Sunday, 13 October 2019

Do You Have A Menthol?


I was thinking this morning..... about mentorship. Sitting among the guests at the Grand Award Night for 2019 Nigeria Prize for Science and Literature, I was enjoying the glam and glitz of the night but was wowed by some Nigerians doing exploits in their fields of endeavour. I was particularly thrilled by the 12 years old girl that wrote a beautiful book that made the shortlist for the $100,000 Literature Prize. Who and what inspired them to achieve these great feats? As I listened to the eventual winners make their acceptance speech, I understood their secret. They had mentors. It is trite to say everyone should have a mentor, but new to discover that some people have 'menthols.'

You won't be wrong if at this time you are thinking of the hot balm, Mentholatum. That was the direction of my thought when I saw the picture of a banner put out by the Mainland branch of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) who wrote that they were rejoicing with their 'Leader and Menthol.' Many that saw the advert shook their heads in disappointment because they thought the actual word should be 'Mentor' and not 'Menthol,' but they were wrong. 

Menthol, also called Peppermint camphor, is a waxy substance obtained from the oils of corn mint, peppermint, or other mints. When applied topically to the skin, ingested, or inhaled, menthol produces a cooling sensation. Menthol does not lower the temperature of the body or skin. Instead, it produces a cooling effect by blocking the calcium current along the nerves responsible for detecting temperature.

So, when the NURTW folks said they were rejoicing with their 'Menthol,' they knew what they were saying. While a mentor trains and advises someone particularly a younger colleague to be a better version of himself, a 'Menthol,' on the other hand blocks your ability to use sense, giving one the feeling of being cool with himself. Think about it. An 'Agbero' from the motor park, mobilizes his boys, inflict maximum terror on harmless voters and stuff ballot boxes for his boss. As a reward, he is made a lawmaker or commissioner in a government where competent hands were overlooked. How is that possible? Because he has a 'Menthol' and sense has been suspended. 

A society that encourages 21 morally challenged youths to be cocooned in a house for 99 days and the winner goes home with N60 million worth of prizes (N30 million cash, an SUV and other fantastic prizes) but cannot encourage same organisations to give similar or better prizes for excellence in science and literature is developing 'Menthols' and not Mentors. Sense will be suspended. A people that fights on social media wasting the money they don't have on data and spend a whopping N7.1 billion (higher than the monthly allocation of three Nigeria states) in voting for the 'Pepper Dem Gang' should not be surprised when their children start 'showing them pepper' because these children now have 'Menthols' instead of Mentors.

It is an anomaly for people with 'Menthols' to rule over those with Mentors. The incompetent ones are ruling over the learned. The no-good of the society have become our leaders. But I guess this is not new because Ecclesiastes 10:7 says 'I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.' Thank God for Organisations that have continued to support the growth of science and literature, but the question is 'are you bringing up your children to have Mentors or Menthols?'

Happy Sunday.

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



No comments:

Post a comment

We love comments. Please share your thoughts with us.......