The mandatory years of service for the average Customs officer in Nigeria are 35 years, thus when got enlisted in the para-military agency of the Federal Government – the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on 1st March 1988, 35 years seemed like an eternity that would take a very long time to come.
But just like yesterday, if I had not gone on voluntary retirement in 2004 by this year, I would have spent 34 years in the service waiting to pull out in March next year. Did I hear you say or wonder how time flies! Yes indeed, how time flies.
In simple terms, an old English idiomatic phrase, “What goes up must come down’’, is expressive of the fact that everything that is launched or thrown into the air will return to the ground because of the law of gravity. Whether it’s someone jumping up into the air as high as they can, a football being thrown over in an open field, or an airplane flying from one country to another— all of these things cannot remain in the air forever. Eventually, due to the force of gravity, they will have to come down. That is the idea behind the phrase. It’s basically a simple observation of what gravity does to people and objects.
It is said that on the Earth all bodies have weight, or downward force of gravity, proportional to their mass, which Earth’s mass exerts on them. Gravity is measured by the acceleration that it gives to freely falling objects.
My intention is to through this piece bring us to the realization that we have to continue to make conscious and deliberate efforts to preserve what I will call
our original status’’, orour starting point’’ because no matter how long, how far, or how high we go, some time or somehow we will eventually return to where we started from literally speaking.
For example, workers started out unemployed later became employed, rose to the pinnacle of their career, and eventually retire and become unemployed, back to where they started from. Yes, they are most likely to be more experienced and better empowered by all means but they are definitely going to fair better if they were conscious of the fact that eventually, they are going to eventually become unemployed.
Therefore, we must all be careful not to burn our bridges so that it doesn’t become impossible for us to return to ‘our original positions’.
I sometimes wonder if our politicians who eventually become public office holders remember the fact that someday they leave those exalted offices that they are occupying today and will return to a time when they will not be occupying those offices. The truth is no matter how well a performer does on stage the best time to leave is when the ovation is loudest.
To conclude this piece, I think it is in order to also consider the flip side of this supposition and permit me to quote the Holy Bible which says “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5). Essentially it means that no matter how bad things maybe now it will get better. Listening to Nigerian students who were studying in Ukraine before the unfortunate invasion of the country that is currently going on by President Putin of Russia relay what they had to go through to get into neighbouring countries such as Hungry and Poland.
It struck me that it sometimes may seem that one has come to the end of the road but if one does not lose faith there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Let me state here emphatically that the fact that I have always kept the phrase; “what goes up must come down” in my heart has helped me tremendously to navigate through the very dark path of the first-ever and very excruciating lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At some point, it was like the world was going to end, particularly for those of us in the travel business. The phrase ‘new normal’, became annoyingly popular; people started to come up with strange routines, unusual standards, and unfamiliar orders, and we were expected to accept that; that was the way we would continue to live our lives. I am so glad we are gradually going back to our ‘original normal’.
The cover story of this edition is on how South Africa took advantage of ‘Meetings Africa 2022’ to not only show the world their resolve to live not minding the devastating effects of the Covid-19 on their tourism industry but also invited the rest of the world to “live again’’.
As you know we always celebrate women especially in the March edition of Inside Watch Africa (IWA) as it is recognized globally as Women’s historical month, thus we celebrated a couple of African women in this edition, one of who is Rwanda’s Salma Mukansanga, the first woman to officiate an African Cup of Nations match.
Your inquisitiveness will lead you to find out several other very interesting stories packaged in this edition for your reading pleasure. Have a good time as you peruse the pages excitedly.