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Our Nation_Social Media & The Mob Mentality

Blog_Social Media Image, 1.jpg
 
If you use the social media platform for work, ministry or just to socialize, you will have fallen into this trap of “shooting from your hips” on hot and topical issues. Been there, done that!
 
It may be trolling supporters of football clubs you do not support, or on relationship issues, or on political/economic issues. On football ribbing, ask me as a supporter of Arsenal FC! On political/economic issues, the easiest lightening rods today being presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Donald Trump of the United States.
 
And the comments and/or contributions would usually be acerbic, regardless of facts to the contrary. Some would think this good fun, and/or exercise of their freedom of expression. The reason (s) for this state of affairs should be a research field for social psychologists, to ascertain why we all are so eager to vent ourselves through hot button issues from settled prejudicial positions and not with an attempt at objectivity.
 
ReadIng threads of post can be very interesting, and many times a tad frustrating! Our rush to judgment is truly amazing! It bothers on mob mentality. Truth, however, is that for a few, their initial vituperation begins to soften after reading and considering contrary comments; which is very commendable and noble.
 
But equally true is that for many, no matter the superior and obvious truth of contrary comments, they will NEVER see the obvious error of their own comments; and then this happens – they cuss those with contrary views, and/or resort to Nigerians’ perfect excuse and justification for our own inadequacies – push the tribe and/or religious button!
 
Many would, without any proof, conclude that for having contrary views, you must either be a stooge to ventilate opposing views or a tribal irredentist. What about a fake so-so ‘Christian’ or “Moslem’!? Super Nigerians!
 
Chisos!
 
What is the essence of our reasoning faculties if we cannot appreciate contrary views, even when we do not agree? Must our default defensive position be abuse? We are easy to push our fundamental rights to freedom of expression, yet we seek to deny it to others with contrary views! We say our views are in support of democracy and good governance, yet we block those who express views contrary to ours and cuss them to get off our walls! Why would you post on social if you do not want people’s comments? Nigerians can be holier than thou sha!
 
This much I know – it pays to reason out issues within ourselves, and tarry before we comment. And this is why:
 
Any competent Mentor should teach his Mentee that “your first thought or impression on any emotive issue is usually not the perfect understanding of the issue. So, save yourself the embarrassment of being wrong the first time!” It takes introspection to reach a fair viewpoint, even on hot button issues. Doing otherwise means you allow yourself to be corralled into a mob!
 
PS:
This piece is not relevant to paid commentators, but genuine users of social media space to ventilate personal views! Why? For the obvious reason that it is better for the brain, not the pocket to speak!
 
Now, let me sit back and be amused by the abuse sure to follow. 😂😎😄🤣
 
© Adewale Adeniji. 24th October 2017.

I Love Women! (International Women’s Day, 2017)

I love women, that is undeniable. 

I have 3 wonderful, strong women in my life; as wife and daughters.

I was born and raised by an amazing woman.

My sisters are great women raising great families of their own.

I have worked and still work with competent women.

I have women as friends, doing good and loving others.

Therefore, I always honor women.

Do you love women?

Do you honor women?

Tell them about it!
© Adewale Adeniji

What Goes Round ….

That chief, fortunate bagger, he be.

Ligali marries two women at once!

Alas, he neither of them loves … but

the King has decreed it, coloured as ‘favour’.

She whom he truly adores, his eleyinjuege*

this aponbepore* for who, day and night, he pines, 

Another’s love captive be!

Who says life cannot a shrew be?

Recompense for his progenitor’s sin.

Tale told of his grand daddy, a chieftain

who for power sake, two women slay,

on the road to the market place;

frenzied to show his might as Balogun*.

Got away with murder, he did, but the women’s kin, 

Aworo, the diviner, noted for vengeance, 

swore Balogun’s generations will love in vain!

Who says life’s not Karma? Two generations 

hence, Kigali, Abese Oba*, dogs

the Oba’s every movement, even as

Royalty visits his harem, where he swoons

on the favours of she who Abese adores.

Of a truth, Abese must egg the Oba on:

“Well done sire, grind harder!”

What goes round does come round.

Glossary:
* eleyinjuege – Beautiful doe eyes

* aponbepore – Light complexioned beauty

* Balogun – Head of King’s Army

* Abese Oba – Chief that accompanies the King on all missions
© 26th September 2016. Adewale Adeniji.

The Harem … Part 3.

How on earth did they cope,

Rulers of dynasties old?

What strength possessed them

To rule roost o’er these cesspools?
Kingdoms ruined, alliances bust

By shenanigans of the Harem politics

Fortunes, hard won, easily lost

Yet, this institution endures.
Why on earth do men do this,

Pursuit of flesh to gratify flesh?

Who can man save from this pull of

the sweet and sour taste it bodes.
Harems, meant to show man’s prowess

Yet in deed shews forth women’s might

As birds a nectar draws, men always drawn

To that which eventually his death makes!
(The end… Or is it?)
© 25th September 2016. Adewale Adeniji.

Our Nation_The Curse of Nollywood

Fellow Nigerians, I, like you, have been assailed in the last two days by 2 ‘burning’ issues in our polity (No, not the recently hot topic of the DSS/’Corrupt Judges’ saga). These are the twin issues of Aisha Buhari’s BBC Hausa interview, where she publicly gave counsel to the man she sleeps in the same house with; and Reuben Abati’s discourse on the ‘cursed’ Aso Villa, seat of Nigeria’s presidency, a sort of hammer house of horror tale.
In fact, yesterday evening, a dear friend and brother, (tagged in this post) called and urged me to start a discussion on Abati’s article published in a national daily. 
I have resisted that particular invite until this evening when my Babe casually mentioned something in a discussion on an unrelated issue.
What strikes me in the manner of our discuss these days is that it appears we have lost all propriety and balance. Vitriol (often transferred aggression more than any thing else) dominates almost all discussions. The implication is that we just jump on every issue without recourse to introspection, and just unload. 
I have quite a number of friends I follow on social media – and it always amuses me no end when having unloaded their preconceived views at the beginning of every new issue, they gradually climb back down when better reasoning surfaces! Maybe you have also noticed? 
So, how does this affect these twin issues I identified above? 

PMB was in Germany when ‘Aishagate’ (as a friend uncharitably called it) broke. And to town we all went, talking about ‘the other room’!; about the fact that PMB has been abandoned by his wife; and the like. You get my drift?
Can anyone recall why our president took the trip, or what he achieved in Germany, if at all? How would our tottering economy benefit from that trip? All many saw was Angela Merkel’s face when PMB uncharitably publicly replied his wife!
Then Reuben Abati’s tales by moonlight surfaced. And everyone, initiated and otherwise, began to see ‘sense’ in the fact that Babalawos and Mamaalawos have buried whatever at the seat of power. ‘No wonders!’. ‘I talk am!’ began to surface. 
No one paused to think – what the world reference of the purveyor of this mumbo jumbo is? And trust Fani-Kayode to pour petrol on a cindering issue! Is this not an attempt to explain away the obvious, and now admitted, incompetences of past leaders? How about Abdulsalam Abubakar? What evil(s) assailed him whilst he occupied Aso Rock? How do you explain that none was obvious during his tenure? I can go on and on. So, why do a hasty generalization, as Abati did? Maybe because many still live in fear and awe of what they cannot understand? Why not sit down and think deeply on this? What is the state of health of the average Nigerian, in or out of Aso Rock? Is one an indication of the other? Oh, that is a long thing? (Apologies to the Koko master!)
My conclusion? Nigeria has become (to our collective shame) a land of educated folk who choose not to think, but allow others (a few, calculating agenda setters) think for them. 
Welcome to Naija’s Nollywood generation. A world of make belief, awada kerikeri generation. More of salacious topics. Let’s go get them mentality. The sad thing? This happens not just in public discuss o; but in private interactions too. It pervades every area of our existence now! 
For the next couple of days, you will see murals, cartoons etc. on Aisha and Buhari’s OTHER ROOM. It will carve itself into our lingo just like Mama Patience’s ‘Diaris God o’ did, as did that artiste’s ‘Iyalaya anybody’!
Fellow compatriots, can we not think deep for a change? So that we can ask ourselves and our leaders hard, probing questions, devoid of primordial connotations, shorn of fears?
When would we begin to set ourselves and our leaders a long ‘to-do’ list for our selves and our nation?
Isn’t it time we left Osuofia, Lalude and Bala in Nollywood where they belong? Let us begin to live as we ought to. In tune with reality, captains of our own destinies. 
Reactions to this will determine if we are able to do this. 😜
{My sincere apologies for the length of this. Nah! Didn’t mean that!}
© 15th October 2016. Adewale Adeniji.

The Harem … Part 2

A place of sordid tales, a coven of jealousies

One’s misfortune, another’s joy

Oh, harems are sodden with plots

All are drawn in, willingly or coyly.
It’s taste turns oft to wormwood

Relish its waters are your own risk

Whatever pleasures are dished

Rest assured you’d be pissed.
Harems, a place of plots, sub-plots

Envies are shaped, talons sharpened

The happy, rendered sad,

The sad, raucously happy at other’s misfortune 
Men, thought powerful, brought low

Dignities ruined, egos bruised

Your ride today, another’s tomorrow

A place indeed best for vipers … Or is it?
(To be continued …)
© 25th September 2016. Adewale Adeniji.

Dancing Rhythms Of Love, Part 2

 

Dancing Maiden_Courtesy Shutterstock.com

 

 

Lagbayi.

 

Lagbayi, ara Oyo*, lion of the land

Great Oyo meesi*, Akinrogun* of Oyo

Proud warrior of dated ancestry

Tales of your battles far and near titillates.

Son of Lemboye, witty husband of Hunbo. Welcome!

We salute your courage, great wrestler.

To what do we this honor owe, seven full days before

The great maiden dance fiesta? You left Oyo early!

Indeed! Early riser, that’s how my fathers taught me.

Me, the lion of the battle field. Amororo guided me aright.

Seven days, yes. But to your land I come to see for myself

That beautiful damsel of the land – Silifa.

News of her dazzling beauty traveled far! Even strangers say

News of her elegance delights the ear! More wine, please!

 

Silifa ba wo*? You married from the great Sabe people, remember?

Dahomeys, who do not take kindly to oroguns*. Oran re o!*

How will princess Hunbo take it? How will Onisabe* react?

This is real trouble. Fitinati* births in our midst!

Oso sini lenu, o bu iyo si!* How would we sort this out?

But, Lagbayi, between Oyo and here, many maidens

You saw; of diverse shapes, of various sizes, pleasing to

Sights. Why us, why now? Enjoying our season of rest from war.

Kabiyesi and our Chiefs, do they know your real mission here?

Are they aware that this year’s maidens’ dance just became war?

And that is my fault, how? I heard, I came, I intend to conquer!

More wine, please! Woman, don’t just stand and stare – wine!

Yeeee! Apologies my lord, more wine coming up…

 

Lagbayi/Kabiyesi Amona

 

Amona, my ancestors told me of the war with Allada,

how whole villages were slaughtered who dared defy

the missive of the Alaafin, iku Baba yeye.

Amona, I warn you, on Silifa’s matter, no retreat no surrender!

Instruct Alao and Moripe not to cause war between us!

Vassals do not query their masters, I’m sure you know.

Lagbayi, calm down. Okun ki ho ruru, ka wa ruru o*

Amona, Amona, Amona! How many times did I call you?

Akinrogun to you, not Lagbayi. Only my friends have that privilege.

Ok, Akinrogun Oyo, I counsel patience. This is not state matter.

War? On this small issue? Patience! The girl is betrothed!

What????? To whom? How? When? The last I heard, she wasn’t!

Now, she is, Akinrogun. Now she indeed is! Nothing I can do.

So, what is the point of your maidens’ festive if their best is taken?

 

Lagbayi/Alao/Moripe.

 

Karaole o* To what do we owe the honor of your visit, Akinrogun?

Moripe, bring a stool, bring food and wine for our August visitor.

Save your greetings Alao, save your ministrations! I came to confirm.

I heard a rumor. A little bird whispered that Silifa is betrothed

My mouth immediately vouched for you. Not Alao, I said. Not Alao.

My LORDDDDDDDD, what can I say. Bashiru will be my in-law.

Why, Alao, why? Why are you in such a hurry to marry her off?

Hurry, my Lord? Our Silifa is overripe for marriage; and she’s made her choice! Her choice is Bashiru. What can we do?

How am I not sure Silifa has anything to do with this, Alao?

Moripe, say something. Don’t just stand there! Am I lying?

Yes, oloye; just as my husband said it, just as he said it!

 

Alao! Moripe! Ema ma gba Esu l’abule yin?!*

Oloye, Esu bi boooo?* How is this a problem?

You’re asking me that, Moripe? Alao, answer your wife now…

O, your mouth is trapped, abi? My coco yams, my dried fish,

My adire eleko, my.., answer now, Alao! Since the last dance; nothing missing, nothing lost from your list.You think you can disgrace the great Lagbayi? Haaa, Esu a se! Iji a ja!* Alao!

I shall return to Oyo via Ilugun, if you know what I mean?

I shall visit your homestead and revel all my ears have heard!

I am sure Dauda, Moripe’s brother would be interested …

To know who burnt down his inheritance, because your in-law  refused your offer for Moripe, three times! Will it not become clear

why some love birds used the bush as cover to flee Ilugun?

 

Silifa/Bashiru.

 

Silifa Silifa! My rose among thorns. You see, my heart dances

Just at the sight of your beauty! Eledua* did overtime on you…

Yeeee! You will be my death yet! Kaa sa!* Come near me now …

Stop, Basiru, stop I say. Don’t touch me please…

You flatter to deceive me, Bashiru. Is that fair?

How on Eledua’s earth do I do this? You, I worship day and night?

How? You ask, ‘how’? You promise and you fail, don’t you?

Or is it because you think you have gripped the machete stump?

That’s why your word is no longer your bond? ‘How’, he asks?

Ololufe mi* Tell me what I have not done? and do it I shall

Tell me to bring ten cows, I shall. What will I not do?

Drunk as I am with love! Not just any love – Silifa’s love.

1 moon ago, when you came with your friends, remember?

1 moon ago? 1 moon ago? When I came with my friends?

Many issues were discussed, Silifa. Ok, help out this poor soul..

How remiss of me to promise and fail my sweetheart…

 

When you asked us to step aside from the motley crowd…

Oh, oh, that. I now remember. You told me to prove I will always

Love thee, no matter what, by hunting for ogbori efon’s* head..

Silifa, were you serious then? When I thought you were teasing …

Teasing? No, I was serious. My first and only request of you, and

Failed me you have. Bashiru, is that a taste of what I am in for?

Omo adaamo!* Haa, Yee! What was a rumor, I now believe, Silifa.

Oh, so you really do not want to marry me, abi. Aye ma ni ka o!*

Can your own forebears confront ogbori efon, talk less of killing it?

Ha, ha, ha! If that’s your plan – to kill me before we’re wed, you lie!

My wife you shall be; the taste of your wetness I shall enjoy!

Ogbori efon ko, ogbori elemoso* ni! Get out of my way joo …

 

© 17th May, 2016. Adewale Adeniji.

 

Glossary.

*Oyo – a great Yoruba kingdom

*Oyo meesi – titled chiefs of Oyo kingdom, closest advisors to the king

*Akinrogun – A title for a major warrior, lower in rank to Balogun.

*Silifa ba wo? – why Silifa?

*oroguns – wife rivals in polygamy

*Oran re o! – This is war!

*Onisabe – King of Sabe Kingdom in Dahomey (Benin Republic)

*Fitinati – Trouble

*o so si ni lenu, o bu iyo si – Conundrum/Bitter sweet.

*okun ki ho ruru, ka wa ruru – unwise to stoke the flames of fires

*Karaole o – greeting for a titled one, lesser than a king.

*Ema ma gba Esu l’abule yin?! – You better not allow the devil in your village.

*Esu bi boooo? – Devil’s visitation, how?

*Haaa, Esu a se! Iji a ja! – O a truth, there shall be chaos!

*Eledua – God

*Kaa sa! – exclamation.

*Ololufe mi – my darling

*ogbori efon – a mythical monster of the deep forest.

*ayanfe mi – my choice to marry.

*Omo adaamo – Expletive for ‘wicked soul’

*Aye ma ni ka o! – Wicked world!

*ogbori elemoso – another mythical monster of the deep forest.