Sunday 5 November 2017

Flamboyance or a Mess?

Flamboyance of Flamingos
I was thinking this morning..... about flamboyance. I bet you did not know that a group of  flamingos is called 'flamboyance,' just like a group of iguanas is called 'a mess.' While I am not interested in the mess caused by some Nigerians, the flamboyance of some became worthy of my thoughts today. Until recently, flamboyance meant showing off particularly in bright colours, but my scope was deepened when I read the article of one Tochukwu Ezukanma talking about what he called our 'pesky, exasperating albatross: tribalism.' He explained how some Nigerians had declared that their tribe was not only going to dominate Nigeria but that they will dominate Africa. He called it 'verbal flamboyance.' Hmm!!!

As I dissected what he called verbal flamboyance, something tells me that it is either this guy lives outside of Nigeria or he has never been to Lagos nor use the public transportation called 'molue.' How could he have called the declaration by someone that his tribe will dominate Nigeria 'verbal flamboyance?' Like the Americans will say, he ain't seen verbal flamboyance until you ride in a molue or danfo in Lagos. With mouth wide open and at the top of their voice, in ten seconds, the bus conductors will reel out all the bus stops between Oshodin and Okokomaiko, shouting 'Oshodin o, Oshodin-Oke o.....' And if you are unfortunate to have an argument with one of them, he would've beaten you to pulp with his mouth, shouting 'ah, ah..' inbetween his threatenings but without raising a finger. Now, that is what I will call verbal flamboyance.

Feeling satisfied that I have done justice to the term, I smiled and wondered if verbal flamboyance is not another term for boasting. Well, it is a known fact that Nigerians love showing off but it seems to be crossing the line of sanity. That was my thought when I saw photos from a wedding somewhere in Western Nigeria where camp gas (gas cylinder with burner) and large 4-wheeled suitcases were given to guests as souvenirs. Believe me, my concern was not that those bulky items were distributed, I was miffed to see these items displayed on top the small tables, occupying every available space at the reception venue. Now, that is 'souveniral flamboyance.' Don't bother checking the dictionary for 'souveniral,' because it is not there. My worry, like a Nairalander had expressed, is that soon they will start giving mattresses and dining tables/chairs as souvenirs.

Okay, I can understand both verbal and souveniral flamboyance, but struggling to wrap my head around 'gestapoic flamboyance.' 'Kilon je be?' I read of a lady that donned camouflage t-shirt and trousers and was accosted by some soldiers. In a sane society, she will, worst case be warned about the implications and advised to go back home and take them off. But in my Naija, she was not only stripped naked in the public but was made to frog-jump and flogged. Now, that is 'gestapoic flamboyance' or exaggerated show of force. Only last Monday, the federal High Court in Calabar ordered the Nigeria Navy to pay the sum of N75m to a bricklayer for illegally shooting and torturing him for no reason. The navy men were 'gestapoically flamboyant.' Haba naija!!!

Time and space will fail me if am to talk about fashion flamboyance, culinary flamboyance or grammatical flamboyance (when Patrick Obahiagbon speaks and no one understands), but I beg you, whichever way you choose to be flamboyant, do ensure you are causing no harm to people or the environment. If like iguanas, your show off causes harm, then you are a mess, but if it brings joy, then like flamingos, you are flamboyant. But remember Philippians 4:5 says 'Let your moderation be known to all men.'

Happy Sunday.

....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

1 comment:

  1. Wey Mey you don hit us again. Thanks for your thoughts. All these you thinking could be termed THINKOUS FLAMBOYANCE but in a flamingos pattern cause it adds value to humanity.

    The African man, I don't know about the other races, but Africa where I reside, I must say we like flamboyant life style especially if small pepper dey. Warri go say now NOTICE ME. But like you rightly concluded if you flamboyance does not bring nuisance to others then it's okay, but if it's offensive, na you sabi, we go look and pass you as if you don't exist.

    Popular Urhobo musician Okpah Aribo said in one of his popular hit that NO BASKET FOR ROTTEN MANGO


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