‘This is it’ and he died just weeks before the promised last stand, the last dance -very apocalyptic. All around, reactions have poured thick and fast. This morning a friend linked the early morning shower to MJ’s demise. Umbrella over my head, I’m jumping street-lakes, and someone is singing ‘don’t stop till you get it on’ another is whistling ‘thriller’. The Michael Jackson revolution is on full throttle. It is scary to imagine a world without break-dancing, moon-walking, crotch grabbing, karate chops and hat throwing dancing manoeuvres. Pull over at major bus stops in Lagos, pants rolled up to weary knees, very angry commuters are seething venom for having to pay thrice the usual transport fare simply because it’s raining. The road side news analysts aren’t anywhere near the newsstands; it’s raining cats and dogs but I can see Michael Jackson’s face on a number of National tabloids. Everyone knows Wacko Jacko here and his strongest fans in Africa can be found in the nooks and crannies. Even though no one was bemused when he failed to make a stopover in Lagos in the 80’s and then it was widely rumoured that he was Nigerian. The commuter beside me has fond memories of Michael. “No party was complete without a Michael Jackson hit. The guy rocked the world”
But then everyone is visibly upset with the state of roads in Lagos. Pot holes have become pit holes and expressways are an extension of the Atlantic Ocean. The sorry tale of MJ is the parody of the Nigeria state. A Prodigy at birth, Nigeria is now the full grown man-child that still shouts on rooftops for relevance. Hear the propagandists, ‘Nigeria is the biggest black nation in the world and the giant of Africa.’ Next year Nigeria will be 50, equaling the premature exit age of Michael. The bad news is that the Nigerian health care system is a laughing stock; deplorable that President Yar Adua wouldn’t treat a common cold at home aping what Michael Jackson sang ‘they don’t really care about us.’ Meanwhile I’m getting my drums out. The world’s greatest music legend and entertainer, the Afro American Michael Jackson who thrilled the world with ABC and Billie Jean deserves a bow.