So today’s episode in our ongoing series, is yet another surprise entry from someone who read episode 1 and decided to lend her voice to our campaign. Excited that we are getting more and more people who are tired of accepting the norm of moral and social degradation. And are willing to not just only say no, but to spread the gospel that is #DontLetTheDevilUseYou. I give you Obianuju 😊
There was a roommate of mine. An older woman, she was at the law school so she could better position herself for opportunities in the civil service. I liked her. I liked listening to her numerous stories. I’d lie on my bed on the top bunk, eyes determinedly shut listening with half an ear to the stories she told. Very rarely was I moved to ask a question or express disbelief. The way I saw it, it really wasn’t my business. Instead, I saw her stories as equating a bedtime story because quite regularly I went to sleep afterwards while the story continued on a progression I would not get to see the end of.
Until the day she told the story of the man she might have married. Like me, he was Igbo. Unlike me he came from Enugu not Anambra. Still though, the assertion she made that we: Igbo people use strangers for sacrifice during the New Year festival was a turning point. I expressed disbelief. I tried to tell them it wasn’t true, that it was just a miscommunication of what he had said. See, it wasn’t my business. I didn’t know that person, I hadn’t heard that conversation and here I was arguing hotly that we weren’t barbarians and we weren’t cannibals and we did not eat other human beings during our New Year Festivals. Of course it was pointless. No one really cared about my argument. They had heard and they believed. So after a while, I shut my books and my mouth and fell asleep. Please!!! #DontLetTheDevilUseYou.
It occurred to me when the allegations that Yoruba men were demons started, that we hardly take the time to hear one another. To really listen to one another. Sure there might be some Yoruba men who are horrible people but there are people from other tribes who are the same or worse. I remember when it started trending, how many times I was tempted to believe it. Then I would remember Kadiri, Dimeji and Bayo and I would refuse to believe. Then I thought about how for years some things have been said so often that we’ve learned to believe it without question. Edo girls are witches. Igbo people like money too much so a lot of them are fraudulent etcetera etcetera.
Tribalism destroys unity fast. Very fast. Why do we persistently maintain these beliefs without regard for the truth of the matter? Igbo girls are hairy. The hairiest girl I’ve ever seen was a friend of mine from another tribe. No I will not tell you what tribe. Referring you to your biology lesson; when you reach puberty; hair grows everywhere. On both boys and girls irrespective of race, tribe or social standing. Why then do we do determinedly perpetuate this nonsense? #DontLetTheDevilUseYou
Your sister’s daughter has just clocked 23. You are a close family so you know that she’s dating a violent person but still you advise her to marry him because she’s a woman and it is advisable that she gets married before her beauty fades. She does and within the space of 3 months she has been beaten within an inch of her life four times. When she refuses to take it anymore and decides to leave you come again telling her that it’s a woman’s job to preserve her marriage. So she stays. She had an aneurysm last night. You were in Dubai. Congratulations! You just killed your niece. #DontLetTheDevilUseYou
Your family friend was recently appointed to an electoral position. You know you can’t do the job but you beg and wheedle so he gives you a contract. Your son took your brand new Porsche out for a ride and he had an accident on the road you had left in a worse state than you met. You’re looking at him now. They say he’s brain damaged. Are you happy with yourself #DontLetTheDevilUseYou
You saw a woman, beautiful, charming, graceful and fiercely independent. You start dating. You get married after pretending for years to be progressive in thought. The day after your honeymoon you tell her to quit her job, follow her around, seize her phone so she can’t communicate with those “boys” outside; her brothers included and after every trip, even the ones where you accompanied her, you smell her underwear and accuse her of cheating on you. Why the pretense #DontLetTheDevilUseYou
There’s a widow in your street. Her husband died 5 years ago and she has 3 children. You know she’s struggling. You date her. You marry her. You rape her daughters. What is wrong with you?
There’s a man who lives on your street. You see him the next day with a folder and wearing his best suit. You offer him a ride home. He tells you he’s searching for a job. He’s told you his qualifications. Your offer him a job. But the interview will be held in your bedroom. Why? #DontLetTheDevilUseYou
These are just a couple of examples. A lot of us are placed in circumstances, in situations where we can make changes. It can be as simple as logging off Twitter, refusing to throw your oranges onto the road to something complicated. Whenever you have the chance to make a difference please ensure that you don’t let the devil use you. He only comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. And if your situation is anything like these above, please get help. Thank you and may God bless you.
Thank You so much for this Obianuju, in case you don’t know, she blogs at “In Between People” and for all the Hair lovers on here, she also blogs at “Tendrils” also known as “In search of Perfect Hair”.