Saturday 4 July 2020

Kolobi Na Chokehold

I was thinking this morning...... It is interesting how the first half of 2020 has simply rolled by like a lazy truck on the Lekki-Epe Expressway. The last four months to many has been anything but copacetic, as the feeling was almost like one being strangulated. Many now understand what George Floyd meant when he said 'I can't breathe' and can appreciate all the fuss about banning chokehold. The nationwide outrage that followed George Floyd's death on May 25th has compelled many US States to ban the use of the controversial Chokehold technique by their police officers. But what is this chokehold technique?

I decided to consult Google on what exactly chokehold is. While searching, I also dug into my bag of Warri experience and discovered that chokehold is not a new technique and depending on the purpose, there are three variants from my perspective. The first is what we simply called 'kolobi' in those days in Warri. Kolobi (I have no idea where the word is from) is a friendly fire that follows a disagreement between friends. One friend wraps his arm around the neck of the other purely to immobilize him. The second variant of chokehold, also common in Warri, was known as 'Tie-neck.' Tie-neck, unlike Kolobi, was used by criminals to not only immobilize but also to inflict pain on the victim forcing him to surrender his possession. Since guns were not so easy to come by those days, the weapon of the Area boys (Jaguda and Boma) was 'tie-neck.' 

I never knew there was a third and most deadly form of chokehold until recent events started unfolding in the US. It is called Carotid neck restraint, also known as sleeper hold or a blood choke, which involve putting pressure on the sides of a person’s neck to restrict blood flow. Thank God the criminals in Warri back then had no idea about the Carotid arteries in the neck and their importance, otherwise 'yawa for gas o.'

Reflecting on the chokehold types opened my eyes to how brutal Covid-19 has been. First, through the lockdown, it 'kolobied' so many, keeping them immobilized both physically and financially for months. Then many others were 'tie-necked' when they became sick, struggling to breathe and had to spend their savings to stay alive. For some others, what they got was the 'Sleeper hold' and made worse by underlying medical conditions, they didn't make it. God rest their souls.

All put together the violence inflicted on mankind by Covid-19 is unprecedented. According to Worldometer, at the end of the first half of 2020, about 11 million people has been infected with over 500,000 deaths. Wahoo!! As we march on into the second half of the year, circumstances of life will attempt to kolobi, tie-neck or give you sleeper hold, do not give in because Job 22:29 says 'When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.'

2020 shall end well for us and our homes shall be festooned with balloons and flowers in celebration. 

Happy Sunday.

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

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