(Swans - March 8, 2010)
When are you Nigerians going to sort yourself out? You've turned your country into the world's laughing stock.
Leave me alone, please. We have got our share of worldly problems, just like any other normal nations.
Ha, you called yourself a normal nation! Where on earth would a president go AWOL for three months except in that country of yours where jesters are in power?
I thought you would learn to mind your own business; is yours not a case of a pot calling the kettle black?
You Nigerians have a way of dodging issues. Your president not only took off without explanation, he also failed to follow simple, commonsensical, constitutionally-mandated procedures of handing power over to his deputy, and you see nothing wrong in that?
And why is it impossible for you South Africans to learn to mind your own business? By the way you're going about our missing president, one would think that you are without your own palavers. If only you will learn to remove the sandstorm from your eyes before bothering with the grain in ours. If you live in a glass house, don't throw stone. I hope that they have a saying like that in your country, and I also hope that apartheid didn't succeed in totally wiping out your cultural legacies so that you won't understand proverbs.
I have talked to many Nigerians and like you they're very prickly when it comes to discussing their country.
Good for you.
Meaning that you should learn from what they are trying to tell you.
But the same people use vitriolic language when talking about the same issues. Why won't you allow foreigners to talk about your country's affairs?
Maybe they think that it's none of your damn business, or maybe they think that you should busy yourself with your own country's inadequacies.
Inadequacies, what do you mean?
In Nigeria, we have an adage that says that the child that says that the food his dad cooked is not delicious wants to hear the story of how his mother left the house.
And what is that supposed to me mean? What has that got to do with your comic of a country where the president can decide to vanish, just like that!
It looks like apartheid not only messed up you guys in the physical sphere; it seems it also succeeded in truncating your connection with African norms.
Ha, ha -- you Nigerians are always wriggling your way out of tight spoils by those types of appeals to African sentiments. What African norms are you talking about?
I must say that it is only you Southies who needed common proverbs to be decoded for you. Every African child knows that we do not make it our business to talk about people facing medical challenges, just the same way we are taught not to joke about death or piss on people that are down. But like in many things, apartheid succeeded in producing in you Southies sub-African species. The child of the cripple that goes out and buys shoes for his father wants to hear an earful. We are not making it our business to talk about your president's rampant, uncontrollable libido, so I don't see why our president's sickness should be any concern of yours.
What is the connection between the two?
If you not see anything wrong with a leader who would sleep with anything and everything in a skirt, why do you make it your business to talk about a president who is sick?
You are not implying that our president is sick.
In many places, irrational and uncontrollable sexual appetite is considered a form of sickness.
You cannot be serious. Our president is a virile man who is doing nothing more than what any normal, healthy human being would do.
I am not a psychiatrist, but if your president cannot control his sexual urges, then he's in more serious trouble than our president who is simply sick. Is your president trying to catch up with all the years he was incarcerated at Robben Island, or what message is he trying to send?
Why does he need to send any message? Are you not forgetting that he is a high Zulu chief?
Meaning that he is a pure, true-blooded Zulu. His culture permits and actually encourages polygamy. I hope that you're not among the damned foreigners who look down at African culture.
Don't you dare throw any racist barb into my face, or are you forgetting that you are talking to a Nigerian?
I am not forgetting anything, but if our culture permits something, the least you guys can do is simply to respect it. Give us some respect; that's all that we ask for.
Why are you unwilling to extend the same to us? Our president is sick, yet you make it your business to talk ill and make jokes about him. But when I move to the subject of your president who's behaving like a stud on Viagra, you took offense. Don't you think that the man is a disgrace?
Disgrace! You can't be serious! Disgrace to whom? As long as the man gets the job done, it is no one's business who he's sleeping with, period.
And you talked about prickliness, ah! I don't know about getting the job done, I just know that there are so many hours in one day. If he's busy servicing his three wives and countless concubines, when does he have the time to do some thinking and still get the time to do any useful job?
Are you saying loving his wives is no useful job?
Oh, if you put it that way! Where does your president get all the energy from? The man is 68 years old, for crying out loud, or does he have a special pipeline to a Viagra factory?
You see the hypocrisy here, don't you?
Hypocrisy, what hypocrisy?
In the West, they criminalized polygamy, yet their leaders are always fooling around in secret and very dishonest affairs. Here we legalized it because we know full well that it is man's nature to have a garden even when he has a farm. We are not hypocrites like some people.
Why do you keep forgetting that you're talking to a Nigerian, an African? It cannot be all that blissful for the women.
Says who? Did you hear any of them complaining?
One of them, Mozambican airline hostess Kate Mantsho Zuma, committed suicide in 2000 complaining the arrangement was "hell." Won't you call that complaining?
In every marriage there's a hiccup here and there but the point is: President Zuma is doing absolutely nothing illegal or unethical.
Why, you don't consider sleeping with your best friend's daughter unethical?
The woman is grown up, for Christ's sake! Was there any evidence of rape?
Since you're bringing up the question of rape, there was that now long-forgotten rape case that your president beat by a whisker.
There is nothing like a whisker in law; he was found not guilty, simple. What then is your problem?
Given the fact that your country leads the world in the HIV-AIDS epidemic per capita, what message is your president sending out, that it's OK to have unprotected sex?
But he claimed to have taken a shower immediately.
Thus reducing your country to the butt of hilarious jokes. Why did he think that showering is protection against HIV-AIDS?
For your information, our president is a career freedom fighter. He was there in the thick of things when the liberation war was raging. He is not a medical doctor; he never claimed to be one, period!
I know that you're Zulu man, but why won't he respect his high office? Why is he desecrating the office once occupied by the godlike Mandela?
Ah, I know that you will drag the Mandiba into this. Why won't people recognize that the two presidents are totally different? For your information, Mandela is a Xhosa royal while our new president is a true-blooded Zulu. They come from two different cultural backgrounds and they are molded by different experiences.
Do you happen to know his favorite music?
What has his taste in women got to do with his music?
I was just thinking that he must be an avid fan of James Brown's song, "I'm a Sex Machine"!
You cannot be serious!
Do you think that the man is already thinking of a career after his presidency?
What do you mean?
I was just thinking that he might be considering a position with the manufacturers of Viagra.
Get out of the bush!
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About the Author
Femi Akomolafe (see his profile on Swans) is a computer consultant, a writer and social commentator, an avid reader, and a passionate Pan-Africanist who lives in Kasoa, Ghana. Femi is known to hold strong opinions and to express them in the strongest terms possible. As he likes to remind his readers: "As my Yoruba people say: Oju orun teye fo, lai fara gbara. It means that the sky is big enough for all the birds to fly without touching wings." Femi Akomolafe's views, opinions, and thoughts can be accessed on the blog he maintains: http://ekitiparapo.blogspot.com/. (back)