Unspeakable Joy

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common that unsuccessful [people] with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Ex-Pres. Calvin Coolidge, via

I’ve been looking for something profound to say ever since I landed in New York but the words are hiding in Fort Knox, and I’m the lil’ kid outside its enormous walls begging to be let in.

Here’s the story, my sister is graduating; now as naija people graduating is not a big deal. I mean high school graduation is a joke and even when you get your 1st degree people don’t spend the day applauding your efforts, no they are curious and are quick to advice you on which grad. school to apply to.

Anyways my sister is graduating with a bachelor’s degree after 8 years and to say I am proud is an understatement. I don’t think I have ever in my life been as proud of her as I am right now. I don’t think I have been as proud of anyone except my mom (when she got her doctoral degree while sending three daughters to college).Even when she eventually becomes a lawyer I won’t feel this sense of familial pride and joy as I do now.

I can’t even write right now because my wonderful sister is making noise in the other room and it is the middle of the day and normally the darkness illuminates my thoughts.
The words are still elusive but here it goes.

---------------Hold your head up high
---------------Daughter of Oduduwa
---------------Be not ashamed
---------------You are strong
---------------Your strength cannot be measured
---------------by any quantifiable means
---------------When others gave up
---------------You pressed on
---------------When they said it couldn’t be done
---------------You smiled
---------------I passed you by on this journey called life
---------------Excelling in areas that you could only dream about
---------------You could have resented my success
---------------but instead you choose to support mii
---------------My road was easy
---------------Yours hard
---------------Still you prevailed against the storm
---------------When the waves swelled
---------------You practiced the breaststroke
---------------When the walls seems insurmountable
---------------You laughed
---------------I admire your strength
---------------I envy your persistence
---------------Your ability to sing
---------------In sinking sand
I wish I have the words to convey what I feel but I don't
I'm numbers not letters, so i'll stop

He has restored the years that you have sown in tears
So it took you eight years what the rest of us accomplished in four
So what?
Your better for it
You are the most well adjusted
Spiderella is going thru an identity crisis,
I’ve never been in a relationship,
And Junior is still clueless as to her path in life

So yeah
Big ups to you
U now have it all
The hubby, the home (not house), the job,
all that remains is the twins so yeah HURRY UP

And even tho’ my happiness
is never outwardly expressed
I am proud that you are my big sister

So live the life you have chosen
Live it without regrets
Rejoice because you are free to dream
Life's shakcles no longer define you
You have shown mii that
Nothing is impossible



Congrats to your sis! It is not easy to graduate so to do so with a Bachelors is aan accomplishment. Particularly after 8 years.

Send her our congrats oh! We are waiting for jollof rice, fanta and plenty turkey meat!

Kafo said...

u forgot the dodo

Poetic Justice said...

wow! Still in tears. Thanks gurl! I am proud of you everyday. I dedicate the poem to you! You are the one who has emulated all that and more.

Yeah and it didn't take me eight years to get a bachelors! I am not olodo oh! It took me 5 years (1 year I spent out of school because of money issues and 1 year because my identity got stolen and all the money in our account was unrecoverable. so yeah! But I MADE IT!)

Thanks gurl! Love you more!

Kafo said...

i am whoseying now

nonsense u messed with my story

vixen please tell her that it took her eight okay
i understand that it is not your strong suite but still
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 is equal to 8

1999 to 2007

KM said...

That's decent still -- I take it poetic justice is the sister in question -- so many, many congrats to poetic. :-)


azuka said...

Congratulations to your sister. Did you say graduation is not a big thing to Nigerians? We had some graduands last week -- you should have seen the party!

Vixen said...

Lol...ummmmm yeah, she is the math whizz...although Kafo, you should subtract the 2 years that she wasn't in school and the other .75 years so that would make it 5 and a quarter years. Or is it 6 and a quarter? Anyway sha, she's all done now. Stop counting years for her and go cook the jollof rice jare.

I love you both.

mack said...

And has there ever been a time I visited you blog without getting something for my own life? If anyone knew how much I could use an encouragement-- even if it were meant for someone else.
May your joy never end.

The Pseudo-Independent said...

Ah unspeakable joy, its so good to have seen this. So full of thoughts to be mulled over, savored. I believe this post might need to be read over and over. What a brilliant mind you have.

ijeoma obu iheoma said...

awwww..i really love this post.. its quite touching.. and inspiring..
congratulations to your sister.. no matter what anyone says.. degree is never an easy thing..

ijeoma obu iheoma said...

and the slow dancing in the burning room thing.. i am guessing you got it off john mayers new album continuum.. i wondered the same thing.. but it is a great song. and it means a lot upon futher thought..

9ja Opeke said...

This is so inspiring Kafo...it makes one want to rise even if you have been laying down there on the floor for too long...When I read post like this I want to reach for the sun (yeah! the sun) and grab it with my bare hands. I may get burnt by its ray but I did get there...Thank you, Kafo.

Congratulations to your Sister...It may have taken 8yrs but you are a winner in my eyes...And this is the beginning of better things to come...


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mack said...

oh babe.. you know you are my....I mean to say

Kafo said...

thank you all oooo
the east coast is something else. I've been back for almost a week and I am still recuperating from all those people. There was sooooo much stuff going on there that it rubbed off on mii and now i have multiple conversations in my head at the same time.
Mercy, there are tooo many people out there, I wonder how y'all cope.

anywayz thanks once again

@mack: coolu tempa, coolu tempa.


nameless.poetical. said...

wow...and u say ur more numbers than letters...
in my books u did a damn good job....
i dont know your sis, but see my head swelling with pride...

me that i have how many more years?

Anonymous said...

thats really beautiful, that sense of pride and joy is great. im the first child and watching everyone of my siblings do something even little is wonderful.congrats to ur sis.and by the way my graduation better be a big thing, lol. that Mercedes ocean drive is calling my name.