The Future is a Blurry Mirror

Styl Plus’s “Four Years” became an important part of us years before we left school. Apart from Akon’s “Sorry, Blame It On Me” that featured prominently amongst boys in my class, P-square’s “Ifunaya” and “Roll It” topped the list the year we graduated. Before we graduated, we were full of good vibes and every moment was prepared to be enjoyed. Personally, I would listen to other boys discuss about their new girlfriends and how they visited them at night and basked in the bright light of a full moon. They would discuss how they catched babes with songs, with promises of forever and other things that, now, evade my mind as I sit in the darkness of the night, my mind scouring the past, digging the residues of spent moments.

The last day in school was filled with laughter. Boys, who were ignorant of the future, locked hands with girls and took amazing pictures. I joined some of my friends in documenting the moment by posing like the next big thing in town. As the day neared its end, Styl Plus’s “Four Years” rent the air.

Four year don waka
We still dey carry go
Nobody waka
Nobody go solo
Baba God o…

Today, more than a decade after graduation, the song returns to me as a metaphor for aging, for growth in my understanding of life, and for the things I can’t envisage. In life, our journeys are multilayered. Our purposes are different. Over the years, the realities of life remain undecipherable to many, while there are those who continue to question each moment that pushes them to the edge of sadness. Happiness, like sadness, does not last. One unforgettable thing about the past is the way it remains the past. The way we can’t return to it again to become who we were, the way we try to no avail to repeat the happenings that filled it.

If you told me 10 years ago that I would be here today, I would say no. Because we can’t predict the future. The future is a blurry mirror. We can only strive. We can only carry the uncertainty of life and hope from a day to another.

Here I am, remembering Styl Plus. I remember my friends too. The ones who are alive and the ones who, sadly, are dead. They remain characters in my play of life. They played and continue to play key roles.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, may the years ahead be filled with light and hope.

Rasaq Malik Gbolahan is a poet and co-founder of Atelewo. He’s the author of No Home in this Land.


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