The Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria have a wise saying which when interpreted, literally means “when a situation is beyond grief, it becomes a cause for laughter”. Nothing describes the Nigerian situation better than this. I choose to call such situations #SadComedies. Enjoy some!
JOHNBULL THE LAWMAKER #SadComedy 1
The teacher asks the class to sing for Johnbull because he scored the lowest mark in the class test which had initially been given as an assignment. Eagerly, all the children in the class raise their voices to sing and ridicule Johnbull, the class dullard; “Johnbull my son, I sent you to school, you don’t know how to spell your name. J-O-HN-B-U-LL. You don’t know how to spell your name. Johnbull my son, I send you to school, you don’t know how to spell your name”. Johnbull is the archetypal class dullard in primary school who is so academically poor that he can’t spell his own name. The song was composed a long time ago in honour of his ancestors in Nigerian classrooms. However, Johnbull no longer feels any resentment towards his classmates because he now knows something they don’t know. Two days ago, he heard the news about federal lawmakers who can’t write their names properly and they have since become his role models. He admires their big cars and has heard tales about the big money they collect. He knows that in Nigeria today, it does not matter if you have a sound mind or not. It does not even matter if you make attempts at improving the quality of your brain or not. He laughs at his classmates and their “bookish” ways when alone. He has his reasons. Let his classmates sing and laugh. He will become a lawmaker someday and being able to spell his name will not be a prerequisite. Welcome to the life and times of future Senator Dr. Johnbull James. #SadComedy
THE TRIUMPH OF STONES OVER GUNS #SadComedy 2
An alert was received by men of the Police Patrol team, Aluu-Umukiri Community, that a heinous crime was about to be committed by a mob. Pronto, they got into their patrol van and raced down to restore law and order. “Stop it!” The Patrol commander shouted. “If you don’t stop, we will shoot you”. Lawrence (not his real name), the chief thug picked up a rock and hurled it at the police vehicle. Other people in the irate mob followed suit. Their eyes were already bloodshot as they picked up the nearest rocks and advanced threateningly towards the police van. The policemen, pointing their guns at the crowd realized how “weak” a bullet can be, they “forgot” that shots fired into the air could scare the crowd. What could a canister of teargas do to dispel people who had stones in their hands? The Inspector General of Police said “attempts made by the police patrol team to take over the suspects were met with stiff opposition from the mob who chased the team with stones”. So the policemen did the best thing. They ran for their lives. They ran because in their opinion, stones can kill, guns can’t.
Welcome to Nigeria, a land of #SadComedies
ILLITERATE CORPERS #SadComedy 3
In Nigeria, a person is deemed fit and eligible to partake in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme when he/she has satisfied academic requirements in certified tertiary institutions within or beyond the borders of the country. Well, this seems not to be the case for certain people such as; Adaeze, Linda, and Chukwuebuka, all graduates of Enugu State University of Technology. They have been called illiterates by different people for committing these offences:
(a) Okochi Adaeze, a graduate of Meteorology/Geography, could not write three states and their capitals. She also couldn’t write the Roman Numerals 1- 10. In addition, she didn’t know the two great rivers in Nigeria. So much for her knowledge of GEOGRAPHY. This is a classic example of what is called a #SadComedy.
(b) Mbah Linda studied Electrical Electronics in ESUT without passing any of the science subjects in her ‘O’ Levels. NYSC posted her to Kings College and the kings exposed her secret. #SadComedy
(c) Nwankwo Chukwuemeka is a graduate of Electrical Electronics posted to serve in Niger State. He was rejected in a Nursery/Primary school for his inability to read and write and he is presently serving in a bakery. When questioned about his competence his response (in his own words) was “I awarded a degree in Enugu State University of Science and Technology. I have a probeam in my university am manegn my siefe to funsh my school”.
Another classic tale of a #SadComedy
If all these incidences above still happen in Nigeria in this time and age, then I make bold to say that we are in a messy situation because for every sad situation detected, four situations have probably gone unnoticed.
So what will you do to help Nigeria rewrite this #SadComedy?
I am @gbengaosowe
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only. It does not (in any way) reflect or represent the opinions of the blog.