Skip to main content

Of Snakes and Monkeys: The Joke is on Us

It is one of the hallmarks of our coping mechanism as a people that we find the funny side of every inimical event. Yet, there comes a time when we need to behold our collective sensibility and tell ourselves some home truth. At a time when high school children in the United States are standing up to President Trump, Congress and the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) in the wake of the 17 kids killed at Stoneman Douglas in Florida, we in Nigeria are seeing the funny side of our quagmire and sorry state. It was a thing of cruel joke when the news broke that snakes had carted away a whopping 36 million naira from the headquarters of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board. While we regurgitated on the madness, news filtered through on the real reason why Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa – APC) was removed as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum. According to the maverick, Shehu Sani, about 70 million naira belonging to the group was claimed to have been carted away by monkeys in a farm house.

Since these dual stories broke, the internet has gone agog with memes and clapback captions that seeks to make light of the issues. Yet, the joke is on us as a people. It stops being funny when we take a moment to reflect on the anomalies of this trend. The monies being spoken about belong to Nigerians, and it is sad that barely any one is asking the salient questions. In a saner nation, Senator Shehu will not insult our collective intelligence by making such remarks, neither will the so-called JAMB official tell us about snakes and their money eating abilities.

The biggest losers in these is the people. We play too much and move on too quickly. In a country where the poverty ratio is still one of the worst in the world and unemployment index at an all-time high, we are too lethargic in our response. For a people in dire sh*thole, our pretentious happiness is befuddling. They say we are among the happiest people in the world, but that happiness is mostly a façade and a smokescreen at best. It has beclouded us of our humanity, our ability to speak to power and the ‘citizens clout’ required for a change.

While the jokes of snakes and monkeys dominated the social media space, we heard the story of how 90 school girls were kidnapped from Dapachi community, in Yobe state. The omen ahead of the general elections in 2019 looks ominous already. The politicians are more interested in readjusting the electoral calendar for their sheer selfish interests than fixing this nation now. On the eve of the election year, the art of governance has taken the back burner. Taxpayers monies will be used to bankroll the scheming and electioneering process. Yet, we the people will go on every social media platforms and hurl ethnic stones at each other over our political alignments. If we have learnt anything from history, it is that we have not learnt anything at all. In the words of Charly Boy ‘Our mumu don do.’


Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks of You

1. Remind yourself that most people are NOT thinking about you anyway.
Ethel Barrett once said, “We would worry far less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.” Nothing could be closer to the truth.

Forget what everyone else thinks of you today; chances are, they aren’t thinking about you anyway. If you feel like they always are, understand that this perception of them watching you and critiquing your every move is a complete figment of your imagination. It’s your own inner fears and insecurities that are creating this illusion.

It’s you judging yourself that’s the real problem.

2. Acknowledge that external validation is only getting in your way.
Spend time clearly and consciously articulating to yourself how your thoughts about what others are (potentially) thinking plays out in your life. Think of situations where it gets in your way, and identify the triggers and the regrettable responses it causes in your life. Then identify a new behavior that cr…

18 Things I Learnt in 2018

1. One day at a time. I have learnt that you will not always find all the answers, and some things will always remain grey. But the secret is to always take life one day at a time. Some things will only get clearer along the way. Don’t try to enter the future all at once. There is power in un-clarity.

2. Random check on people can be really powerful.
A friend recounted to me how through a simple phone call she was able to salvage her friend who was on the brink of plunging into third mainland bridge. Care, and truly care for people. Ask ‘how are you’ and really mean it.

3. Dreams do come true.
Earlier this year, I’d fiddled with the idea of how great it will be to speak on the TEDx stage someday. Interestingly, I wrote this as one of my 2018 goals even without having a clue on how. On December 1st, I ticked it off. It’s a cliché but you honestly have to see it, before you get it.

4. Stick to your plan.
More than ever before, I have learnt the power of sticking to your plan; the late…

In The Final Analysis, It Is One Life We Are All Given

Nia Vardalos once said ‘You only get one life so you might as well make it a happy one, and that's why I tend to just jump into things. I'm sort of a fearless idiot that way.’ It is a cliché which we have heard from time immemorial that life is short. But how many of us actually live our day to day lives like we’re really going to die one day? Aware that this thing called life is fleeting, and more importantly, a non-rehearsal.

Many of us live lives filled with tedium, responsibilities, and unpleasant chores. We spend so much of our mental energy just getting through each day that it’s easy to forget that our time on earth is finite, that each moment we fritter away is a moment we will never get back. This is a reality that though many are aware of, has not really sunk in.

Everything you desire in life has a price and you have to be willing to accept that price. If you desire to do great work, it will cost you. Likewise, security and comfort will cost you. If you want a luxur…