Ramblings Of An Angry Nigerian: ODE TO GENERATOR

When I first encountered literature in 2004 I didn’t know the pronunciation of ode. I thought it was pronounced odeh. So I go about shouting odeh to nightingale, odeh to peace, odeh to… stupid! One day I stumbled upon ode in the dictionary and saw that it was pronounced oud, exactly like owed! Oops, oops. So many girls I’ve tried to impress with odeh! And they can’t unhear. But I didn’t tell any of my co-odehs, I just went quietly with oud and left them with their odeh. But it takes more than the right pronunciation of ode to touch the heart of girls in those days (don’t know for now) for these odeh boys kept getting the girls and I was left with this nice fat girl nobody wanted (by the way she’s now slim and ignores me on WhatsApp). Very successful these odeh guys but the good news is that most of these guys went to the University pronouncing ode as odeh. Hohohohoho.

I never corrected them. They had their romance, I had my right pronunciation of ode. 1-1.

But I have not come here to ramble about pronunciation. If your phonology teacher did a lousy job on you then you should carry your cross, is it in my blog you want to come and learn oral English? Be careful.

I have come to ramble generators. Last month, I was home for Easter and having bought fuel at the gracious price of 150 per litre (should be 250 now) I relaxed to enjoy my life. But the generator was not cooperative and kept groaning and lurching and giving low current. I believe my village witches were on form but my mom thought otherwise. She said something about the generator being old and kind of outlived its utility. She didn’t come out to say we need a new bigger one but it was clear that a new bigger one was the theme of her poetry. No, she wasn’t talking to me but her mouth was fixed at my direction. I just covered my face with a novel. Let nobody ever mention my name…

But before I left I got a mechanic and he resurrected the generator. I called my brother and his testimony was that the generator runs as new. I am safe for three months.

Someone once tweeted that indomie noodles has contributed more to the history of Nigeria than the national assembly! Ahhh. What a rare insight. I have retweeted, mentioned, favourited and screenshot the tweet. It is a great testimonial. But indomie aside we have a long list of products that have contributed more to the history and welfare of Nigeria than the establishment of government. The generator is top of the list.

You know, studying history of Nigeria I’ve come across eras such as The First Republic (1960-1966), Gowon and the Civil War (1966-1975), Abacha Regime (1993-1998) etc. When I finally write my history textbook it would be something like Generator Revolution (2003 to forever). Yeah mehn, there is no sight to the end of this.

You know, they lied to us that Buhari’s the answer and the man came, saw us crawling on our fours and he smashed us, we’re now on our belly and he’s still smashing. You know the Igbos say if you can’t increase me at least leave me as small as I am. Well, Buhari has made us far worse than he met us. And some are saying that one year is too small to judge, and I say one year is too small to destroy us this much. Then they say no glory without pains and I laugh because there’s nothing Buhari is working on that’s causing this hardship. We’re not facing fuel scarcity because Buhari is building new refineries, we’re not suffering blackouts because Buhari is building new power stations and we’re not enduring rising cost of living because Buhari is working on increasing our export quotas. We’re suffering because our president has failed to manage the little we have. Period.

Well, well it’s cool and almost romantic to criticise the people that work for Buhari. No light, hold Fashola responsible; no fuel, scold Kachikwu, Fulani cattle-rearer massacre people, that’s the IG of police’s responsibility etc. Yeah, they fear Buhari so much they have made him a ceremonial head of state like Queen Elizabeth, just that he’s the Executive head of state and head of government. Executive. Look that up in the dictionary, don’t assume like my odeh friends.

So the generator has been saving our ass. It’s practically the only standpost between us and extermination, between us and pure hell. Imagine no generator and you have to wait once in a month for light to cut your head, charge your phone, iron your clothes, weld your shovel, check your jamb, mail your CV, watch TV, chill zobo etc. Ahhh, anarchy, endangered species stuff.

Indeed the generator has done us a great deal of good. Two things must kill a Nigerian, lack of electricity and fuel scarcity. And one thing must drive a Nigerian crazy, the sound of generator! Our Alaba International brothers are trying to solve the latter problem by importing noiseless generators from China (please don’t tell my mom). Soon, they will import musical generators that play Adele when you switch it on. Tell my mom I’ll waiting for this one.

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So I understand the genius of removing the eagle in our coat of arms and replacing it with sweet generator. Who eagle don help? Who, who! Just mention one pursin.

I heard Benue State government wants to introduce Generator Tax to save the ozone layers from smoke emissions. Nonsensical. That’s by the way.

So the genius who redesigned the coat of arms should be given a national title. Designer of Federal Republic, DFR. We can then approach the senate to pass this new design into law. Yeah they are dump, all of them but if you tell them the generator is mandated in the Bible and Quran they would cooperate sharply.

Talking senate, did you hear the news, how the senate president went to court where he’s being tried for corruption/disobedience with ninety defence lawyers? Ninety lawyers noni. Haha, he’s as guilty as craze. Imagine being the judge and you have ninety lawyers sitting on the defence table, on the floor, on the window, under the desks, kneeling, squatting, lying etc. Madness mehn. So the trial goes this way,

1st lawyer: Objection my lord.
Judge: Objection overruled
2nd lawyer: Objection my lord.
Judge: Objection overruled.
3rd lawyer: Objection my lord.
Judge: Objection overruled.
4th lawyer: Objection my lord.
Judge: Objection overruled.
17th lawyer: Objection my lord.
Judge: Objection overruled.
36th lawyer: Objection my lord.
Judge: Objection overruled.
78th lawyer: Objection my lord…
Ahhhhhhh!

This is obstruction of (in)justice. Where are my nairabet freaks? You can bet your school fees on it, it’s 4.5 odd that the judge will break down before he pronounces Saraki guilty. And even at that, Saraki jailed, he’ll still be our senate president directing proceedings from Kirikiri Maximum Prison, because the senate is his father’s snooker joint only he can handle. So don’t talk resignation to Issa Hayatou Saraki. Or something worry you for head?

Babes and guys, I have to go now. Yes babes and guys na. No one above 30 reads this blog. If you are, please identify yourself in the comment box. My name is Onome Ikeme, 62, nice post. I really have to go, who rambling don help? Mention just one successful millionaire rambler. Let me concentrate, I am at the filling station, to fuel my car. I am tired of trekking helter scatter, lemme get fuel even if it’s half a litre. Purr! Purrr! It’s my turn!!

Next week.

@Oke4chukwu

THE SCREENING OF AN APE

He was well-dressed, the ape. Black tie, white shirt, blue-black suit and a crowning hat. He took his seat at the witness box. ‘Introduce yourself,’ the senate president said.

The ape cleared his throat. ‘My name is Jons Soto, Grand Ape of the Federal Republic. I am a first class graduate of the Zoo College for Apes and Other Near-men. I was born not in the jungle, but among men, or behind men, so to say, in the zoo.’ This, in clipped British accent.

The senate president nodded twice or thrice. ‘Personally, I will like the nominee to bow and walk away without questions. We have all read his impeccable CV. But I think we should allow him few minutes to make his presentation, if only for the benefit of some Nigerians who still doubt the ability of the first monkey ever to be nominated minister. You may proceed.’

‘Thank you Mr President. I beg to differ, I am not a monkey. I am an ape. Although the monkey and apes all fall under the same family of primates, and have single ancestry, millions of years back. But evolution has since transmutated things. So we now have two groups of primates–the prosimians and anthropoids. The prosimian group is inferior and much more primitive, the lemurs and tarsiers are chief examples. The anthropoids are cut into two sub-groups: monkeys and hominids. The monkey sub-group goes further to being divided into old world monkeys found in Africa and Asia, and new world monkeys found in the Americas; these include over 200 monkey types, plus the baboons, macaques and capuchins. The hominid, on the other hand, also known as Greater Apes, includes gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and man. I am an ape, you senators are apes, together we’re Greater Apes.’

The senators clapped.

‘You are not monkeys. I am no monkey. We can’t be monkeys.’

Applause, dosed with laughter, broken with a few hungover ‘hear hear’.

‘I am closer to man than monkeys are to me. In fact, man is closer to monkeys than apes.’

A more deafening applause shook the hallowed chamber.

‘We apes (by “we” I mean senators, man and I, thank you) and monkeys have little morphological features. Monkeys have tails, we don’t. We walk on two feet, monkeys walk on four, and use the tail as a fifth limb. Monkeys are designed for life in the trees, we apes are made for the home. We are of far more immense body size than monkeys. Only the gibbons, among apes, are of similar size, bodily, with monkeys. Thankfully, gibbons are “lesser apes”. Monkeys rely on smell for survival, we men rely primarily on vision. Apes have broad chest and a precocious avocation, nay, arrogation, dolce so to say, of the cranium cavity.’

The ape paused, allowed the rim of his glasses fall one or two inches to his nose bridge, and gave the honourable senators a learned glance, and took in the clapping and cheering like a well-earned wage. It was like a lecture room, and he knew who the lecturer was.

The ape continued, ‘Having distinguished us from the unpropitious monkeys, I proceed to highlight what make we apes apes, what make we apes superior. We apes are able to use tools and you are all witnesses to the great technological vicissitudes of our age. We apes have the ability of speech. I am not able to speak because I am taught, some of you will patronisingly say trained, to speak. My people, like Africa and the third world, have been ill-colonised. Just as whites colonised blacks so did man, before literate civilisation, colonised and drove common apes (by “common apes” I refer to gorillas and chimpanzees) into the wild. The shock of this inhuman mutilation of the soul, this genocidal assassination of culture, has remained to date. This has robbed my people the use of the vocal cords. It is, in a manner, a speech strike of eternal consequence. As for common apes being naked, Africa too was naked before Western Civilisation. My people in the jungle are without clothes because they have refused to have any dealings with man and have eschewed the so-called Western Civilisation, of which António Agostinho  Neto defined in his seminal poetry as breaking rock, shifting rocks in inequitable weather. We apes have an esteemed touch of pride, in the edge of arrogance even. We haven’t found the passion to stoop that low. In this prodigious state, common apes are superior to man. Today the popular culture of nudity is jiggled sky high. This is man trying to imitate his immediate elder brother, the ape….’

It was at this stage that the internet crashed. Twitter, trust it, saw thousands of tweets on the ape per second. Hashtags like #ApeSense, #WeAreAllApes, #ApeNotMonkey and #GiveUsApe began to trend worldwide. The most engaged tweet was one by an ape-blogger  with the simple message ‘Ape for president, 2019.’ Something wonderful was happening, and the whole world was interested. Nigeria was proud of her ape. God bless the president for this thoughtful nomination. Unaffected by the hullabaloo in the social media, the ape rattled on. At least, two senators wiped tears from blepharitis eyes.

The majority leader moved a motion that the ape be allowed to bow and walk away, a confirmed minister. The senate president addressed himself to the minority leader. ‘Will you please second the motion?’

The minority leader rose to his feet, gathering his robe in his hands tightly, as if holding to the spotlight he cherished. ‘I will graciously second the motion, but not before I ask a question that bothers so many Nigerians which might have been lost in the excitement of the moment. Mr Nominee, you have always been spotted carrying a bunch of banana in your briefcase, sometimes in your pockets, and you have been seen eating them in respectable places, including the airport. You once hid banana in your hat. Now, Mr Nominee, do you have any explanation for these seemingly embarrassing acts, and what do you suggest against future occurrence?’

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The ape smiled like a professor who had just been asked an elementary question in an MA class.

‘Banana,’ he began, ‘is botanically a berry. The name is derived from the West African Wolof language. Although certain sources have suggested it’s from the Arabic word for “finger”. Banana is an edible parthenocarpic fruit that originated from Southeast Asia in the wilds of Indonesia or/and Malaysia. Some of the most commonly consumed species include musa acuminata, musa balbisiana and musa paradisiaca…’

So began the lecture that lasted close to three-quarters of an hour. Mr Soto discussed the early cultivation of banana, the economic importance of banana, the difference between banana and plantains, the farming of banana in Nigeria, banana pests and diseases; etc. He didn’t remember to say any word about the question about his banana embarrassments. He didn’t remember. No one did: the viewers were hypnotised, the senators, those who were awake, were nodding to every word, mouth agape. The fire in social media was inferno high.

‘You may bow and walk,’ the senate president finally got the chance to say this with suppressed sleepiness.

The ape bowed but didn’t walk away immediately. First, he reached for his head, lifted his hat and brought out a giant rich soft red-yellow banana; he took his time to peel the rind off, waved the near shiny white edible part to the camera, allowed a clumsy movement of his lips in an arrogant grin then took a liberal bite.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

Update: Read The Testimonies of a Civilised Goat