Saturday 13 June 2020

The Kilishi Advancement


I was thinking this morning..... about the progress we have made. The Punch Newspaper reported a mild drama at the Senate on Monday 8th June 2020 when the Director-General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor Hussain Ibrahim, appeared before the Senate Committee on Science and Technology to brief the senators on the activities of his agency. The senate committee chairman had told Ibrahim, 'Just give us the synopsis of what you have developed or generated for local industries in the past 33 years the RMRDC has been in existence. Tell us about your breakthrough.' An elated Ibrahim had said, 'To be honest, we are making progress. We have developed technology to optimize Kilishi production.' Wow! Of all the challenges we have with raw materials in Nigeria, the breakthrough worthy of mention for 33 years of RMRDC was Kilishi technology. Nigeria, we hail thee!

Kilishi is the locally spiced roasted meat made of beef, and it is very popular in the northern part of Nigeria. I have been buying and eating Kilishi for many years and not aware that we now have different flavours or that the packaging now comes with food labels. All we see are vendors selling kilishi wrapped in brown envelopes or old newspapers. Where then is the breakthrough in Kilishi technology?

I have not eaten kilishi since this lockdown began, so in looking for a breakthrough early last week, I decided to check on how well some the investments I made years back are doing. Like the Senate Committee chairman, I asked my Stockbroker to give me a synopsis of all the equities I bought between 2004 and 2006. When the report dropped in my mailbox, I wasn't sure whether to cry or laugh like the Senators. 15 years after, many of the stocks had depreciated while a few gained a few kobos. As I reflected on whether that is a breakthrough, I agreed it is progress. Yes, Kilishi Progress.

So many Nigerians believe we haven't made significant progress as a nation since we gained independence in 1960. They are quick to point at our Aviation, Health and Educational sectors and shudder at how we have remained static, if not retrogressed. They are wrong. In our 21 years of uninterrupted democracy, politicians that fought godfatherism while in office have become Super-godfathers today. Is that not progress? I can hear someone say 'Yes, but it is Kilishi Progress.'

There are so many that have been saving for years to buy a car, buy or build a property or even travel abroad. Anytime they come close to meeting the target, inflation or naira devaluation chips away the value. In their frustration, some are wondering if they are making progress in life. The answer is 'Yes, you are making progress, but Kilishi Progress.' 

Kilishi Progress is one that is so insignificant or irrelevant that the person or institution's later state is either not different from or worse than the former. I have personally taken a stand against Kilishi progress and embrace Psalms 92:12 'The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.' I would rather a 'Palm Tree' than Kilishi progress. 

Happy Sunday.

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

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