• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Resounding slaps, naked widows and other things in the air

Resounding slaps, naked widows and other things in the air

It has been a momentous couple of weeks in Nigeria and I continue to marvel at the many intriguing things that are coming out of my country. I have found over the years that Nigeria is a nation of unending dramas and it has become increasingly so.

A combination of new media and poverty do not go too well together. A mishmash of new media and deep-seated misogynist cultures are also not friends. Add this to the heat in Nigeria and the lack of basic amenities and its bedlam.

We are in a nation where our children are vacating our good traditional values and adopting some strange dressing and behaviour, which they describe as modern and futuristic.

In traditional African parlance, witchcraft is impotent when the witch is given a resounding slap. Well, Bianca and Ebele need to let us know what was being cured last week in Awka

In traditional African parlance, witchcraft is impotent when the witch is given a resounding slap. Well, Bianca and Ebele need to let us know what was being cured last week in Awka

In traditional African parlance, witchcraft is impotent when the witch is given a resounding slap. Well, Bianca and Ebele need to let us know what was being cured last week in Awka

 

Only two days ago, I boarded a plane with two women who were clearly over 70 years. We sat together on the plane.

They both could not get over a young passenger whose entire stomach was in full view and whose Jeans were literally cut in two.

One half looked like a pair of shorts and the lower half looked like it was an afterthought forgotten on her thighs all the way to her ankle. She looked like she needed help. She was darting up and down the aisle and driving Grandma insane.

Surely, she can’t be Nigerian, Grandma asked me. She is, I said. She shook her head. What would we do with her navel as if we all do not have one? I laughed. Then I told her that at the airport these days, you find women in all sorts, shirts, t-shirts worn alone and sometimes we can see their pants or their… She was truly sad.

It will be a source of regret when they are older, she opined. And they will not remain young forever. This is reckless, she said, shaking her head vigorously and sighing. An old woman’s pain.

Today, our girls have thrown caution to the wind and they tell you its their body to do what they wish. Indecency has become the name of the game. On the converse, I do not see boys showing their… So sad! Only recently, I saw a post that said Chinese have kept their identity and ethos as have Asians and Europeans, but Africans are becoming some strange concoction of what we cannot understand.

Borrowing from everywhere and not knowing who they are. But when it suits us, we go to our very primordial place and pull out those things that should be in our past deeply buried in shame and whip up culture as our reason for some of the most shameful acts that we must never be part of.

We utter modernity with one hand, live with electricity and drive cars as well as watch television, then we desecrate the very altar of motherhood and call it tradition. How do we explain in laws who strip a widow naked and drag her through the streets of Aguleri, as we saw last week?

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We pay lip service to how modern we are, how religion has helped us delete those things that make us look like Barbarians and call it our culture with pride. Most of these things that are inflicted on a mourning widow are inflicted by people we know, including women themselves. Mother in laws and sister in laws.

People we ate with who turn around and accuse their sons’ wives of murder on account of perceived adultery and trumped-up charges. I have heard of women who have had to drink the water used to bathe their husbands’ corpses. The lowest form of meanness and planned murder if ever there was one.

In this last couple of weeks, Aguleri brought shame upon the nation. It was there that a young woman, forlorn, tall and pretty was dragged naked across the village square stark naked. I cringed as I saw the pictures on social media, which multiplied the images far and wide. I have never seen a man in that position.

For years, women were socialised not to eat eggs or certain parts of a chicken in this Nigeria. It was only reserved for men. For years, women were disenfranchised across the world and women in Saudi Arabia were only allowed to drive on their own about two years ago. In the International women’s month, to come to re-validate the realisation that some traditional laws entrenched many years ago were only to undo a woman and enhance the man is devastating.

It’s not enough to be in mourning. A woman also has to sit on the floor and not eat and shave her head. It hurts so bad. Shame on all who choose to kill a woman while she is still alive. It could have been your sister or aunty. Sad!

In traditional African parlance, witchcraft is impotent when the witch is given a resounding slap. Well, Bianca and Ebele need to let us know what was being cured last week in Awka. The shame of it all. In all of this, where does King Sunny Ade stand with his ‘Don’t take my money slap?’ Enjoy your week.