people of hard work and discernment within us that number more than the sands on a shore. Let us know this and believe it.
We must now snatch our public space from the charlatans that reside within, to pollute it, but giving the impression that they represent us.
We must clear our fields of the breath of impurities that those who presently lead at all levels exhale.
We must fight our enemies from wherever they may come from, be it the moon, the sun or stars, the east, west, north or south. We must shout our worth for the world to hear so that the jealous would know we are proud of our selves.
So, let us re-dedicate ourselves to building a worthy nation that the world would see and awe. Let us dust our sheets of glory and celebrate our emblems of pride. We must rekindle our passions of goodness and dance to the music of our name – though tribe and tongue may differ, we must stand in brotherhood, weather the storm together as one, to bring out the best in us.
We must answer the glorious names of our parents and enjoy the blessings of the angels of our past.
Let us bless the culture of our ancestors and exalt the language of our land. So we can  appreciate the works of our hands, celebrate the spirit from which it came and bring up children from our loins who are proud of us and our heritage.
Indeed a great nation we are. We must not let any cheap monk look at the tarot sheet of failure or the crystal ball of woe to give prophesy of doom to us, about our future.
We are a blessed people. We should, with dignity, jointly sing the song of greatness.
Enjoy our grace.
God bless

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