If there is one thing that the average Nigerian believes, either actively or passively, it is the existence of village people. A confederation of jobless individuals who do nothing all day but sit on their asses, monitoring lives and doing their best to frustrate existences. Wait a sec, did I say ‘the average Nigerian’? Strike that; replace it with ‘every’.
Oh, you say no? So when you go to church, pull out the big guns on every enemy from your father’s house and command them to die by fire, who do you think you’re referring to? Who are the senders in ‘back to sender’? Who are those strong men, those gatherers in “they shall gather, but because their gathering is not of the Lords…”? Na village people, mehn!
Even if you’re like me and you don’t actively believe in their existence because you cannot fathom the thought of being so criminally idle that the only thing to do, day in, day out, is to make someone’s life as miserable as possible even while your own life falls to pieces, you won’t still want to be caught slacking when those prayer points drop. This means that, on a certain level, you cannot be a Nigerian and not have a relationship with your village people.
But who are these village people? Do they really exist? And if they do, do they vary from village to village and only meet on the last Saturday of every month to give reports? Let’s find out.
Who are the village people?
According to general belief, village people are a group of individuals who assign themselves to a particular individual to make their life a living hell. Think of them as reverse guardian angels or tooth fairies who, instead of taking the tooth and leaving money under the pillow, knock out a couple more teeth and then rob the kid to boot.
And just like the word village in the name, it is believed that village people are attached to you from your origin, either your father’s or your mother’s house. As you’re being processed out of heaven en route to a waiting womb, a demon disguised as an angel waylays you just before you pass through the Pearly Gates and gives you a code to the family of Mr Wole Makejodunmi.
And you, being the ignoramus that you are, nod enthusiastically because the name sounds important. You receive the code while thanking him profusely and stew in anticipation for nine months, only to emerge in a backwater hovel in Ajegunle as the third substitute in a football family’s lineup.
Then, as you grow, you realize that while the code did indeed send you to Majekodunmi and Sons (and Daughters), it also functions as a GPS tracker for your personal crew of interfering entities who you’re allowed to blame for everything that goes haywire in your life. Welcome to Liverpool, mate.
Are village people real?
Why are you still asking this? Oh, you think the scenario above sounds outlandish and unrealistic? Why? Jesus was talking about Nigeria when he mentioned trials and tribulations for his people, fitted with a drowning value system, a striker of an educational system worthy of the Premier League (or as Thor’s personal assistant, whichever comes first), amongst others. With all of these, what’s stopping it from having its in-built principalities to further assist in making life hell?
They install heavy traffic on the road, make the bus break down on your first day to work, or make you wake up at 7 am and start cooking beans when you’re supposed to resume at 8 on the Island, and you live at Berger.
But is it all village people, though? Is it? Is it your village people that make you unnecessarily rude to a stranger on social media, not knowing that it’s a director from your internship placement? No, you’re just an uncouth individual with no manners. Is it also village people that make you start fighting your fellow applicant at a job interview over charging space? No, you’re just a senseless human being.
I could go on and on, but the simple truth is that most of the time, we’re the sole architects of our misfortunes. You spend your entire life acting as a roadblock to other people’s progress (essentially becoming a ‘village people’ yourself) simply because you wield a token amount of influence, then your kids will face hardships in the future, and you’ll start climbing mountains to gain better signal to call down thunder on the strong men holding them down?
That’s Karma 101. Don’t be surprised if the thunder curls to hit you instead. Or you spend your youth as a Yoruba demon, breaking hearts and shifting wombs all over the southern hemisphere, then you get to a certain age and say you want to settle down? Africa Magic movie or not, the tears you’ve left in your wake will come flooding, demanding their due.
Karma aside, there’s also your attitude. You cannot swing through life like a clenched fist without caring what you knock down and expect smiles everywhere. People have enough bullshit to deal with without adding yours to the pile. The evergreen adage “Your attitude determines your altitude” remains undisputed in its factualness.
But rather than acknowledge our faults and work on fixing them, we’re instead content to dump all the blame on both the devil and his associates, the enemies from our fathers’ and mothers’ houses. Because why not? Their existence means that we’re able to stick our heads in the sand and turn away from confronting the fact that maybe we’re assholes.
Everybody is the hero of their own story, after all.
Mind you. I’m not disputing the existence of village people. The universe is a large and enigmatic place, and there are several mysteries that cannot be explained without a Compendium arcana, a four-figure table and six pigeon eggs. And while I have never had a run-in with them, I’ve heard numerous true accounts of the faces in the dark.
However, the next time you hit a roadblock in your life’s journey, before you run to Woli Zaccheus, Alfa Jegede or Baba Agbomola, take a moment to sit down and reflect on your life and how you’re living it, and you just might save yourself a lot of stress.
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