“The world’s missing faces are yours and mine!
If so, do not ask where they come from.” – imaife
Missing faces of the world are many. They could easily produce billions. It is in billions that billion faces are missing. It is a world situation, untamed by science and technology. A fallout in life, man’s inhumanity to man, ego chasing in governance, oppression and strife.
Can one imagine correctly Europeans, Chinese and south Asian faces if one is outside their realm? Having little or no business with that part increases ones difficulty to configure or conjure those faces. Their world is far away from yours but close to those who miss their faces. Yet, it is the same world where flashes of faces are made real in individuals and peoples who know them. Missing faces issue silent, endless cries.
Missing faces in America are historically strewn in the red sand of Africa and immersed in the deep of the Atlantic to and in their land.
Missing faces are part of multi-coloured, milled chocolate of Indians, Africans, and other races.
Time and process are causing missing faces look like a fading rainbow. But colours of diminishing rainbow is difficult to efface from the mind. Is it not like dotted mesh, white grains of sand on tar – a mosaic? Somehow, like a snake that swallows a toad – agwo nò awo ashiri!. It fades but does not fade. Old, ugly narrative is a tree that suddenly lost its tap root in dry season. The leaves suddenly start to drop and unceasingly.
Each time there is recollection of missing faces there is a pulse. It is a deep one, now and then splashing on hearts of those affected. A scotch on hearts and arteries. Tingling, fuzzy emotions erupting from time to time. Each generation across the world has enough share of silent cries of missing faces. Sometimes, it pulsates over reoccurring events often treated as mundane with official casualness. In time, it overheats beyond boundaries!
Missing faces are memories chants and charts of exit at barricades of life. In a stretch of imagination about painful exist that should not be.
Is history not a continuous story of “one untouched does not know what being touched means?”
A missing face on earth is history lines not fully developed. It is untold story. A tear and tears of silent cries.
Association in time shoots arrows directly at memories. Absence of association is the proverbial unknown content of a coffin, simply considered a log of wood by a stranger. But the unknown is someone’s – father, mother, brother, sister or child. Indeed, the untouched often does not understand the meaning of being touched. But humanity should nudge everyone to a point of understanding, at least give a tint of a feeling. Though pains of loss in death are at levels, our insight to this higher levels should grow not diminished.
Memories bring home the forgotten. Disciplined thought is but a check. When memory showers, the head is full and the fallout of a loss could emerge. Emergence and visibility devolve to actions that situate what is missing to the fore. It could turn to a moody day or night like a confused weather in July, not winter, not rain or sunshine. It is unusual medley of normal and abnormal, often driven to abnormality. The pain of missing faces of the world.
As they waddle through the slope of Outlu, they are confronted by a fading palm plantation. It looks ordinary to every day passerby. But for those who know the story behind the story, it is a dark location. While rays of the sun tries to penetrate the mat like spread of palm fronds to lit the darkness in the plantation layers, it fails woefully. The ground is dark. The thick of the plantation is dark. The narrative is dark. It is a long story of many missing faces. Faces unaccounted at war. Undocumented faces of Rebels, Vandals and ordinary people. Stories told and retold by a passing generation to the young. To a child who hazily in his eyes understands some pains of three years of war that took away a sister, her two children, other relatives and millions.
A young man joins the missing faces of the oppressed world in broad day light. A deletion. His offense is simply a question.
“Does it mean you don’t know me again?”
The reply to his question is what children in those days would describe as a “dirty slap”. It spreads over his face as if cement and sand on a trowel is thrown on a wall, giving sputtering sound of Kpakata!
But that is not the end. Aggression is rained down by subalterns and rank and file. Each with anything on hand against a lone, unarmed man who perhaps did not know that asking a harmless question during the war is a key to the door of death. The beating starts.
The officer keeps muttering perversely to keep his men in a frenzy.
“How can I know you?”
“How can I know an animal?”
“How can I know a bastard?”.
“What face has he to be known?”
The beating lingered until one of them jumped on the stomach of the the young man. Immediately, he passed. The officer orders them: Go dump him in the plantation where others like him are dumped. He joins the missing faces of the world.
Who is this young man? Who is this victim with a smattering of the language of his killers? Nobody in the immediate environment knows. He is part of the missing faces of the world. No record of his death. Relatives do not know what caused his death. He just ended – “just like that”.That is the end of his story. Story of many missing faces told differently but replete with rings of a tragedy. The story of our land then and now. The missing faces of the world issuing silent cries.
How come this story? In the thick of the War in 1968, a man was arrested by soldiers from Outlu station on the allegation of being a friend of the Rebel Leader. Chilling experience many thought signals the man’s last journey. Persecution watered by kinsmen, ego, subterranean objectives and alibi weaved on the man’s new religious proclivity. It remains a story for another day. But his narrative is how men lost their lives from gruesome beatings at the station. This leaves a scar on a child’s heart lasting till now. It is part of a story told of missing faces of the world. Silent cries and tears flow for missing faces At every point, tears like narrow stream flows, turning to a river of inquietude no one wants to fetch. Microcosm of missing faces across the world.
Again, memory has a way of wiring imagination on a loss. On missing faces, it reminds how vision, ambition and goals are destroyed. When hate is fixed in men, it easily grows sufferings, unsung deaths and burials in unmarked places. Indeed, there is never a full account of lost souls – missing faces.
Undocumented aspiration, goals and ambitions simply end in the mire of atrocities. Giving clear evidence of lack of wisdom and understanding that should forestall missing faces. Only God in his love can keep them to memory – those hapless, undocumented men, women and children. Those perished at war, sea, plantations, kidnapped, and in lonely circumstances that many would not fathom.
As endless cries amass, year after year, ask: What are you doing inadvertently in burgeoning missing faces leading to endless cry across the world? Man is causing this pain. The silent cries erupting from pains of missing faces may sometimes subside. But, adding new missing faces magnifies the past and lifts the pain to the present. Do not be a part of its creators, the shame.