Category Archives: Thotz

Thank You, Dr Stella Adadevoh!

On July 21, 2014, I was in Calabar, peacefully engaged in the compulsory service to Nigeria. Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres away, a certain woman saved me from getting infected with a deadly virus with a fatality rate of about 90%. In the year 30 AD, it is believed in Christianity that a man gave himself way to be killed so that many others, even those unborn, might be saved. The man’s name was Jesus Christ. In 2014, many centuries later in Nigeria, this doctor, with the knowledge of a possible infection and death, saved a nation from an epidemic called ebola. Her name was Stella Adadevoh. This viral outbreak had turned Liberia and Sierra Leone to pariah countries. Although, it is probable for this selfless act to get lost in the political wrangling between the state government and the federal government on who takes the credit for the eradication of ebola (who could blame them though it was an election season), but some of us choose to remember Dr Adadevoh’s as the singular person who even made the glory to be sought available in the first place.

Under pressure from an international government to release the patient zero, Patrick Sawyer, from the hospital, she stood her ground to save her countrymen and the most populous black nation on earth. Her great grandfather Herbert Macaulay had fought for Nigeria’s independence more than 50 years earlier. A country like ours would have been the most perfect breeding ground for the virus to fester. We come in contact with bodily fluids at every turn- the headrest on the danfo, the alabaru at Oyingbo brushing you with his sweaty arm, the ablution area in most mosques. The devastation would have been deadlier than Liberia’s. The health sector which had collapsed would never have been prepared. The strike embarked by doctors then proved to be a blessing in disguise as it ensured that Sawyer was not taken to the government hospitals which are always crowded, thus, risking more people getting infected. This makes Adadevoh’s act more prominent and heroic. Not a virologist herself, she could have run to save her life when Sawyer chose to deliberately infect others by spilling his blood and other body fluids in his room. But she chose to stay to restrain the patient- a decision which proved fatal. On August 19, 2014, she fell to the deadly virus.

Finally, in a society that fails to reward valiant actions, it is noteworthy to remember Dr Adadevoh on this anniversary of her death. Ma’am, thank you for saving us from an impending doom. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten in this corner.

Not all heroes wear capes; some are in lab coats.

 

Image sources: DRASA and naptu2

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House of Cards- Terror Unleashed

‘We don’t submit to terror; we make the terror’- Frank Underwood, House of Cards S04E13

They think we’re cornered. Their champagnes are waiting to be popped. Conway thinks his youthful ebullience, budding popularity and his social media exploits can match our experience and combined will, Claire. Hammerschmidt believes his article will change the tide and put us down. Remy and Jackie, breathing each other’s breath after a romp, think they’ve gotten back at us.

They’re all mistaken. This is a battle of survival and we hold a chunk of the ammunition. First off, let’s start with terror. Let’s attack the people’s minds. They’ll have no messiah to run to. All they’ll meet is us, Claire. Oh! Do they think Jim’s slaughter would be a one-off? Nah. We’re at war. Enemies come at us from all sides- like wolves encircle a wounded prey. But this prey isn’t done living yet.

America thought she had seen terror. How naive! No, that was the preamble. The real terror is about to begin!

This is what I envisioned would be Frank’s words to Claire in the East Sitting Hall on the evening after watching the killing of the Jim Miller.
The Underwoods now have to fight like they have never fought before. All their experiences and links in Washington and beyond would be deployed. Season 5 will be premiered on May 30, 2017. I believe Frank in his full glory of ruthless pragmatism will be seen in this season. 

Nigeria’s Underwood.

I can’t wait, fam! 

Islam Awareness: If Not You, Who? 

Back in secondary school, I was asked a seemingly funny question by a classmate. He asked, ‘Why do Muslims worship the moon?’. Taken aback, I bursted into laughter and asked Victor why he would think that. His reply was that he had been told that numerous times and that is why Muslims have the crescent on their emblem. Years later, more matured and armed with life experiences, I realize that Victor is not to blame- he only echoed what he was being exposed to.

Read!

In this age and time, the perception of Islam in the world is one in which a Muslim is not proud of. The perception of the deen as a violent, ignorant and backward religion permeates the polity. Right now, a Muslim, with his/her identifiable wear, is viewed with suspicion. Acts of terrorism taken in any part of the world have seen many innocent Muslims take a defensive stance. Many have been maimed and killed for being in the same religion with terrorists. The media has also not helped- with terminologies like Islamic terrorists and Islamic extremists, more people believe Islam is synonymous to a blood-thirsty monster.

According to Andrew Smith, people fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. Many of the people who antagonize Islam do so out of ignorance and few do it out of sheer wickedness. Using Smith’s quote, Islam can be seen as an unconquerable force that should be a source of pride for its adherents. However, despite this, it is still misunderstood.

The quest for changing mindsets about Islam should start with a conscious attempt at doing so. A working strategy should be in place. One of such is to embark on a massive intellectual discourse to change this notion. As it is widely held that it is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder, we need to raise our words and not our voice. It is not until one goes about shouting about how the deen is against all what it has been accused of that one reaches his desires.

In furtherance to this, one doesn’t need to be a conventional and professional writer for him to be able to make a difference. In this age of internet and the social media, a single blog post, tweet or status update can go a long way in educating the target audience. The social media has proven over time to be capable of influencing political and other important decisions. Moreover, this same internet have been used by enemies of Islam hiding under the guise of anonymity to misinform people about Islam. It will only be logical to use the same turf to elucidate what Islam really means.

It is pertinent to know that writing and informing people about Islam does not only target non-Muslims, Muslims and Muslimahs are also quite important target audience. The dearth of knowledge and/or laziness of the Ummah has greatly made many Muslims to be misguided. This unfortunate misguidance makes many to create innovations in the deen, thus, bid’ah is practised. The consequence of this is that even many innocent Muslims and would-be Muslims see these practices as being ordained by Allah and his Prophet.

Engaging in Islamic discussions geared at propagating pristine Islam requires each adherent to have a sound knowledge of the deen. Questions will be asked, both innocent and inciting ones. It is the knowledge that is reposited in the Islamic preacher that makes way for him in such situations. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said ‘Searching for knowledge is compulsory on all Muslims and Muslimah’. Seeking Knowledge in order to propagate Islam is a vital aspect of a healthy eeman.

Finally, even though Allah will protect His religion from mischievous acts, we should remember that He is also going to question us on the Day of Recompense how we used what He gave us (time, intellect inclusive). So, instead of waiting for your Imam to preach on the mimbar during Jumu’ah, you should realise that you also can do more to preach Islam to where your Imam’s voice cannot reach.

            ________________________________

This post was written by me more than a year ago for an Islamic magazine but it went unpublished. Came across it minutes ago, lying in my Evernote.

Peep how this lady responded when asked why Muslims do not condemn terrorism. 

Image credit: equranforyou.com

Ooni, His Heavenly Father & Other Issues

Few nights ago, Twitter was agog with tweets about the Ooni. The Ooni had come under the radar after a video of him proclaiming Jesus Christ as his father had surfaced online. While some supported this, many others condemned it. I was indifferent until some tweets started springing up. These tweets caught my attention and pricked me. Twitter, being a conglomeration of people with different background, undermining, intentionally or not, of the king and/or the institution he represents was bound to happen.

His coronation about a year ago was greeted with much enthusiasm because as a modern and wealthy young man, he was more positioned to open to development, the sleepy, ancient town of Ile-Ife. His effort in unifying the Yoruba monarchs is immensely applauded. In an interview of his I watched, he claimed to have opened up hitherto sacred sites in Ile Ife for tourism. This will further open up the town to visits.

His travels around the world have raised concerns though. The monarch has visited quite a number of people including Atiku Abubakar and the Jagaban, Bola Tinubu; both of whom are politicians. However, his visit to footballer, Obafemi Martins seemed odd though. It raised a number of eyebrows. In the aforementioned interview, he admitted to be quite restless and a traveller when he was a private citizen, thus, giving the explanation for his bouts of travels.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES OONI OF IFE

Columbus who?

In primary school Social Studies, we were taught of the 3 major religions in Nigeria; Islam, Christianity and the Traditional religion. These 3 religions are mutually exclusive except for the former two, whose doctrines are slightly similar. The traditional religion is a collective term for the beliefs in the various orishas that abound. It is common place for monarchs to be custodian of the traditional beliefs. Chief among these custodians is the Oonirisha. History has it that the office started out as that of the Chief Priest; the custodian of all deities in Ile Ife. That seems to have sealed the faith and fate of any Ooni. Over time, the adherents of the traditional beliefs have been seen by the adherents of the other two as been diabolical and evil. No thanks to their dogmas. Heck! Aregbesola came under attack for declaring public holidays for the celebration of traditional festivals.

This got me wondering if the traditional religion is going extinct. This seeming defunctness also has a domino effect on culture. That’s where my fears really lie. For instance, a major cultural identity, language appears to be losing its relevance. Parents no longer communicate in their dialects with their children, thus, raising progenies with little or no cultural identities. Many wouldn’t be caught dead conversing in Yoruba in public, they’d rather speak pidgin. I’ve even had yearn to learn Mandarin and French because, according to them, they are economically viable. How myopic! There is a workshop that holds regularly in the US and Canada about African Linguistics. Yet, isn’t it ironic that the workshop hasn’t held in Africa before? Interestingly, the last one had less than 5 linguists from Africa in attendance. Talk about a prophet not being respected in his homeland! I won’t be surprised, however if, in a few decades, the Europeans and Americans are the Yoruba teachers in our schools. In fact, the celebration of Yemoja festival is already a mainstream in the Caribbean. While we hail them and brag about how advanced our culture is, we denigrate its aficionados at home. It has begun! People are rated highly because of their foreign affiliations. That’s how I view this. The subject is rated that high because of western validation; neocolonialism of the mind?

Finally, the Ooni can keep hailing his heavenly father but it really is a sign of the present state of our culture.

PS- Erhime, I’ve not forgotten my promise o! It’s coming up next 🙂