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The Healing Power of Art

The Healing Power of Art

I became strangely sick after 2011. Not the kind of sickness a medical lab can detect but of the mind. I started avoiding people, stopped hanging out with friends, stopped going to church. I stopped living. Life became a routine: I woke every morning to sleep at night. I was fighting a battle, and my enemy was me. Then, I shared an apartment with my youngest brother.

In 2014, I left my brother and found a self-contained room in Kubwa. A perfect nest. I blocked the world and spun a web around me. Whenever I locked myself in that room, my demons presented themselves.

Giving Up

One day, in 2015, I decided to pull a prodigal. I wanted to escape to Onitsha – maybe, I would escape from myself. My plans were incubating until it became fully developed. In search of mobility to move my things, I met a cab driver without fingers. Our encounter ticced something in me: Even without fingers – and possibly, without a University Degree – this driver is surviving Abuja. I jettisoned my plan and returned to my nest.

On that day, I wrote a post on Facebook titled:

Why You Can’t Survive In Abuja.

In the real sense of the word, I wasn’t a writer. But for 26 consecutive days, I laid bare every experience I had in that heart of Africa. Every episode birthed another episode until I spun yarns with no restrictions.

Little did I know that this little post will change my life. I never knew that the physician I needed was right inside my fingers. Those days, I amazed people that knew me. Most commented:

‘I never knew you can write so well’

And I kept replying: ‘Neither did I’. (And it’s the truth. I never knew.)

Like every honest writer will tell you, stories write themselves. I didn’t write that series; the story had its own heart and mind. It forced itself through the tip of my fingers. It camouflaged my loneliness, my swift self-destructive decisions, my lust, my loss, and my pain. In every single word in that piece, I had a conversation with myself.

The Turning Point

I later turned that sorrow of mine into a novella. That little book sold nearly a thousand copies and traveled to 5 continents. On social media, people did photoshoots with it, and from my shame, from my sordid past, I made my first one million Naira on earth within 2 weeks.

Since then, I became an apostle of the tiny voice inside, I became a subject of muse.

Afterward, I discovered a purpose for living, I became a happier person, I purged regrets from my system, and above all, I became true to myself. I met Ada a year later, and my demons stay far away.

Art healed me, and it can heal you too. You find Art in everything – from the rising Sun, to the little birds that sing, the flowers, the wind. You find Art everywhere.

There’s an ‘Art’ in you that can uproot all your pains. It could be dancing, acting, speaking, sports, writing, or even observing.

I share this so that someone passing through a difficult phase may look inwardly for a solution.

Some ailments have just one remedy: The Healing Power of Art.

Have you read about the entrepreneur, Tochukwu Nkwocha, who made millions through copywriting?

Ozii Baba, a TedX Speaker, is an Onitsha-based storyteller and social entrepreneur. He works directly with children and young people.

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