Friday, March 12, 2010

Nigeria and the Culture of Death

Ever since this new development occurred in Jos, Nigeria, I’ve felt the need to say something about it on the Blog.

Primarily because it’s something that has really affected a lot of people and there’s been a mass outcry against the horrific deaths of fellow Nigerians in the incident. Also because it is a relevant issue, one that everyone is talking about; and so I felt like I should also say something.

However, the very honest reason why I haven’t said anything about it since it happened is simply because I had absolutely nothing to say!! Age-old wisdom advises that when you don’t have anything to say, Silence is your best friend.

I haven’t had anything to say about it, because, cold and heartless as this might make me seem to you, I felt nothing about it. I saw all these people, men, women, children, butchered and burned to death for nothing, and I felt absolutely NOTHING!!

That, my friend, is what terrifies me the most.

In my 26 years on this earth, spent living in relative comfort and security, I have become so de-sensitized by my environment that I feel nothing even when being confronted with such evil in its purest form.

I was on the beach not too long ago, just sitting quietly in front of the water. There were only a few random people around me. As I watched the waves and took in the general beauty of nature, I noticed that there was something the waves kept tossing toward the land. It was a dead body!!

You would imagine that pandemonium would have immediately broken out, and everyone would have screamed, particularly me, and run away, just as it is in the movies. No, not in this reality.

I simply shook my head, as did the other people there, and maintained my position in front of the water for another hour. Very soon, the corpse soon became to me just another element in the general ambience of the beautiful waterfront.
I can give you countless other instances of how I and people around me have reacted to such horror situations, right here in Lagos.

What happened in Jos is barbaric. My heart does go out to everyone who has had to suffer such inhumanity. I really do wish I had something to say that would bring immediate change and relief to all the victims, but in truth, I don’t.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In my country, Death has become a way of life. My greatest fear right now is that I may have been assimilated into its culture.


  1. Really Nice Tari, they say once u discover dere is problem, it is already half solved....u never can tell how much impact your words can make, even when u apparently say "nothing in something"....this inhumane culture, only we can stop it, question is HOW??
    God help this Nation.

  2. My silence is held in place by my helplessness. In this act, I am a coward and i am forced to accept the things i cannot change.