I’ve been off Twitter for about a week now. Had a severe bout of the flu. I’m good now.
People who know me know that when I believe in something/someone I’ll run with it/them passionately, giving it/them my all. That’s till I no longer believe in them, till I feel like I’m being taken for granted, or till I get bored and decide to seek amusement some place else (third reason rarely happens).
In my short lifetime I’ve been involved in quite a diverse range of activities/causes; from organising album launches, press conferences, bake sales, even worked on publicity/branding for politicians as some point. Each of these events have one underlying factor that determined whether they were success or failures; whether all the organizers remained buddies or if we can’t bear to even think of each other now.
This is what trust is NOT, and this is the best analogy I could think of (and not because I love beans)
a. We want to eat moimoi. We agree we will eat moimoi.
b. We (say 1000 people) decide (consciously or unconsciously) that Zainab will buy and pick the beans, Kudirat will grind and mix in the spices, and then Ifeoma will watch over the moimoi till it is ready.
c. We all go to the market with Zainab, help her carry the shopping. We all pick the beans, chatting while we work. Then we go with Kudirat to where she grinds the beans, maybe even argue about how much pepper and onions should be ground into it. On the way home, we buy garri and groundnuts we’ll use to eat our moimoi.
d. Ifeoma doesn’t call us, several hours after. In anger, we march to the kitchen to find that the stove’s cold, and Ifeoma’s not there. Our moimoi mixture is as we left it, uncooked. Furious but famished, we put our moimoi to cook. Later we find out that Ifeoma went to the neighbor’s to eat akara.
Does Ifeoma think Zainab, Kudirat, or the 1000 will ever plan a meal with her again? It is for this reason, ladies and gentlemen, that I am heartbroken. Disillusioned. Disenchanted. Disgusted. Maybe even ashamed.
Samuel Johnson said, “the key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be, and when they are not,we cry”.
It is for this same reason I’m wary of the loudest voices since the protests started. ‘Saviors of the people’ have again risen up, denouncing the government (which is a brainless one by the way) in the strongest, vilest language possible. I see we’re also calling for the President’s head (which is justifiable in my book too) but have we taken a close look at the people chanting the loudest?
Let’s start with the individuals. Especially if you’ve been in government or in a position to make a change and you did nothing. You should hide your head in shame because sweet cheeks you are a part of the problem.
Still on individuals, sycophants, lying scoundrels giving wrong counsel to people in power for an extra buck. Shame on you. It just goes to show what you’ll be when you’re there.
Then, the ‘activists’. Once it suits your purpose, your battle cry is the loudest. You want the interviews, the international publicity; the power, maybe the extra follower on Twitter. If however there’s the slimmest chance that your interests might be harmed, you go oon self-proclaimed exile. And in doing so rubbish the credibility of your comrades on the altar of your greed. Shame on you.
The sensationalist. I would love to push this to the media but it is human beings who make that up isn’t it? And in these days of social media making citizen reporters of us all, kinda further widens the scope doesn’t it? We publish/repost/retweet gore in the name of news, offend the sensibilities of everyone else with news that is as unfounded as it is ridiculous. Especially in times of tension or strife. Where is your conscience? Ok you’ve sold that. Did you sell your common sense too? “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it” — Tennessee Williams. Same thing goes for dishonest writing/retweeting/posting/publishing.
Worst of all are the ones who are silent. Elie Wiesel said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”. But perhaps it is this quote by Martin Luther King Jnr that expresses my thoughts the most, ” our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Posterity will judge.
It is for these reasons I am heartbroken.