Saturday 10 October 2020

Ending the Killie-killie


I was thinking this morning..... while listening to the MOG in Abuja preach at the midweek service last week, he had summarised Matthew 19:27 thus, 'Then Peter said to Jesus, what do we get from our 'follow-follow?' As he spoke, I couldn't help but imagine how entrenched the Nigerian characteristic style of expressing emphasis is. While I am not sure how this practice became a part of pidgin English, what I know is that though many verbs in the English language can easily be converted into nouns with the addition of suffixes such as -ance, -ment and -tion, it is only in pidgin English that you repeat a word with hyphen in-between and it becomes a noun. For example, 'follow' is a verb, but 'follow-follow' (the person that follows) is a noun. Hmm! Warri!!!

I don't know how far back this has been, all I remember is that as a kid if I dare ask my brother for a piece of sweet, my elder ones will sneer at me and instead of calling me a beggar, they will say 'Hmm. Beggie-beggie.' I walk away in anger and by happenstance meet a scene of boys fighting, interested in knowing who will have the upper hand, I join to watch. This again puts me in trouble as I get the 'corner eye' look followed by the words 'Looku-looku.' You will think that will be all. I wish. When I came home 30 minutes after school closed because I had to join other boys to pluck ebelebo (almond fruit), I went through a series of FBI interrogation with the concluding statement always, 'Oya, get inside. Waka-waka.'

It is against this backdrop that I read the statement last Wednesday by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) expressing deep concerns that Nigeria's mounting debt profile has become unsustainable. They noted that statistics from Debt Management Office put public debt at N31 trillion at the end of the second quarter, 2020. Wow! So much debt. When others complained, I responded and said in our shibbolethic way, 'Not surprising. Nigeria na 'Borrow-borrow.'

The next day, Falz and Runtown alongside other Nigerian Celebrities, took to the streets protesting against the alleged illegal operations of SARS. The #EndSARS movement is gaining momentum across the country. But why? These are police men meant to protect us from robbers. But after reading the summary report by Amnesty International titled 'Time to End Impunity', that documented 82 cases of torture, ill treatment and extra-judicial executions by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020, I shook my head and agreed with others that there must be better ways of dealing with robbers and cyber criminals while protecting innocent Nigerians. For now, I can only pray 'Oh God save us from 'Killie-killie.'

Follow-follow, looku-looku, waka-waka, shitty-shitty, whatever applies to you, just ensure you are on the Lord's side (Exodus 32:26) and not a 'yahoo-yahoo'. If you must be a follow-follow, follow a good cause like Peter. Abeg let me end here before someone calls me 'Talkie-talkie' or 'thinkie-thinkie.'

Happy Sunday.

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

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