My favorite fruit is the African pear, popularly known in these parts as ‘ube’. Roasted, boiled, or served without any form of heat, I could nibble on that sweetness with so much reckless abandon. It got so bad on my last visit to Delta state, in 2017, that my friends would hide them from me because I would refuse to eat food. Ube was the perfect definition of beautiful daydreaming, and I would hold on to it as the rain fell releasing the sweet smell of wet dust.
Typically grown in the Eastern and South-South parts of Nigeria, ube hates heat so it can hardly be transported long distances. Chances are, that if it is sent by road, it would be all rotten by the time it gets to me in Jos.
Recently my craving for this fruit had grown so much. It became so bad that I started feeling like I know what pregnant women go through dealing with cravings. Every time I think of home, I would remember ube. When it rains and the termites come out to follow the light, I would miss the butter-like taste of my precious ube.
Finally, it got to a stage where I felt I could no longer bear to pass another week without eating the fruit. I started the hunt to achieve my dreams. I have been present with a problem and using my ABP skills, I set out to solve it. In this case, what would success look like for me? Yes, you guessed right, success would mean me having and eating my ube.
I immediately went on a google search. I downloaded a beautiful picture of the pear, neatly arranged to catch everybody’s attention. I uploaded it on my WhatsApp status and shamelessly asked for anyone who will be ready to supply me with the fruits, clearly stating that I was willing to pay any amount. That status update got over 400 views.
Despite the number of views and validation from fellow ‘ube addicts’, no one was going to be able to get them over to me. The impossibilities ranged from they had not ripened enough to be found or it was just wrong timing, and they would not be able to get it done.
I was heartbroken but adamant, nonetheless. I kept hope alive but decided to change my approach. I started chatting friends up privately just in case they missed my status update. One person was willing to but then transporting it became an issue.
Here is the testimony. Earlier this evening, I was scrolling through WhatsApp and saw it on someone’s status. I commented and we began a conversation, my dream came alive, and hope was rekindled. I chatted with a friend coming from Benin to Jos tomorrow and this time the odds were all in my favor. I am proud yet delighted to announce that my ube will hopefully be in my pot boiling by this time tomorrow.
As I sat to write today, set to put pen to paper, I thought about it, ‘’how far are we willing to go?’’ what is your ube, what is that dream you see every night and day? Maybe if you keep pushing the universe will bring it to you. After all, the bible says to knock, and it shall be opened, seek and ye shall find. The failures of yesterday do not mean that success is impossible today. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, see you tomorrow.