2020: No, No, We’re Not Done Here

A decade ago, the vision for the year 2020 was filled with all the positive growth one could wish for.

As nations, we would have made significant progress in health, our economies and every other area important enough for nation-building.

What most of us didn’t expect was the breaking of the seed that accompanies any genuine growth process. With the arrival of 2020 came the time to face the over-flogged truth that the opportunities for growth weren’t spread across for everyone evenly — more people died due to the colour of their skin and the class they were born into, and more were held back from progressing due to one trauma or the other inflicted for no other reason than their sex or geographical location. Once glorified statues came toppling down and the curtain was pulled back to reveal…nothing much.

When dealing with rodents, as one often has the unpleasant task of doing in densely populated cities, I find I have two options: pretend that they don’t exist and cower in my room while my stuff gets destroyed, or take up a broom and go room by room sweeping and cleaning, leaving no furniture unturned. In the process, I rediscover old stuff that may be useful again, or unuseful things just taking up space which I chuck out. Most rodents make sudden movements and reveal themselves, offering you the opportunity to finally face them head-on, others may be dealt with later by a carefully-laid trap made by the carefully observed findings discovered in the cleaning process.

In the moment of a faceoff, there is dread but there is elation — dread at the fact that you are going to have to deal with this but elation at the fact that what was hidden is now in the open. I imagine that this is what every hero in any movie feels like when their villain finally appears.

No more sleepless nights wondering if you would wake up to find something crawling up your bed, you know for certain that there is nothing there because you cleaned up, repaired broken things, blocked any leakages and holes, and swept up any old foods.

You sleep better, are more relaxed and you wake up feeling better about the space you live in and, dare I say, the world.

If the world has felt like it has been on autopilot since we began to gain better understanding of the world around us and our place in it, if each time turning on the tv to watch yet another bombing felt like it took away yet another chunk of our sensitivities, 2020 feels like hope that things will not remain as it has for a long while.

It is a reminder that the absence of unrest does not always mean that people are not at war and that protests do not mean that the world is going to burn, at least not forever.

Each time I think about the Kpop stans who flooded Police scanners in Dallas, Texas with FanCams to prevent protesters from being identified, each time I watch videos of scores and scores of teenagers skateboarding, cycling, dancing as a form of protest, each time I see young women pulling in their support for each other in the face of injustices, each time I see one more person decide to listen, do better and offer their support to movements that demand better of us, each time I think about the loss and the gains this year has taken and given, if I had to describe 2020 in one sentence, it would honestly be the most hopeful I have ever felt.

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Adaku Nwakanma

Adaku Nwakanma

I write about digital product design.