It has been a beautiful year. Yes, beautiful because despite all that we had to go through, we still have cause to smile at the end. If you are reading this essay, I want you to see yourself as an overcomer, an achiever and a champion. That is exactly who you are. Or how else would you describe a Nigerian who saw the last day of 2020? In normal years, it has always been difficult being a Nigerian in Nigeria. How much more in this mad year of pestilence and death, a year that has challenged the wit of the wittiest men all over the world? I would like to say that God loves Nigerians and Africans. God saved us this year from the pestilence that walketh in darkness. The world looked on in disbelief because Africa did not sink as was the general expectation. I am convinced that God’s grace is in abundance in Africa. It is by His mercy that we are not consumed. I would like to thank all those whom God used as instruments of blessing in saving lives during the pandemic. I thank all our leaders who spent sleepless nights to think of ways to save humanity from the darkness that visited the earth and which still walks among us. Special thanks to all the medical personnel who risked their lives in a bid to save those of others. That was selflessness well demonstrated.

In the year 2020, I chose gratitude and I continue to choose gratitude because it helps to focus on the positive side of life. Gratitude brings about a sense of contentment and fulfilment. Gratitude makes joy to spring forth in a man’s heart. Gratitude enables the individual to rise above base feelings and desires. Gratitude positions one to gain a better perspective on issues and occurrences around one. Gratitude is a life force on its own. It is the key that opens locked doors to blessings from man and the Creator. I urge you, my reader, to embrace the culture of gratitude. It can work wonders. Gratitude can change your life. You should be grateful to God that you have lived to see this day; there’s many a thousand gone! It is not by might, neither is it by power. But it is by God’s grace that we were not consumed!

We all had dreams and expectations of how our perfect 2020 should look like. We had these perfect images well etched on the tablet of our minds. We were very hopeful as the year dawned. We all worked hard and waited with high expectations. Then suddenly, the news started filtering in; breaking news that broke our hearts and dismantled our dreams. At a point, we could not even move about freely. Businesses were irreparably ruined, partnerships were put asunder. Friends could not visit one another. Families were separated across vast distances. Only our voices held us together, and our common hope in the Creator that has never abandoned us even in our covided existence. In the midst of the pandemic, it was important to follow scientifically approved health protocols. But it was, more importantly, necessary to follow spiritually approved protocols like prayers, faith in God, as well as praise and worship. I believe that God usually shows Himself strong in an atmosphere of praise and worship. Of course, he is the air that we breathe! Worship brings peace to man’s heart. During worship, the heart is more focused on God, and it is often during worship that God speaks peace into men’s soul. The true worshipper is never lonely because true worship evokes His presence, and in His presence there is joy!

If you want to know how I survived the Covid-19 lockdown, there it is. Worship is that which instills courage in man’s fainting heart. It is that which also gives direction to the confused and uncertain man. It is in time of tragedy that the mind of man usually finds its creative outlets. Take for instance, the sheer volume of research that has been carried on Covid-19 and the ingenuity of the scientists in manufacturing vaccines for the ailment in what should be the fastest vaccine production time in human history. But then our people say that asob ubok udia ateme ndisi (the fast cook always prepares half-done meals). To this end, our scientists and experts must scrutinise the vaccines before injecting them into the blood stream of our people. Since the death toll from the pandemic is not high in Africa, I suggest we withhold approval of the vaccine in Africa until after adequate trials have been carried out and the full reports on its effects and health implications on the people are made known. Meanwhile, we should remember the age-long assertion that prevention is better than cure.

It is time for Nigerian universities to embrace online teaching and learning in order to save the education sector and the future of the students. The pandemic has shown how unprepared and backward our health and education systems really are. But we must not despair. We cannot sit down and lament. Something has to be done. All tertiary institutions should immediately begin to invest in virtual learning infrastructures and resources. If we want to wait until the pandemic is over before we resume lectures, we might have well been waiting for Godot. Training for a week or two can effectively equip lecturers with the skillset for the execution of online teaching and learning. A greater majority of students in Nigeria are digitally wise, and would hardly encounter difficulty in attending live classes or accessing remote learning platforms. The earlier we start it, the better; so that any challenges encountered along the way can be tackled on time. We cannot wish away virtual learning anymore, especially in our age and time.

The greatest challenge that institutions will encounter in executing virtual learning is the absence or non-existence of digitised libraries in most of the country’s universities. This is because students would not only have to rely on lecture notes for their studies, they would also need to access quality books free of charge online, just as they do in the physical libraries in their various universities. And the digitisation of libraries is a very expensive project. While government plans towards the digitisation of libraries in Nigerian universities, partnership, linkages and collaborations between Nigerian and foreign universities should be encouraged so as to allow our students access to the online library resources of these established foreign universities. Education is very expensive. It is time for our leaders to get this idea and fast too.

When the covid-19 pandemic hit the world and social distancing became inevitable, many universities around the world quickly switched to online learning and online assessment. Some even held virtual graduation/convocation for their students. This shows vision and foresight. Our leaders at all levels should always operate on the ‘what-if’ mode. This is how governments around the world prepare for disasters and other unforeseen tragic events. As it is, the academic calendar of most Nigerian universities has been taken backwards by one year occasioned by strike and the pandemic. This is very tragic and alarming. Yet it does not appear as if an end is in sight, as the pandemic enters its second wave, and lockdown, whether partial or complete, stares us in the face.

If we really care about the education system, this is the time to show it. We must invest in virtual learning. Everyone should be involved by contributing to the realisation of this goal. We expect corporate bodies to donate laptops, smartphones and other internet-enabled gadgets to schools, students and educators, to make this dream a reality. We expect wealthy individuals and NGOs to sponsor virtual learning infrastructures in our institutions of higher learning. Government should also be alive to its responsibilities in that regard. The universities would need uninterrupted internet access and power supply for virtual learning to work properly. There is certainly something the government can do in that regard as well. We need to urgently end our darkness narrative in this country. We need light in this country, both literal and figurative!

At a personal level, I have many things to be grateful for as far as 2020 is concerned. I did not have all my goals for year realised. But then who talks about goal realisation in a year like 2020? I suppose the ultimate goal was to survive, and we all did survive. What this year has taught me is that challenges are stepping stones to the realisation of our full potentials, and that there is always something positive and impacting that we can do in all negative situations. During the pandemic, I was able to launch my personal website (, which I have used to share my ideas with the world. I was able to populate the site within 30 days, thanks to the time allowed by the pandemic. Please feel free to visit the site, browse through the contents and leave your comments and feedback in the ‘Leave Your Reply’ section shortly after every post. The contents are accessed free of charge. You can also click the subscription button that pops op upon your first visit to the site. This allows you to be notified whenever a post is dropped.

I was also able to publish a new anthology this year. I worked for months with a very brilliant and creative publisher in town (Brainspec Publishing House) to pull off the publication. It is what I call Fbterature. I have already espoused its tenets and will continue to do so in the years to come, God willing.

We should look forward to 2021 with renewed hope and faith. God willing and by His grace, there is no challenge that the New Year will throw at us that we won’t be able to surmount. If we have survived 2020, then we have what it takes to survive any other year. Do not ask for poetic prophesies because I am writing in prose and the Muse has not spoken yet, except to assure that through the love of God, our saviour, all will be well!

My perfect essay for 2020? Nothing is perfect anymore, dear reader. Just make do with what you have while expecting the best to come in the New Year. For truly speaking, there is nothing perfect about this year that is fast dying away. Only God is perfect. So let’s look up to Him always.

 Let me wish you all a very happy New Year! Stay safe and God bless.    

Flipping wooden cubes for new year change 2020 to 2021. New year change and starting concept.

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One thought on “My Perfect Essay for 2020

  1. There was a 2020 with its ups and downs yet we were undaunted. I join you to say that through the love of God, our saviour, all will be well. May the unfolding 2021 purge our minds of accumulated tension.

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