In the west of our dear land

I received a text message a few weeks ago warning people not to use their photo or that of their family members for social medial profile because there are messengers of devil lurking around determined to take children of God away.

This message came to me from a friend that I respect, we’ve known each other for a long time, so I replied asking her to think about that message for a second in relation to the present situation in her family, town, state and Nigeria and to see if there was any sense in it.

It is interesting the number of messages people forward without reading or believing it.

Why is it so hard to give common sense advice without making everything about religion, devil, or God? Wouldn’t it be enough to get people to understand the need for a bit of privacy while on social media without scaremongering people with nonsensical tales?

Thankfully, I no longer receive chain messages that only serve to propagate myths or scare the daylights out of people. However, occasionally, I receive ‘gems’ from new friend/acquaintance, such is the case the other day when someone in a group that I belong sent a ‘warning’ text.

The text was long, but the gist of the story was that we should not pick a call from a number with country code +263. Two different numbers were provided. The reason for the warning was that the person on the other end is a ‘devil’, he has managed to kill 11 people via calling them on the phone. There is something about blood sucking devil in the text.

This message was not directed at me, if I was not part of this group, the sender would not have included me, here I can’t really be bothered.

Out of curiosity I checked to see where the ‘blood sucking devil’ is calling Nigerians from, it turns out to be Zimbabwe.

Why would someone in Zimbabwe want to suck Nigerians blood, don’t they have their own people or do Nigerians have special sweet blood?

The +263 warning text is a bit easy to crack, I sense some Televangelists competing for the same audience, my people are one step ahead making sure they scare folks from listening to morning devotion from rivals – Oh well, I know this message will go round the world and come back before people realise the motives behind the texts.

Let’s assume that it is true that there are some agent of darkness somewhere who really wanted to kill people through WhatsApp calls, why would anyone target Nigerians when there are plenty options of people using VOIP around the world?

Whenever texts such as these are sent to people, there is always a sense of urgency to act, ‘send this message to all your friends and family members’ even if forwarding such a message makes one look like a  douchebag, deed is done before they had a chance to ask simple question such as:

Why is it always us spreading rumours that make no sense?

People are facing enormous challenges with skyrocket inflation, kidnap for ransom and on top of it, an absentee President – do people need more miserable tales to scare them of one more thing they need to do or not do so as not to die?

Do people actually still believe this? It seems so. If they don’t we would not have more churches than schools today. I have seen a building with three different churches – everyone competing for a share of the market.

“In the west of our dear land…” is the first line of my secondary school anthem, the line came to me today while I was thinking about how much some people rather than using technology to inform and educate, they insist on using it as a tool to further instil fear into the people.

Many people genuinely do need help, may their eyes be opened in good time.

Help for mental health patients

It is extremely hard to have a family member with mental health illness in Nigeria, societal stigma is just one hurdle, another one is people making up all sorts of reasons they think one has mental health problem, most of the reasons has one denominator – village enemy. Bigger challenge I think is not knowing where to go for help.

There are so many projects going on in Osun state but this rehabilitation project is highly commendable. I first read this detailed article last month about O’Rehab, the government apparently is working with five different psychiatry units in SW. They follow what they termed 4 Rs – retrieval, rehabilitation, repatriation and re-integration.

It is also good to know that patients are being helped with technical training to help integrate them into the society.

‘The Ilobu rehab center of the scheme trains healed patients on diverse vocational skills like soap making, bead making, tailoring, hair dressing and various crafts after they would have been treated”

Understanding of mental health is pretty bad, I know we have a long way to go, but state government taking active steps to help people off the streets is a massive step forward to get people talking about mental health, its prevalence and understanding of different types there are.

Here is a very good example to shows how mental health patients are treated even by their own family:

“We presently have the case of a 29-year-old female lawyer who after law school and service, developed a mental challenge and we picked her up, it was during rehabilitation that we discovered that she is the daughter of a renowned person in the society but we can’t mention names. The father showed up and said it was when her trouble became too enormous and she became a threat to them that he abandoned her to her helpless mother who took her to churches where she was chained and which aggravated her condition.”

I appreciate that this example is used, there are too much that is packed in that paragraph. It shows how even a family member can easily pushed their own kin out of ignorance.

I am also glad to read that the state has started to clamp down on what they called Unqualified Rehabilitation Homes In Osun. Apparently one was found along Iwo-Osogbo road a few days ago and they have confirmed the premises is unacceptable.

“… the Government has moved fast to evacuate the emaciated mentally challenged persons who were found to be in different deplorable states of health to its facilities at the state hospital and rehabilitation home while the State Police Command continues with its full investigations.”

I am elated to read this. These unqualified rehabilitation homes is non other than faith homes and traditional healers. The condition people are exposed to is appalling, people are chained and heavily drugged.

This is progress that should make us all happy.

Here are the 5 hospitals that Osun state has partnered with to help treat people with mental health illness from Osun:

  • Ladoke Akintola University of Technology teaching hospital, Ogbomosho
  • Obafemi Awolowo University teaching hospital, Ile Ife
  • Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos
  • Aro Psychiatric Hospital in Abeokuta
  • Government Hospital, Asubiaro Osogbo

It is always nice to read of good progress that touches hearts from home. More power to everyone working on this scheme.

Prisoners of myths

My sister and my niece had a bit of argument on things my sister was sure I would have done to my children as part of our ‘culture’, my niece told her mother that although she has not asked me but was positive I am a different person than my sister had in mind.

So there is this believe that a newborn baby need to be bathed with palm oil and powder in order for the baby to be perfectly clean. The reason for this is that if a child is not thoroughly cleaned the first time, such a child may develop bad body odour later in life.

To my sister’s surprise, my niece was right – I did not bathe my girls in palm oil because there is no need for such – my principle is ‘when in Rome…’ actually, my girls were only cleaned with soft cloth at the hospital and they both only got proper bath at home with mild soap and water.

And they were clean, still are.

Some of the ‘must do’ that were passed down to us were due to resources available to our predecessors, times are different now, so must we.

So I asked my sister, do you still believe in money rituals? Or that the myth of money rituals continues because we live in an environment where wicked people get away with horrible crimes? This is a topic that she and I have had so much discussion on. Almost every week another half body is found somewhere with key body organs removed, lots of Nigerians especially in the SW believe this is a case of money rituals. One could wonder, how is it possible that a lifeless body can throw up cash after some powerful juju was placed on the corpse?

We are not raised to ask such question, we are only told to believe money rituals using human body is prevalent in society. Somehow people make up colourful stories about this and we ended up suspicious of one another, and the murder crime continues.

I recently read a fantastic crime novel focussing on money rituals in Nigeria that gives me hope that there are many people out there educating the public on how to look at this case of money rituals differently, Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in putting this money rituals myth to rest and treat people disappearing or corpses on road sides as serious murder crime that it is. Even though it is a fiction, I could see so many of the vivid pictures in my mind’s eye. 

From simple case of hygiene such as how newborn must be cleaned to a more serious issue such as money rituals – while both are myths, the reason the society remained spellbound is the believe that we must not question or approach issues differently just because that is how it has always been. Both of these started threading long ago while traveling 50miles away from home was a big adventure – I am sure ancestors will be shifting in the afterlife now if they could see we refused to move with time.

Pedophila: Protecting children

A few months ago, there was a story of a Nigerian guy serving a long jail term in a USA prison for raping his nine year old daughter.

The story goes that Emmanuel Ngene, like many Nigerians relocated to the States in the ’80s and subsequently returned to Nigeria for a wife. They had 3 children, wife and children lived in Nigeria until 2007.

From the same year that the Emmanuel Ngene’s family joined them in the States, his nine year old reportedly had been raped by the father, in 2008 the mother took the young girl to the doctors as she had been physically abused by the father and had marks on her body to show, at the same visit, the girl told the medical team how her father had been raping her. Full story here.

After the legal proceedings including cross checking to be sure the girl’s story was not made up to get her father in trouble (I am not sure why a nine year old girl would ever do that), Mr Ngene was served a long jail sentence.

The trial court entered 15 separate judgments. The court sentenced defendant to four consecutive aggravated-range sentences of 300 to 369 months imprisonment for the four counts of first degree rape; three consecutive aggravated-range sentences of 300 to 369 months imprisonment for the three counts of first degree sex offense; four consecutive presumptive-range sentences of 16 to 20 months imprisonment for the four counts of incest; and four consecutive presumptive-range sentences of 16 to 20 months for the four counts of indecent liberties with a child. Defendant timely appealed to this Court.”

Both Mr Ngene and his wife told different stories. The little girl’s story is consistent with the findings of medical team – she has been abused, raped consistently through out her short time in the States.

Mr Ngene said she was raped in Nigeria where they moved from whereas poor girl gave details of how her father had raped her. Mr Ngene said his wife had been complaining about how her expectations of the US was farther from reality, so she was getting back to him by making the girl lie.

A few Nigeria news papers that carried this news managed to look past the poor girl that was violated by the person she trusted the most. The focus was on how women brought to the USA changed after they have gotten qualifications and financially independent.

And the most ‘intriguing’ comment I read was that ‘our men don’t rape, that is not our culture’ – that is where I thought we have a long way to go if people who have access to the internet and presumably some education are still this much deep in denial.

In this January alone, leaving aside adult rape, I have listened to a 3 year old girl talking clearly about her uncle raping her, the mother shared the video on Facebook, she wanted to raise money to prosecute the uncle. Another one of a 4 year old raped by a neighbour. And another one whose wife caught him in the ‘act’ with his 3 year old daughter. The list go on.

The depravity is insanity. It breeds contempt especially if these children receive no support from general public.

Too many cases that is sad because the country has failed to realise that Paedophile sometimes has family and even if they have more than one adult sex partner, they will still prey on children including their own.

I believe Cindy’s story (the USA girl) and I am glad that she has moved to a country where Paedophile especially when it is a family member attracts maximum punishment.

I wish Cindy all the best in the future.

Nigeria six social protection programme

Nigeria news has to be taken as a pinch of salt until it actual materialised. Often, what get spread for public consumption is not the entire picture, and other times government officials change their minds without acknowledging errors in prior information for the fear of being criticised.

The other day, I read that Prof Osinbajo had clarified the scheme of free ₦5k for the unemployed graduate – now we learn that the scheme is meant to provide vocational training for unemployed youths, graduates or otherwise. This to me sounds a lot better than cash in hand.

And again, I am treating this lightly until I see/hear ordinary folks down in small towns benefitting.

I suppose it is safe to treat this infographics as authentic given Prof Osinbajo signed6 Social protection programmes it.

I am hoping that one day there will be a follow up document that explains the highlighted areas in the infographic as it will help greatly.

Looking at point 3 – The monthly unconditional cash transfer of ₦5k for the extremely poor Nigerians. Who are these extremely poor Nigerians and how are their condition assessed? Here I am only curious and no ulterior motive whatsoever. However, in the last few years whenever the talk about poor Nigerians came up, the eye is in the northern part of the country. So we have lots of essential poverty alleviation programs from Unicef providing cash in hand for girls to stay in school and last regime providing Aljamari schools for begging street children.

Additionally, we have  questionable programs with government paying millions of naira so adult men could marry their third or fourth wife, and adult women re marry their third or fourth husband as the previous ones conveniently drove them out, while the children roam the streets. That, and the pilgrimage for many people who would never have spent their hard-earned cash on such a trip.

Yet, genuinely, poverty is rife – no kidding. But, where do we draw the line so leaders are held accountable?

Here is another angle, the one we ignore to talk about. Today in the south, we have people who are almost if not on the same level in ‘poverty class’ as some folks in the north, but this may not be that obvious as they are tucked away in our villages and small towns.

As a teenager, I used to live in a house in the late ’80s in the ‘rich’ south with a family who hailed from Gbongan – I have never seen anyone this poor in my life, so poor Baba Rọ́pò had to wash his clothes with a fist sized stone to scrub the stains off. Their food is horrible. One day my sisters and I returned from school holiday to learn that Baba Rọ́pò had died. He died after vomiting bucket filled with green stuff, and of course no hospital visit whatsoever because you need money for that.

More recently, three years ago, my sister helped with collating some information in town as a group were looking into providing solar lanterns to selected students. She helped so the most vulnerable ones get this.

There are some areas in town where the local crisis hits really badly 18 years ago,  many people, especially elderly still live in half burnt houses because there is no where else to go and their farms had been seized. She was especially emotional with an elderly man who was blind in one eye and had nowhere to turn to.

I know my focus is in the town that I am familiar with, it is the same case for folks in Ile-Ife and not too surprising that travelling throughout our SW even areas with no local crisis, we still have lots of people like this.

Example of this is the osinbajo-father picture of Prof Osinbajo took during campaign in Ogun state. It is not enough to take photos of the villagers just to get votes, it is important to incorporate these people into the plan as well.

To see how terrible this is in the south for some folks, one needs to visit our villages especially the schools, roads – they don’t bite, anyone can do this and I am hoping Prof would trace his steps back to the campaign routes.

My point here is that, this time let’s make it all inclusive social welfare, and this means the 1M people the scheme intends to help reach the poorest of all our regions.


Eroding Yoruba traditions

I have been thinking about traditions lately and why there seem to be little trust in the traditions we were supposed to hold dare. In return, elders are quick to point out how children of nowadays disregard traditions to embrace science.

Today, I remember Yoruba tradition of Oku r’iro. Oku r’rio usually happens when enough people in the community suspect the death of a loved ones is caused by another person in the community usually by spiritual powers. The deceased will be ‘ro’ so as to come back and take revenge on all those who caused his death.

The ‘ro’ here means that the throat of the dead will be slit and the knife tied to the hand and buried together. The same knife, it is believed is meant to be used to serve revenge on those responsible for his demise. The process of Oku r’iro varies and it is believed to work, if the spirit of the departed is very strong, all those involved in the death of the departed will die in a matter of days after the final burial.

Why do we question traditions?

Several years a go, a family member died after a brief illness, he was about fourteen years old. His death was a huge shock to his family so they decided to ‘ro’ his corpse.

In Yorubaland, unless the cause of death is as a result of prolonged illness or auto accident, lightening, flood etc  usually sudden death is blamed on someone in the community.

For the ritual, I learnt there were lots of sacrifices to be performed, however the crucial part is that a piece of kitchen knife is placed in the corpse’s hand before burying. This knife is the tool that the spirit would use to fight the killers.

I was about nine years old the time I first heard about this rituals so I believed all that was said. Seven days passed and no report of ghost taking revenge so I wondered the credibility of this ritual.

Now as adult, I wondered how this belief came to be in the first place. How could anyone believed a dead person has ability to rise again and take revenge of any kind?

Is Oku r’iro another tradition that can not be proved it worked so safe to leave it in the past it belonged?

Has anyone heard about Oku r’iro and whether it has ever worked?


** Map of the Yoruba Country

Duck eggs

If I had a kobo for every myth I was fed growing up, I’d have plenty of it by now.

Debating with adults with reasons makes them nervous as it is often mistaken for questioning authority.

There is a tale of vultures (Igun) as forbidden for anyone to kill, eat or use for any form of sacrifice. If anyone disobeys (d’eja), the repercussion is violent death.

This same myth has been included in many popular songs so not many people doubted the myth.

The story goes that there was a village vulture deemed untouchable, it grew bigger and getting in the way of meat loving folks, villagers were not happy but were told to let the vulture be.

One day the vulture disappeared so the whole village were called for a meeting to see if anyone is aware of its whereabout – nobody knew where the vulture went.

A day later a villager cried out that he was the one who captured the vulture and that he had eaten it, he boasted he was still alive and well so the myth of ‘all powerful’ vulture should be put to rest.

The man mysteriously died a few days later.

As it turned out, the man who told the village that he ate vulture did not eat it, he only wanted the village chief to realise that vulture myth should be tested and if indeed they shouldn’t eat vulture, other plausible reasons should be given – scaring people into believing a dead vulture is capable of killing someone isn’t the best way of instilling moral standard.

The man who captured, killed and ate the vulture but kept his mouth shut survived.

This is the tale I have heard so many times in the past, it means when tales of Eewo (forbidden) is told, one must not try apply any reason – just believe.

Continue reading “Duck eggs”

Most Nigerians already are tax payers, maybe not to the earthly purse

Nigerians have always being tax payers, this may not be that obvious but really they do – government agents from local to federal level need a lot to learn to make sure taxes go to the right purse.

When I was little in the 80s, in the then Oranmiyan local government, almost every adults pay their taxes, even the non-government staff.

People like my father makes his payment without any reminder, it was a flat rate for farmers. For the traders, it is mostly collected in the markets.

The other way to make sure fewer people slip through the net at the time  was to make it mandatory that all school children produce parent’s tax receipt in the beginning of academic year.

This system was far from perfect at the time, in fact it was open to lots of abuse and double taxation as people sometimes get taxed twice if unable to produce receipts at check points, however hard a lot of people paid up.

The biggest factor that contributed to people’s resistance is  that there were no public improvement whatsoever to show for the government revenues so over time, taxation of public stopped altogether.

Fast forward a few decades later, despite the population increase, it seems the percentage of people paying any form of tax in the same area has reduced significantly. Today, only tax paying adults are registered businesses and civil servants.

The myth of taxing poor masses

The poor masses wanted to pay taxes,  lots of challenges for sure, however, if this hasn’t stopped Lagos state from collecting taxes within the state, surely Osun can do the same.

For example a friend in Ogun state got taxed flat rate of 10k naira/annum for dried food stuff shop. People with similar source of income in Osun got off with paying no tax.

As it stands today many small enterprises in all of our towns are not paying any taxes to the government because no one is asking them or the misconception that everyone is poor so exempt from tax.

However, this same group of poor masses somehow are very happy to comply with the religious rule of 10% earnings tithe and sometimes, they do accept more or less according to individual economic blessings.

I wonder, if Nigerian churches could be so clever to instil in people the need to secure their ‘heavenly home’ through taxation, surely it should not be hard to convince the same group of people to pay towards improving their earthly surroundings.

From what I know growing up in the area, people’s resistance to paying taxes has nothing to do with being poor,  if there is more transparency in the collection and spending of people’s  contributions – they will happily obliged.

If any government is able to educate the people of Osun state on the importance of taxation, it will be Ogbeni Aregbesola as people love and respect his work.

Creating morality from bottom up

I don’t understand many church doctrines, I could perhaps read slowly so to assimilate but because the reality on the street is a complete contrast of what’s preached in the church, I’ll just leave it as is.

Father Charles Richardson was a well loved vicar in his church, known by many from the church and school as a great leader.

Then something happened, his private life was exposed – too many people to disappoint, too many uncomfortable explanations to make – the vicar took the only way to avoid having to face the ultimate ridicule – escaped it all by killing himself off the cliff near Dover months before he was due in court.

Father Charles was one of many that were found to have possessed indecent images of children bought from a Canadian company. The leaders of school and the church had been hinted of the Father’s offence but kept the church in the dark, saying  the Father has “taken a step back from ministry”

To feel a bit of Father Charles influence, here is the locals reactions. They were clearly disappointed to learn about the dark side of their beloved vicar, however what hurt most was them been kept in the dark until the end. 

One can not but admire the enlightenment of people here, they feel parishioners and communities deserved to know the truth about their leaders, even in death.

There is a myth in Nigeria that suggests our church leaders are different from the likes of Father Charles, even when we see it happening, one way or the other people helped conceal and also make excuses for such behaviour, even in death.

I once had a pastor who was up to date the most charming church leader I have ever met. He genuinely loved the choir and would shower us with praises. Pastor O always asked for us to be taking care first during special events and would order more fans to be directed towards the choir area when it was especially hot.

He came to my church with his son who was a bit older than me, his wife was back in their hometown somewhere in Ondo state. The pastor’s son and I became friend, mostly chat about non church stuff which was a huge relief.

This pastor, several years on, my old church can still point to many things he had initiated and completed successfully but for some reason, my church did not like him.

Elders in Nigeria Pentecostal churches, especially the traditional ones have power to remove any pastor if there were enough evidence of misconduct.

If the main issue here is the man of God abusing his position of trust, isn’t it better to insist every pastor have their wives at their station and being truthful about celibacy?

Anyways my pastor has gone way beyond pardon as he was caught red handed having affair with a 16 years old church member. The husbands and parents of young women were worried he’d make a pass on all eligible women – oh well.

Not a sin if you can keep it secret but becomes abomination when everyone knows? Before this time everyone thought celibacy is fantastic because  our ‘daddy’ is doing it. Really?

My old pastor was successfully removed only to be transferred to yet another church, will he change? I doubt it.

Case closed, it is frowned upon to even mention his name let alone talk about what he did.

Nigeria: When gender inequality goes beyond the surface of skin tone

Prejudice is damaging – it kills motivation and self-esteem. Children especially are likely to believe it is true so end up living their lives creating walls around themselves when they realised stereotypes ingrained at home is manifested in the society at large.

My old guy was excited as he just returned from the village to collect his yearly palm oil from Mama Monday, although palm oil from my father’s farm is no different from any random one bought from the market but there is a little sentiment attached to.

“That woman is hard-working, dependable and always sticks to agreement” My father talked fondly of Mama Monday.

Then my father went on about this woman and how she spent most of the time in the farm going from one chore to the other and how she is a fantastic mother because her children were at school.

So I said “Is Mama Monday like Iya Dele from where we used to live long ago?”

“O ti gba tan!” – “On point!”, my father enthused.

Iya Dele, like Mama Monday is an Igbo woman who was our neighbour in the 80s. She has a vegetable farm (akuro). As it’s the custom for many Igbos in the area, both of their husbands were palm wine tapper (ademu) which means their work is seasonal so are around a lot during the day.

There is a stereotype of Igbo men being drunk, this is where that came from, well from my observations.

Now, I am getting clearer picture of what I have been thinking about for quite some time – Gender inequality in Nigeria affects every woman in the land, however, breaking it down, people are always quick to single out Yoruba and Igbo women for comparison.

Even when both have the same education, exposure and material wealth – for some reason, igbo women are seen to be better in everything – they are stronger, more fashionable, cleaner, more beautiful and ha! more romantic so make better lover.

How true is this, and how much of it has just been as a result of repeated stereotypes based on false claims?

My old guy just spent a few minutes describing all women that I have grown to know. Most women in my village are in the farm all day while their men often in time return to the village for news and lunch.

So Yoruba women have similar workload and no credits for it from their men, why?

So when a friend who is a Yoruba but has lived in a few continents given father’s job read some very skewed views on Yoruba women when compared to their Igbo counterparts – he wanted to know if that was true as he’s been away from home for long and he was sure none of the attributes were true of his mother.

“It’s all stereotypes that has got out of hand.” And from what I have learnt, they were propagated my men – Yoruba men not for anything else but for their ego.

It is complicated but unless we can go to the root of all this, many more women especially Yoruba will waste their lives chasing shadows just so they can feel more accepted by their men.

US is a very good example on this, everyone knows it is a false notion that the fairer skinned you are, the brighter or more beautiful one is but yet fair-skinned folks get more attention for just about anything than their dark-skinned sisters – it’s damaging – time for Nigeria to get hands on Dark GirlsOr our own Nollywood version of the same to raise awareness?

The reason for the fairer skin for many Igbos isn’t a rocket science given the presence of the European explorers in the early days.

If our history – the true ones were taught in schools from primary level, stereotypes like this would have been put to rest long ago.

Tradition of Ada in Igbo land can not be ruled out as a contributing factor that has empowered women in that region, this is evidenced from the lifestyle.

It starts from fairer skin tone of a region, and from there it gets way out of hand. And instead of women uniting to fight gender inequality together, already there is a bias within the same gender group – women allowing themselves to be put against one another making less to none progress on the real battle – closing the gap of gender inequality.

Like many of our challenges, unless we can see Yoruba vs Igbo women from the perspectives of those that bear the brunt of the unfounded attributes – we will continue to glorify the stereotypes.

Discipline Vs. assault and the role of religious leaders

I could not help but giggled this morning when a caller to LBC radio said Pope is not really in a position to approve smacking children as a way to instil discipline given he has no biological child.

Guess I am the devil’s advocate here.

Being raised in a culture where adults or anyone in positions authority turn to physical punishment where simple communication could suffice makes my skin crawl most especially when someone in influential position such as Pope Francis thought this is an acceptable attitude from parents to children.

The Pope statement will have very little effect in the west because most parents knew better than to follow what he says given there is strict enforcement of law to protect children rights.

My worry is a nation like Nigeria whereby people believed word for word what their religious leaders told them especially when there is a passage in the bible to support the assertion.

As Nigeria goes, there is a thin line between religion and tradition, more often than not, citizens are confused about the source of many craziness that have penetrated into what we now see as our culture.

Proverbs 22: 15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” King James Bible

Iwe Owe 22: 15 ” Ni aya omode ni were, sugbon pasan itoni ni yio le jina kuro lodo re” Translated from King James Bible

Among many of the bible quotations that I had to memorise as a child, the above verse was one of the few I still remember today, although I had long forgotten where the verse were but I remember the words. They did not make any sense to me as a child and neither did they as adult.

There are plenty of lost in translation when it comes to the bible and I wonder how many people have gone over the cliff because of this.

In the bible quotations above: To translate the KGB literally to Yoruba, it will be:

Foolishness – means ẹ̀gọ̀ but instead wèrè (Mental health illness) was used to describe children’s mischievousness.

Rod of correction –  pàsán ìtọ́ni. Ìtọ́ni on its own means correction however, when pàsán is used, usually it is for only one thing – to flog and beat, animals or humans, most especially when the person in charge felt short-term outcome from assault is the route to quick fix while ignoring the lasting impact of communication to bring about favoured behaviour from children.

When does discipline go too far? Here and Here

While many Nigerians would easily say physical punishment is African/Nigerian culture, it is hard to know given I grew up in a part of Nigeria where Christianity is predominant and physical assault is rife both at home and outside including in the church.

It is nations in this category that religious leaders have strong influence on the crowd. Here Pope’s statement is giving more ammunitions to already delusional crowd to justify their unfair punishment on the people, mostly children in their care.

Human concotion: Key ingredient for abundance of wealth and power

Not too surprising that ritual killing for all sorts of reasons still exists in Africa – this is not an isolated event, it is an integral part of the plan to keep the poor, this time mental poverty-stricken folks where they belonged – darkness for ever.

For lots of ugly reasons including ritual killings, we, Africa is a country, maybe not all but for a handful.

Here I see opportunity to collaborate on educating citizens across borders.

Ivory Coast ritual killing of school children is one that rings true. Seeing parents talking about the killings as if it’s another storm to be avoided, all hoping that it will go away, but ritual killings would not go away unless, the nations involved started exposing and punishing the perpetrators.

Yes, education plays a big role in liberating hardened minds.

How’s that even possible that human corpse can be placed in a room corner and will magically throw up cash? Any currency – my people are so daft to even believe this is possible.

And more disturbing is the fact that this is one of the big problems that we, in Nigeria always brush aside and we pray to God to take it away.

Why do we still believe this? Well, many Nigerians and indeed Africans still believe in ritual killings because those who are ‘selected’ to lead us are not going to fund research to shed lights so people can be liberated from chasing the shadows.

The clip below is of the Ivorian parents panicking, it could have been from anywhere south of Nigeria. Interesting that Nigerians in the north kill in the name of religion and in the south it is for sacrifice.

Only a few months ago, one happened in my town, the culprit handed to the police only to be released a few days later. Clement Oyetunde was caught with a human head. Now, given Mr Oyetunde’s day job is watching over “God’s sheep” he is now back in business performing endless miracles for his likes.