The recent resignation of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI sent shocking waves across the entire globe not only to the 1.1 billion catholic Believers world over but to everyone regardless of our different religious affiliations. I have since then been following events and issues regarding this matter religiously and anxiously waiting for the 120 cardinals’ verdict in the next papal election. Interestingly, according to the Brazilian cardinal heading 125 million Catholics out of 194 million people in Brazil, nationality is not a key issue and so a few names have been mentioned from Africa as well especially Nigeria and South Africa from media speculation world over as possible successors.

On reading this, I actually had a wry smile and a colleague asked me why I was smiling alone. To him, I was probably recollecting crazy escapades from our weekend sprees whilst clearly reminding me that it is mostly lover boys and womanizers that are affected by this smile-alone syndrome. That said, I quickly had to account for my wry smile lest he was likely to engage me in one of those silly arguments that clearly bring out the sleeping stupidity in a lazy and dull Monday afternoon brain even for those less concerned to judge the idiocy in a pair of chaps finding what to do.  So, I told him that in the year 2004, I engaged my father in a crazy argument that only earned me a rebuke in the bid to stop my mind from racing into a state close to lunacy. This is how the argument started. I told my father that I was waiting for a world where we would have the first Black American president, a black Pope and a black James Bond. My father being an old school believer and well travelled black man who knew profiles of Black movement activists world over, their struggles, failures and the perils they went through because of almost similar utterances, thought that I would invariably follow suit and had to quickly put a halt to my lunacy. In his world, this was very impossible and at a certain point while engrossed in the argument, he told me that one of my problems was my mouth simply acted faster than my brain. I felt deeply insulted as his colleagues had rib cracking laughter after that statement and that is how the argument ended. Unfortunately, my beloved father didn’t live long enough to see at least one third of my fantasy come to pass.

In 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President of The United states of America, an election that restored hope and history that pulsated through the entire period between elections and swearing-in as the first black American president, my father had been dead for 3 years. Deep down in my heart as I watched the swearing-in ceremony, I felt so sad wishing my old man were here with me to witness the demise of my lunacy and his restoration of hope in the black race. However, when I recently read that there is a possibility of having a black Pope, I wished I could petition God and ask him to at least send down my father from heaven to my apartment even for an hour so as to reignite the argument we had almost about nine years ago, disprove him and find out whether he shares the same sentiments he did then or actually feels otherwise. But I didn’t blame him then and I figured why he was infuriated with me. During this argument, I actually intimated to him that in the event it came to pass, I would most likely be the first Black James Bond, the girl from Gayaza High School I had crush for would certainly be the Bond girl and my mother a retired nurse and now business woman, the head of MI6 a British intelligence.

After all the narrations to my friend that afternoon, I read his facial expression that suggested he would say something worse than what my father said then. I remember my father told me, I had nothing similar to what is considered when choosing a James Bond citing the fact that the character of James Bond is of a first man in whatever he does especially when hooking up women and I had spent four years agonizingly dying with a crush on the Gayaza girl without saying a thing nice enough to suggest a minimum of the high school love letter writing. But this too, I can disprove him today (sshhhhh!). Somehow, my friend believes there is a possibility of having a Black pope too and he reason was simple, the world is changing and since he is a catholic, he put a disclaimer too that only if the person chosen has the capacity to lead the Roman Catholic church “at a time of great challenges”. He was however baffled with the fact that I would be silly enough to imagine that Ian Flemming could have at a certain point thought of having a Black James Bond despite the fact that there have been four black Bond girls so far and my elderly mother being part of the crew. I guess better sense must have prevailed as his cynical facial expression quickly dampened after receiving a phone call from his distressing pregnant girlfriend. I am personally still half hoping that we may soon have an African or black pope simply to send a message to the angel in heaven, my father that my fantasy wasn’t after all so farfetched. I am certainly optimistic that the “world” I hoped for then shall surely come. Till then, I remain agent 008, the future black version of Ian Flemming’s JAMES BOND!

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