Many black people, I deliberately chose not to say all to avoid sounding absolute, believe there is some person or group of people, usually village people, who spend the whole day, the entire tick of the clock, wishing away for their misfortune. Some even believe some spend their hard-earned money to pay marabouts, babalawos or some red candle-lighting prophet with a flowing gown to match to destroy them.
While as an African and a Christian who prays that enemies fall down and die or that helpers are stricken with heart attacks if they refuse to help me, I believe there are strange powers, weirder than the creatures we see in old Nigerian movies with badly-moulded noses, hands and feet in reverse positions et al.
While listening to the legendary juju musician Ebenezer Obey blast on my speakers, I couldn’t help but notice some lines in his song mocked his enemies. A direct translation of what he sang was “all their efforts went in vain….” This line got me thinking, and I concluded by asking myself, “Who or what is chasing the black man?”
It is not uncommon to hear rap, pop, Afrobeats, or other genre singers refer to haters and mock them, pretending, in most cases, to be living their best lives to spite their enemies. It leaves me wondering why almost every black man-I won’t refer to white men because I don’t happen to have any as a friend- believes he is being hunted by some persons, sometimes believed to be holed up in some village.
A typical man, who has failed at business or his studies, rather than look inward, attributes his misfortunes to a dark force somewhere. All the years I have lived, I have heard unfair; as I choose to believe, heaping the blame on some innocent village dwellers striving for their daily bread for the misfortune that has befallen some guy hundreds of miles away or even thousands of miles.
Some years ago, I attended a wedding somewhere outside Lagos, and while those of us who were eager to have our tummies filled with party Jollof and empty green bottles were waiting at the reception, one of the bride’s family members walked in majestically, and while he was exchanging pleasantries with some well-dressed women, the beads around his neck scattered all over the place. I’m sure many attendees, not those like me who were too busy visualizing the food and alcohol to follow, must have blamed some old folks, who were maybe checking their traps set overnight or fanning the flames beneath their lunch or roasting corn or some bush meat in the village, for the rather unexpected occurrence.
But have we thought that this could be because the beads simply got caught in some zipper or even the wearer’s wristwatch while he was waving happily at friends? Or had the bead just reached its expiry and given up the ghost at a very slight jiggle?
These weird beliefs, I believe, are part of why Nigerians are milked dry by some quacks parading themselves as men of God, marabouts, and the likes. Not defending the village people, but there is the need to believe that some things happen normally and simply obey the law of nature. An example, wearing old bathroom slippers on slippery tiles will most likely cause you to slip and, if unfortunate, break a limb.
Village people, again I reverence them, have much on their hands than watching some Lagos man in a calabash better suited for drinking fresh palm wine and bush meat while gisting with friends and watching the sunset. Be fair; stop heaping your problems and misfortunes on innocent village dwellers.
I remember a former coursemate in the university who lamented that he now spends a lot of money before filling his tanker-what he called a belly-and accused his village people of wishing he spent all his money on food and no meaningful investment. Funny chap!
Don’t forget; the village people are humans like you; stop blaming them for every misfortune! Na village dem dey, dem no kee person!