It’s another Friday and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire takes another stage on our television stations.
I started watching the show shortly after it started. Sometimes around 2004. I had a knack for general knowledge and I used to brag about how much I knew. I was young in my SS class. I made sure I didn’t miss the show every friday night. It was my chance to get my brain working and to find more things to add to my arsenal of knowledge. If there’s no light, I’ll go to the house of the neighbours that had their generator on. I’ll make sure I say the answer loud enough for everyone to hear while watching and I always got the comment that I was intelligent and I should go for the show. I enjoyed the admiration. I had dreams of winning the 5 million. Then, it became 10 million. I watched the first guy that got a million. I saw the first guy that got 5 million. I missed the first showing of the 10 million Naira but I made sure I read the questions and watched part of the repeat too. Over time, I have come to realise that although I love watching, I’ll probably win 250,000 naira if I play. A big IF. See, I may never go for the show because of the following reasons:
1) I am a quiet person (‘was’ is probably closer to the truth) and growing up, I only had one thing that made me relevant: My knowledge and my quest for it. I wasn’t physically active in all the masculo-physical activities. I was also slightly introverted. My friends made me. I can count the number of friends I made on my own on one fingers. So, I have always been conscious of going wrong about the thing I got relevance from. I have held knowledge to be my greatest asset. It’s who I am and all I represent. I show it when I feel comfortable about it. I have a fear of ever going wrong.
In my quest for knowledge, I have found out that it’s too much to know. I have a limited lifetime and I knowing all is an impossibility. I have a fear people won’t understand if I get on the show and miss a question I have always overlooked but other people somehow know. I’ll be sent back to the lowest rung of the ladder. Since I can’t know all, I’m afraid to try out something that expects me to know it all.
2) I am not a fan of luck. I take my life into my own hands. The show to an extent is about luck. Two cases present themselves. Aroma’s case: there was a question about a referee that stays in his building. That would have put any other person off but luck came through. I hate being at the mercy of luck. The luck in this case isn’t the typical opportunity + preparation. I see it as something totally different. Slumdog millionaire is another case. That one in a million chance of questions coming from personal experiences. These two cases show somehow that to win, the world must somehow conspire with your inner experiences. I don’t have that much faith in the luck system.
3) What do I stand to lose? Everyday, I paint scenarios of how my life can turn out after the show. If I win the maximum amount, I become a model of knowledge. An embodiment of intelligence. I’ll be seen as a sort of god; a knowledge maestro, general knowledge afficionado. It will be a thing of pride. Someone will probably pick his writing materials and write something about me in future. I’ll definitely be on Wikipedia as part of those who’ve won maximum millionaire amounts. A perfect way to leave my footprint on the sands of time. If I lose, what will happen. I lose my standing. I lose my respect. I know that’s laughable but there are tens (maybe hundreds) of people who have told me at one point that I’ll do well on the show. My life basically will not remain the same. I’ll be just another person who really can’t stand up when it’s most important. And the funny thing is, I only have that one chance to prove myself. I have weighed the options. Glory! Everlasting glory. Or reproach. Deep down within me, my confidence waver and I feel the thought of reproach silencing my visions of glory. I once saw a guy come on the show who couldn’t tell if a wildebeest is a herbivore or carnivore. I’m sure his friends had so much faith in him. Pressure maybe. But everyday, I think of what his life is now. What has happened to his confidence. How does he see himself? Is he really still what people think he is. People advice not to care about what people say but to what extent can you try and convince yourself you are not the centre of other people’s world. People forget…… Maybe! Maybe not!
4) One chance: as someone who believes in the strength of people and the need to give people chances to prove themselves, the millionaire show is like an end in itself. The final straw. Just one chance to get it right or forever regret or glory in your achievements. The thought is scary. It adds to the pressure of performance. I’m a believer in more chances than one. The show is built in such a way that if you fail, people don’t see any other thing you can do. It’s the standard and the measure of everything you. You can go and make a good impression. That may go a long way. People may say “oh, he did well.” “He’s intelligent.” But performance is still measured by achievement on the long run. I’m a record breaker. One person has won 10million. I’m not expected to get less. Or maybe I think too highly of what people require of me. But that’s my life. It’s how I have gotten here. I sadly avoid that truth but my motivation comes from expectations.
I have considered all these points, I think about them always. Everyday. They are reasons I may not be on the show. But I live my life now doing things to counter my fears. I have overcome two of the above mentioned points. I am working and daily expanding my knowledge base. I don’t see it as an end anymore. I believe the essence of living is in knowing so much about life and not about the reward you get for the knowledge. Knowledge itself is happiness. I have realised that. And one day, if I ever make it on the show, I’ll have fun. I’ll know I know the things I know and I’m happy I know them. I’ll know I didn’t just know them to brag about them. I’ll know I am a better person not because of the things people expect or because of my achievements but for the fulfilment I find in understanding my world. The world is big, I am always in awe at the vast amount of things to know. Knowledge is my religion. Knowing more puts a smile on my face that I know getting a reward for knowing won’t do a better job.
P.S: I am now on a quest to get on the hot seat, you can finance my project by contributing towards the goal. Request for my account number if you trust me enough to make history. 🙂
AjalaYemi’s Note: This is by a guest blogger who prefers to remain anonymous. If you want to donate a la PostScript, hit me up on twitter and I’ll link you up. Selah