Sango’s Electricity and Pastor Sam

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While the Game of Thrones was being greeted with a feverish in the public space, the pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi, adds a touch to the criteria of reaching the throne.

In a trending video, Sam Adeyemi preached about jettisoning fear for progress. He pointed out that the fear in humans were merely self orchestrated and constructed by culture.

He made a point of saying that due to the traditional gods promoted and advanced by our culture, fear has been thoroughly passed down from generation to generation. It was in this light that he talked about Sango:

If Sango was that powerful, why didn’t he supply electricity to our cities.”

This statement has been greeted by a howl of criticism all across social media, and the reason is understandable. I this Pastor Sam was echoing the statement made by the Minister for Works and Power few years ago.

During his convocation speech at the University of Benin in November 2016, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, remarked that:

Sango is the god of lightning and thunder, but all the sacrifices made to Sango have not generated one kilowatt of electric power.”

In Philosophy, there’s what is called the principle of fairness. It implies that if an argument refutes your own position, then it’s unfair to use it against others.

That statement by Pastor Sam, that if Sango is as powerful as they say he is, he would have supplied electricity is not logically fair.

A Sango worshipper can turn the tables and say, “If Jesus is so powerful, why can’t he supply electricity to our cities”?

The remark even assumes that Sango worshippers are bumbling dolts who expect him to bequeath electricity on them.

The last time I checked, the Ministers of Works and Power have so far being adherents of either Christianity or Islam. I don’t know of any of them that has (openly) pledged allegiance to Sango. So you can’t blame Sango for the power failures in the country.

Demanding that Sango supply electricity to Nigerian cities to show his power is not a “challenge” much less a “contest,” unless the deity of those issuing that demand can do the same, or even more. Therefore, that mode of argumentation is shallow.

The ancient Greeks worshipped Apollo, the god of music, yet the Europeans didn’t wait for him to give them music notes.

They worshipped Athena, the goddess of the craft and war, but they didn’t wait for her to teach them how to design cars and armoured tanks.

The worshipped Poseidon, yet they didn’t demand he build them a submarine.

They worshipped Bacchus, but they didn’t chide him for not giving them breweries. They built them from their own ingenuity.

They worshipped Zeus, their lord of the air, yet Zeus didn’t give them the ability to fly in the air. They designed aircraft by themselves.

So this whole idea of waiting for a deity to do something that you are smart enough to do by yourself is mental laziness.

In this age of the New Media, I expect Nigerian public leaders or teachers who wield influence on the minds of many to learn how to choose their words carefully and not undercut their own arguments with vapid rhetoric.

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The Cult of St. Buhari

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Many of us are familiar with the legend of St. George and the dragon. Actually, many ancient tales were rife with the scenario of a lady captured by a hideous fiend and rescued by a charming hero.

From the Indian Ramayana to Greek mythology to European fairy tales to Catholic legends, right down to modern stories, art and films, the trope of the powerless female being rescued from her evil captor by a knight in shining armour or a hunky prince never fails to capture the hearts of a collective.

During the 2015 electioneering, the underlying sentiment of a “single” macho man steering the ship of a country going astray ushered Buhari into power.

His handlers spurned an emotional, if not hysteric, narrative of a coming Messiah whose thaumaturgic broom would sweep the corrupt elites away and restore discipline and order to a chaotic country and its exploiters.

The party (PDP) which had been in power for 16 years, was depicted as the fire-breathing dragon that had held lady Nigeria captive, and the only thing required was to elect a powerful military dictator with Spartan discipline to scale through the fortress, cut the bars of iron chaining Nigeria and rescue her from her greedy leaders.

It was a story line that was all too familiar; a tale that resonated with what Chinua Achebe called “a cargo cult mentality” – that if we can put enough faith in our leader, all the good things of life loaded on a ship will descend from heaven right on our doorstep, without any effort on our part.

It worked like magic; and that was how the cult of St. Buhari was born. Buharism took off on the wings of myths – spurious tales about Buhari’s exploits. These were like pink pills that recruits needed to ingest regularly to boost their cultic faith in the grand poobah.

But like most fraudulent religious groups, soon, these myths began to lose their glitter and many of those who lived on them began to return from cloud nine and make contact with the ground of reality.

It took the massive job loss, Fulani mass murders and the recession of 2016 for many Nigerian Buharideens to come back to their senses.

It was a grim reality too gripping to be denied. No amount of “Buhari-recovered-trillions-of-naira” cop outs could drown it.

Today, despite his demythologization in the political space, Buhari’s followers are still blindly loyal to their guru as ever.

In August last year, an APC lawmaker from Bauchi State, Honourable Gumau Yahaya, promised to amend the constitution to make Buhari a president for life. Of course, we all know he is high on the opium of Buharism.

But we must not assume that he is a lone voice in that mawkish agenda. He is espousing the creed of the cult of St. Buhari. Yesterday again, he repeated the same intention:

By God’s grace, we will amend Nigeria’s constitution to allow Buhari to be president for the remaining years of his life. He will only cease to be president when God takes his life.”

It can’t get any clearer than that. Notice how he appended God to his hero. This is how cults work:

1. The authoritarian leader is often presented as the only channel of God’s approval. Those who refuse to kneel and kiss his rings are quickly labelled as “evil,” “thieves,” “corrupt,” “wailers” or “rebels.”

2. In cults, the public image of the leader is what counts the most. He/she must always be adulated and praised as having integrity, humility, discipline, sanctity and wisdom, even if he/she obviously lacks these virtues.

Since all cult victims have pledged their blind loyalty to the cult and its leader, his external image and public perception must take precedence over his ideas, achievements or insights.

Therefore his followers must be willing to sacrifice logic, truth, history and reason and twist themselves into ropes to launder his image at every turn.

3. In cults, the leader usually becomes a strong “father figure” to his followers. His followers have to mentally regress to the level of children even if they are adults.

There is a difference in the way the brain of children and that of adults functions. Children are easily carried away by lies but adults think critically.

The thought processes of children are generally vague, unclear and centered around sensory images and characteristics. But adults think in a more differentiated and organized fashion.

Those trapped in the Buhari cult reason, speak and dissect issues like children. The day they start to have a complex, nuanced and reasoned view of governance and reality as a whole, their childish faith in Buhari will wane.

Wonder why Buharists are quick to insult your parents once you question their demi-god? Here it is.

4. In cults, recruits are promised one thing before they are lured in, but once inside, they experience the opposite. So the recruit must always adjust and lower his/her expectations to accommodate the “bait-and-switch” system run by the leader.

In Buharism, they have to keep making excuses for Buhari because to admit that the Emperor has no clothes on – in ways more than one – is to be liberated from its clutches.

The rope they have offered that man is now wide enough to hang all of them.

5. Cults have certain “triggers” that are often used to programme the minds of their victims. These triggers could be a sight, series of words, emblems or gestures.

For instance, when Buharists see pictures of Buhari watching football on a 21 inch TV, cultivating vegetables and fruit, giving a speech on an international stage or when they hear/read words like “looters”, “corruption”, “16 years” or “next level”, their brains are reconfigured to mouth their party line, even though it makes no logical sense.

6. What usually leads people out of cults is often linked to what brought them in it in the first place. Most people trapped in cults are almost impossible to reach by reason or experience alone.

They will always find a way to sieve their thinking and experience through the cult paradigm. Unless that paradigm itself is shattered or shown to be false.

For a person to reject Buharism, he must first evaluate what initially attracted him to the guru at the top of the pyramid and question it critically.

From what I can deduce, most followers see in Buhari an inverse aspect of themselves: their own narcissism.

Speaking to journalists on if he would congratulate the winner after the last election, Buhari said: “I will congratulate myself at the end of the election.”

That statement reveals a man whose head is deeply stuck in his own orifice.

Buhari is his very own religion – both subject and object. He carries around a mental icon of his adorable self-image. He lights imaginary candles and burns imaginary incense to his self-image.

In Buhari, we see a man who has sculpted an idol in his own precious image, resulting in a singular, autobiographical personality cult.

Social Media and Negative Energy

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This past month, I joined a Facebook group ostensibly created for people to share their experiences, discuss issues and make friends. But right from the first few days I spent there, I began to block off nasty individuals.

I’ve always thought of myself as a naturally calm guy who is open to interacting with diverse people.

That wasn’t my first time joining a group or discussing with folks on foras. I have made many friends from such spaces. But this new group seem to be bringing out an aspect of my personality that I didn’t like.

After observing the quality and nature of conversations that daily occur on that forum, I realized the place can only be likened to a cyber jungle where you have a pack of wild animals preying and seizing on one another at the jugular.

I discovered that in the group a full-scale, old-fashioned “feeding frenzy” is a regular tradition. This is my term for when virtually everyone in a given online group decides to focus upon attacking and savaging one person with a dissenting view.

At that point, I began to ruminate on the possible influence of social media in generating negative energy among the youth population, especially in Nigeria.

From several interactions I have had, I have come to the conclusion that the moment some folks are online, they become completely unshackled from their morals and ethics.

Once they hold their phones in their hands, they become “savages” – mean souls who use the social media as spitbowls for deadly poisons in their sick souls to be spurted out.

The cyberspace provides users with a degree of anonymity, and this has resulted in the collective butchering of basic civility, decency and maturity. These trends function as the bedrock from which emotional and mental problems spring among youths.

According to a 2017 survey conducted in the UK among 1479 young people (aged 14 to 24), Instagram was found to be more detrimental to young people’s mental health when compared to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Seeing friends constantly on holiday or enjoying nights out can make young people feel like they are missing out while others enjoy life. These feelings can promote a ‘compare and despair’ attitude in young people.

Young people who spend more than two hours per day connecting on social networking sites are more likely to suffer from increased levels of psychological distress, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation, according to the report.

In addition to this, the tenor of most online discussions,  particularly on Facebook Nigeria, are often laced with crude, rhetorically violent, unnervingly venomous and zoophilous languages that can only be classified as hate speech.

Hate speech is a part of hate crime. This is an offence motivated by hostility towards a person based on any aspect of their identity, whether it is their gender, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle.

In Germany, researchers studied more than 3,000 hate crimes and the factors present in each circumstance.

The team from the University of Warwick in the UK found that towns and cities with a higher-than-average Facebook use corresponded with more attacks on refugees. Social media, they discovered, could facilitate the transformation of online hate speech into real life incidents.

Indeed, the human capacity for hate is a primal one, but in this Information Age, the vintage bottle of hatred has found a disturbingly effective new outlet: social media.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide highly effective mechanisms for fanning the flames of hatred and spreading toxic ideas. Nigeria, with its preening religious exhibitionism is not immune to this malaise; in fact, people have learned to perfect hate into an art and cement it with religious idioms.

Again, let me dig briefly into a vital springboard that is often ignored or seldom acknowledged: Facebook etiquette.

I believe our online interactions will improve if these etiquettes are observed even on other social plaforms. Let me bring up a few of them:

1. Respecting people’s privacy 

Some people just don’t like their offspring’s cute mugs posted on social media for the whole world to see and judge, and it’s important to respect that. The privacy of children should be jealously protected.

I don’t find it acceptable under any circumstances for people to use pictures of innocent children to beg for alms online. Parents should be careful in which state they capture their children on camera.

Filming your child nude or in an abject state may be amusing until that violation of privacy goes viral; and that child is not going to remain a child for very long.

2. Broadcasting your friends’ problems

Learn to also respect the privacy of friends and family. It’s wrong to use the social media to announce delicate and personal family issues or problems.

If someone has confided in you or discussed a matter with you in private messaging, and you proceed to share screenshots of that conversation – either for public attention or personal gratification – you are part of the problem.

The inability of many folks to keep private things private online is why there is so much mistrust and negativity.

Rather than mending social bridges as the inventors of these plaforms intended, it has further broken bridges and divided people.

3. Begging for attention

This is the most scandalous of all online behaviours. It’s sad but true that some folks are online attention whores, and they will do, write, say or reveal just about anything to keep their heads in the spotlight. I now call this “the Smollett phenomenon.”

No story is too sacred for their crude jokes and no claim is too outlandish for their amoral minds. This is the bane behind fake news and video leaks.

People beg for attention in various ways: making up a false story, showing off wads of Naira notes and luxury items; unfounded accusations against public figures, and the most disturbing: filming a person who desperately needs medical attention.

Believe me, the social media has eroded one of the last vestiges of human compassion and respect.

Some folks will even post pictures of a dead person in a graphic, disturbing state, append a lame prayer line to it and post it on their pages, demanding folks type “Amen” in response, to boost their traffic. And you will find folks mindlessly typing “Amen” to avert the way of all flesh.

One of my distant relatives died in July 2016, and someone photographed his lifeless body lying on the ground, and posted it on his timeline without any care for how this might affect the emotions of his family and friends.

That’s why when a popular DJ committed suicide in January and a certain ex-girlfriend came on Facebook to expose his sordid past, I strongly disapproved of it. Respect people in their grief by not posting unflattering stuff about their deceased family; this is a basic cultural and social norm.

4. Ranting about politics

Some readers might be surprised to learn that it’s an online bad habit to always rant about politics on social media. Some folks have no other thing they talk about beside politics. This is an obsession and it can affect one’s mental well being.

Politics, like religion, is a highly emotionally charged and polarising area, and the quickest way to generate negative energy with friends and family is to be obsessed with political topics.

Sometimes, we need to find common grounds with people rather than frequently combating them because of politics. Even politicians don’t always discuss politics!

Furthermore, for years, much of what has been passed off as political communication in Nigeria consist entirely of demonizing the opposition, bullying, grandstanding, belittling detractors, manipulation of ethnic and religious sentiments and mind-numbing propaganda.

During election seasons, lots of wingnuts never fail to come out of the woodwork. But we can steel ourselves from their ignoble tools by diversifying our knowlege and interactions.

Negative energy on social media is real. But we don’t have to step low into it; we have to transcend it to deal with it. Fumigate your online atmosphere: make use of the censorship tools the social media has provided us with.

Surround yourself with good people with positive ideas. Respect others and ask for their respect as well. Learn to respect people’s personal spaces. You may even need to go on a cyber starve. It could last for two weeks or more. Believe me, it works.

 

Nigerian Youths are also Nation Builders

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One of the tools of social control in our society – historically and culturally – is the paternalism, abuse and condescension directed towards youthful energy.

The twisted wisdom that many Nigerian youths have been fed with for years is to always defer to elders if they wish to live long. Youths are advised to take their place as subalterns and never express any contrary opinion: the elderly ones are always right!

This fixation with hierarchies also plays out in our political system where youths are reduced to spineless sycophants for men, who in their twilight years, still have their slimy tentacles wrapped around the spheres of power.

You are not free to initiate any new ideas or express dissenting views from the “Daddy” that brought you into office. Like a good traditional son or daughter, you have to give it up and silence your own judgement. You have to whittle yourself to make big daddy feel bigger.

It’s in our clime I find an undue emphasis on age in public discourses. Age has been so mystified and infused with psychic powers of its own that once any adult is being contradicted, no matter how legitimate it might be, the next, usual response is to pull out the “Do-you-know-I-am-older-than-you?” card.

When elders resort to this line of argument, they are not only evincing their anxieties, they are also appealing to our cultural ideas about respect, that your age determines the soundness of your thoughts. But I have found that to be untrue.

Your age has no relationship with your morals. Age is not always synonymous with wisdom. It has no link to the validity of your argument. You can be as old as Methuselah and still be blind to simple truth.

You could be older in age and still be myopic in reasoning, or as flat out wrong as someone dipping his hand into an alligator’s mouth with the hope of pulling out its teeth.

This snobbish cult of Nigerian elders will argue that “the youths are not ready for leadership.” The nerve! They are the ones asking us the question and yet answering it on our behalf.

Well, let me say it here again, that one would have to be so biased and blind (in ways more than one) to look across the length and breadth of this country and not find qualified youths to fill up an entire cabinet of positions.

Nigeria has one of the largest youth demographic in the world, why then, should old lethargic men always be at the nook and cranny of power? This meretricious argument of “youths are not ready to be leaders” is so false that it can almost take one’s breath away.

If Emmanuel Macron of France, Leo Varadkar of Ireland or Sebastian Kurz of Austria were Nigerians, they would have been told to join the long queue of their party and wait till the jokers and mongrels from their towns have all finished their tenures.

These vibrant men attained their positions because their system is based on meritocracy whereas ours is based on paternalism and patronage.

Ours is a defective system that puts the knife, the cake and the list of those who will have it in the hands of one patriarch, who from his lofty height hands down a stipulated percentage of positions to youths who are friends, family and lovers.

Another excuse being offered – and this one is also being mindlessly rehashed by some youths – is that Nigerian youths are too morally challenged and incompetent to hold the reins of leadership. This remark, apart from the atrocious logic packed in it, assumes that being an elder is a prequisite to moral fortitude.

One only needs to look at the moral, ideological and intellectual credentials of the men who have ruled this country in the last 2 decades alone to see how inane it is to mouth that argument.

For every single Nigerian youth bereft of morals, we can point to at least five elders – both past and present – who have been worse.

Many youths with criminal bent didn’t ascend from Hades, they are merely building on the foundations of their forebearers. They saw how our system glorifies such deplorable men, so they adopt them as their mentors. When a society is bereft of saints to celebrate, it will definitely have several devils to emulate.

No, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State does not represent Nigerian youths.

Kemi Adeosun is not a quintessence of youth ethics.

Olamide and Lil Fresh (the “Logo Benz” guys), do not reflect our values.

Similarly, Cossy Orjiakor does not speak for Nigerian ladies.

So please, dear folks, stop making public figures who ought to be tucked away in a museum for clowns and morons to be representative of Nigerian youths, just because their ages fall between that bracket. They don’t speak for me and thousands of other youths.

Until the day comes when old men are rejected as leaders on the basis of the indiscretions of their predecessors and contemporaries, that worthless appeal to youths that have noxiously failed in their calling is mendacious and insipid. Bunkum!

There are many Nigerian youths who are decent, hardworking, well-educated and who have a good vision for this country. These are the ones we should search for, support and stand with. Why do we always have to focus on the valley when we can look at the highway?

We need to stop being pawns of power hungry geriatrics. They only want to capture youthful energy and use it to extend their own lives. They just want to use your heads as stepping stones into power.

Yes, many of our youths need much experience, training, skill and support groups to be competent for leadership. But the Nigerian system should first recognize our role in nation building, encourage youthful zeal and stop repressing us.

When Ego becomes an Obstacle

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According to Collins dictionary, someone’s ego “is their sense of their own worth.” In psychoanalytic theory, the ego is that portion of the human personality which is experienced as “self” or “I” and is in contact with the external world through perception (Britannica.com).

Our self-importance, self-esteem and self-image are all tied to our ego, and we can have a healthy ego, or have a fragile or inflated one. People in the latter category are not difficult to spot.

A Nigerian thinker once said that one of the common expressions you will often hear when two Nigerians are having an altercation in public is: “Do you know who I am?”

The truth is, many of us move around the public space with a towering ego that rivals the Eyo masquerades of Lagos Island.

Most people with inflated egos are trying to hide their inner insecurity, pain and inferiority complex. Thus, the emptier the barrel, the louder the noise. The smaller the dog, the louder its barks.

Recently, I came across a conversation between two people in a certain Facebook group. One of them, whom I will call Abdul wrote:

I work hard to be were [sic] I am today both [in] Nigeria and outside Nigeria … I have been to so many country [sic] abroad. I am well exposed to life … I have two solid degrees abroad too. I am a humble person if you are close to me … I have a great personality. that is why anybody i date will never want to break up with me.”

Of course, the exchange went downhill from there. The arrogance in there killed the discussion. No, this is not an unusual experience, especially online. I personally know people who talk exactly like Abdul. They have an oversize ego problem.

This disorder prevents many people from opening their minds to learning or embracing novel concepts. A typical Nigerian knows-it-all and you dare not suggest that he’s wrong on any subject matter.

A typical Nigerian is a jack-of-all trades; if you try to educate him or teach him something, you injure his ego which fills up space and has a crushing weight, and he will fight you with his best weapon: infantile insults.

Alvin Toffle was right: the illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who are unable to read or write, but those who are unwilling to learn, relearn or unlearn.

We have many of such functional illiterates all around us who can never admit to any mistake or ignorance on their part much less receive the illuminating light of instruction and knowledge.

We used to have a next door neighbour many years ago who volunteered to help us move a large stereo of ours to a safer place. While trying to carry the stereo, he found series of wires at its back attached to big speakers, instead of asking someone who knew better for help to disassemble the wires, a bright idea beamed into his mind.

He walked back to his flat, picked up a pair of scissors and proceeded to cut off all the wires! I’m sure he smiled to himself after his “quick fix,” admiring his own faux creativity.

And he carried it on as if nothing had happened. My parents were horrified when they later checked the stereo.

People with ego problems are very unteachable. The buck must always stop at everyone else except theirs. They never consider other people’s opinions. They argue blindly on issues, even when they know down deep that they are plain wrong – because to admit that they are in error is a reality too fearful for them to behold.

Folks like these project their inner insecurity onto others and blame them over their own blunders to numb their conscience. It’s always about protecting the “I” factor.

1. People with this personality disorder need to first of all admit that they have an ego problem. The first step to dealing with a problem is to acknowledge its existence.

To cover up an ego problem with convenient cliches of being “assertive,” “confident” or “having a robust self-image” is akin to covering up a festering sore with lipstick and Mary Kay powder.

Some folks are blind to their own selves; they need people around them to tell them how they act. So, getting feedback from folks close to you is a good place to start. A stranger may mischaracterize or misunderstand you, but your family and friends will tell you if your ego is oversized.

Like a saying goes: “If one person calls you a donkey, ignore it. If five people call you a donkey, go get a saddle.”

2. Tell people what you can’t do. Bragging repels reasonable people. You have no idea how many people will be more endeared to you if you’d just admit that there are stuff you don’t know or can’t do.

This is humility, and it is not mutually exclusive of a healthy self-esteem. In fact, by saying “I am not very good at this, can you please explain it to me” or “I don’t know how this operates, do you mind calling an expert?” you are displaying honesty and emotional intelligence.

I can’t forget a day – that was in 2007 – during my undergraduate days, when a friend, Francis, walked into my room and he found an iPod on my roommate’s bed. He asked him, “Is this an iPod?” My roommate bursted into laughter, “So at this stage, you still don’t even know what an iPod is!” he said in a mocking tone.

Francis just turned to me and said, “You see, this is a problem we have in this country. People always expect others to behave as if they know everything and never ask questions. How do we learn new things if we aren’t free to ask questions?”

That statement lit a bulb in my head. He was right on point. We have a culture that derides people when they admit to not knowing what we think they must know.

I still remember the garrish looks I got from my colleagues when I first told them that I didn’t know how to play football. They just assumed that if you are male, the know-how of football must have been pre-installed in your testes! Such shallow reasoning.

I have grown to watch, ask and listen to people whom I know better than – even my students – in learning several things. I don’t want my ego to pose an obstacle to my personal development.

Learning is part of living; don’t you ever allow anyone – no matter who they think they are – to make you feel guilty for admitting what you can’t do.

3. Don’t die under the weight of public opinion. Ego thrives on public perception:

“What will they say about me?”

“What will they think about me?”

“How will they look at me?”

“How will they respect my education, background or social class?”

“How will they react to my errors and gaps in knowledge?”

Sometimes, these thoughts ring in our heads each time we step out of the door or walk into a place. Look, you can’t live your life to please everybody! Just be yourself. Be free to be you.

Don’t place the public at the driver’s seat of your life, because they will ultimately drive you off a cliff and put the steering wheel right on your fractured chest.

We are all complex beings; we are not actually consistent. So to build your self-confidence on the plinth of public perception is to hinder yourself from living a good, productive and explorative life.

 

Paedophilia and the Grim future of Nigerian children

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If you have been following news reports that regularly trickle out through Nigerian media outlets, you would be familiar with a raging giant walking across our nation: child sexual molestation.

This heinous crime has become so prevalent that children (whether male or female) can no longer be entrusted with adults – Christian and Muslim clerics, teachers, lawyers, policemen, even family relatives.

Just some hours ago, a presenter on TVC, Morayo Afolabi-Brown said:

I absolutely trust my husband but I won’t take chances and have him bathe my daughter, because whether we like it or not, there is something flying in the air these days that is encouraging imbalance and immoralities”

Though this statement has made many Nigerians on social media go bonkers, if we view it from another angle, she has a point.

Oh please keep your stones, I know why I said that. I used to have a friend during my university days, a born again, tongue-talking brother who attends a church where they slay demons here and there, who actually admitted that he can have sex with his daughter if she seduces him, because, “body no be firewood.” And his fellow “brother in the Lord” agreed.

Now, don’t you think that’s a paedophilic tickling time bomb waiting to happen when horny daddy (he’s now married) bathes his daughter while mama isn’t home?

Haven’t we read of fathers (many of whom are overtly religious, by the way) defiling and even impregnating their own daughters?

There is something flying these days in the heads of many men and women and it’s a sick, disgusting, depraved, perverted, and dare I say, demonic craving – because it takes a devilish mind invasion for a father to defile his daughter.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), defines paedophilia as a mental disorder involving intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that have either been acted upon or which cause the person with the attraction distress or difficulty.

Typically, anyone who has had a pattern of sexual arousal — as manifested by persistent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, or behaviours — involving pre-pubertal children is a paedophile. (Please note that female puberty usually begins around the age of 12).

Both genders can fall victim of paedophilia. I have read some rather disgusting confessions of two female paedophiles on Stella Dimorko Korkus blog that have sexually abused a boy and even a baby!

I have known a five year old girl who was raped by her father’s trusted 26 year old apprentice and warned never to tell anyone or she would die. She began to bleed and by the time she told her mom what was done to her, it was too late. She bled to death. This happened in my area in 2008 and I personally know this family.

The tragic case of Ochanya Ogbaje’s rape in the hands of a fiendish man and his deranged son wasn’t an isolated one, it merely gave a trending face to similar cases that have been sadly buried under the gravel of a culture of silence.

Just this week, the United Nations released a report showing that Nigeria ranks the 11th highest country of the world where girls are raped in the name of marriage.

That is one of the lasting legacies of the influence of Arabian tradition on Northern Nigeria. Some shameless advocates of paedophilia from the North crawled out of their caves to react to this report by deploying an insane logic that it’s better for a child to be raped in the name of “marriage” by some filthy old man than to become a child prostitute.

This line of thinking is too absurd for me to contemplate on, because even as a single young man, I don’t find a child sexually appealing. A nude child can only appeal to my fatherly instincts. I still wonder how some men can have an erection in such instances.

Psychiatrists are not sure what precisely makes men to go after little girls (or boys), but in virtually every case of a paedophile being clinically assessed, they have been found to have other mental abnormalities such as anxiety (especially with grown women), depression, narcissism, psychopathy and neurotic disorders.

This bring us to the necessity of Nigerians being informed about mental health issues and correcting the widely held false notion that mentally ill people are just folks spotting a dreadlock and dancing shaku shaku without clothes on at Yaba market.

Paedophiles are mentally ill, period. And if you are reading this and feel sexual attractions toward young girls or boys, then seek counseling, prayer or psychotherapy.

Our legal institutions need to review and amend the ambiguous clauses in our laws that give approval to child marriage. Religious traditions that foster this must also be jettisoned. Our girls need education, not sex. They need pens, not penises.

Finally, there should be sex education. Children should be taught about their body parts and that no one has a right to touch their gentitals – whether it’s a house maid, driver, family friend, teacher or religious leader. Parents need to be alert with their wards and watch out for clues of abuse.

This nation is becoming unsafe for children. But their future needs to be protected. Join the move.

Cooking and Cleaning: Male Survival Skills

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The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, caused ripples on social media on Sunday when he said:

The head of the home never goes into the kitchen. It is now 45 years with Mama Janet, I have never stepped into the kitchen. That is how it should be.”

From the context of his speech, he used this as an example of how politicians and civil servants should stick to prescribed roles. His analogy is so flawed that the import of his message is obscured.

If you asked me, a power-hungry ruler does not have the moral credentials to tell others how they should govern their homes.

I am aware that gender roles is often a flash point of feminist arguments, notwithstanding, Museveni’s thoughts have sadly remained unreconstructed over the years even as the ground beneath our feet is shifting.

Tragically, while much of the developed world enjoys enlightened and visionary leadership, several African countries are still trapped in the maze of gerontocracy – being driven by men who ought to be reclining in a nursing home for the aged.

Thanks to Museveni anyway, I had hoped to write on this issue since the time I wrote on How the Cult of Masculinity damages men. From the responses I read on social media so far, many Nigerian youths agreed with Museveni’s “wisdom.”

We live in an age of social evolution. No one in his right mind would demand we dress, speak and live our daily lives the same way folks did way back in the 1960s. The times have changed; so have we.

Forone, no one back then could have imagined that we would be communicating with mobile phones or video calls as we do today.

Similarly, to hold people down with archaic principles and archetypal roles (sometimes disguised as “culture”) is to stifle societal progress in ways more than one.

No gender was born to perform domesticity and no gender was born to be enterprising. These are skills people learn in a bid for survival in a changing world. Women don’t have the ability to cook pre-installed in their wombs neither do men have entrepreneurship congealed in their balls.

Some norms may have worked well in the days of our fathers, but we no longer live in their era and we don’t have to live as they lived. Cooking does not diminish a man’s headship in his home; no, it doesn’t shrink his manhood. It’s a necessary skill for survival.

Even ancient history furnishes us with evidence that men at various eras have cooked – both in domestic and professional circles. The early man learnt how to smoke, roast, sun-dry and bake his food and his masculinity wasn’t washed ashore while at it.

Men have always cooked even without female interference, so let no man try to price his worth on not entering the kitchen for 4 decades. This is something I admire about French and Italian culture. Many of their men are in fact, better chefs than women. It’s here in Africa that we complicate simple matters and unnecessarily genderize some issues.

Each time people tell me “Oh you can cook? Wow, that means no woman can take undue advantage of you,” I marvel at such reasoning because men don’t have to be wrapped around women’s fingers for culinary benefits. A real man is supposed to learn what he needs to learn in order to survive – even in the absence of a woman.

I recently heard of a couple who are currently at the verge of divorce over unresolved emotional issues. The frequent cause of friction between them was that the husband usually arrives home from work at about 5 pm but he would wait up for his wife till  9 pm when she arrives home, expecting her to prepare their dinner.

He doesn’t know how to cook and he doesn’t want to learn it. So their two children go to bed hungry each night while their dad lies on the sofa, milling around social media, waiting for a woman who is still caught up in the soul-crushing Lagos traffic to fix his dinner!

Now, is that a display of masculinity or feminity on his side? If you believe men should never step into the kitchen, please answer that question. Of course, his attitude is a sign that he missed something vital in his upbringing.

That brings me to another self-survival skill: cleaning up. This entails personal hygiene, cleaning up utensils, clothing and one’s environment. This is an area that needs to be thrashed out among us guys because the society has told many of us over and over again that male grooming is a feminine past time. “To be masculine,” we are told, “is to wallow in your own filth and get high on your mess.”

This has resulted in a sort of imbalance: many ladies are raised to learn how to cook, clean and take care of their looks – as intending “wife materials.” But many guys weren’t raised to be “husband materials” so to speak. They were allowed to become educated pigs and overgrown spoilt brats.

They loathe doing their dishes; they don’t clean their own rooms; they don’t bathe properly and even refuse to take cognizance of their health. They are assured that women will ultimately help them clean up and do their laundry after marriage. I’ve actually heard of men who even expect their wives to help them flush the toilet after use.

It’s still understandable (though not excusable) for guys with busy schedules, but when an adult male who has his five senses complete and is not physically challenged in anyway still expects a woman to clean him up, feed him like an infant and attend to him like a deity, he has a defective upbringing.

The other day, I saw a screenshot from a woman whose husband regularly stains his shorts and the bed sheets with fecal matter each time he lies on his back while making love. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she asked him why he doesn’t wipe himself properly after using the restroom, he gave a rather amusing and yet shocking answer: “Only gay men give such attention to between their butt cheeks” (!)

Indeed, life can be so hard having a village idiot for a husband.

Guys, it’s never too late to learn how to cook and clean up. Yes, getting professional help is fine, but one of the areas in which men excel better than women is the power to adapt, work and survive. Channel that natural ability and use it!