Saturday 8 May 2021



I was thinking this morning... I recently recalled one experience from my childhood days in Warri. During the long holidays when there was no vacation to go to and no toys to play with, the boys in adjoining 'yards' come together to seek out ways to have fun and raise funds. One way we did this then was to dance 'Ulaga.' Ulaga is a masquerade of sort where a kid is covered waist down with raffia and others play drum made from cut-out Bounvita tin and rubber. They dance for adults who in turn appreciate them with money which was then used to buy football. Different Ulaga groups move from one street to another impressing potential customers. The highlight of any Ulaga outing is when they cross path with another Ulaga. Rather than say hi and move along, it usually results in a dance challenge. That challenge is kicked off with the song 'Ulaga kilede mo, o de mo. Eyibo eh, e de mo. Ulaga want to challenge. E de mo.' Then the drum kicks in 'kpem gbu, kpem gbu, kpemgbem gbu, kpem gbu...' Both Ulagas dance facing each other while their supporters drum and cheer. The best dancer carries the day and holds the bragging right till they meet gain.

As I smiled, I imagined how naive and foolish we sometimes were. What is the origin of Ulaga? The song we sang, what language was it? What did it mean? I had absolutely no idea, but just joined other boys to play. Thank God we did not die in our ignorance. Many times we've done things in the past, that years later we look back and wonder like Steve Urkel in the American comedy, 'Family Matters' of the 1990s, saying 'Did I do that?'.

Ignorance, they say is bliss, but it can also be destructive if we revel in it. When I consider the insecurity in Nigeria and how many are feeding and supporting the violence, I conclude that it is nothing but motivated ignorance or ignorance on steroids. We must challenge ourselves to come out of ignorance to save our lives and country. Acts 17:30 'Truly, the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.' Ignorance or pretending to be ignorant is killing our nation. We must repent.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

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