Some Mothers Do Have Them…

by Dele A. Sonubi

Let us leave all these behind, forget politics and absurdity of what is currently going on and let us share some jokes. Looking back at some events in our history and some strange human beings who were born as children of Nigeria will give a relax mind some moments of smiles. There were times in our history when some Nigerians had behave so characteristically unique that you cannot not give it to them as the pure Frank Spenser(s) of Nigeria. Let us share some Nigeria’s Frank Spencer(s) and some mothers do have them:

  1. The other day I was in the plane reading about Wole Soyinka and his various exploits and could not help smiling and thinking, indeed, some mothers do have them. This was a character that went to a radio station when such had never ever been done before, hijacked an engineer at gun point, substituted a presidential broadcast for his own and declared for revolution. He was declared wanted; he surrendered himself and claimed that he was not the person described. Till date, no court had judged him guilty beyond all shadows of doubt. He is a dramatist, a teacher, yet he alone pulled through a crazy thing like that and is still walking around the country alive even beyond those who persecuted him in those days and wanted him punished.
  1. Then there was the son of a reverend gentleman, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who was to go and study medicine but diverted to study music. He called himself an “abami eda” (weird human being). His style of crusade was another crude form of social consciousness. He alone married 25 Ghanaian women in one day both as a protest against the deportation of Ghanaians from Nigeria and a social rebellion. Fela lived life so gallantly that even Satan was afraid of him. He was seen granting interviews to media men (including television) wearing only underwear panties. He ridiculed socially respected Mercedes Benze (as a first-sunday-of-the-month-church-ride) by using its booth to carry firewood and vegetables on the streets. Fela was so characteristically weird that he lifted the corpse of his deceased mother-known to have been killed by the Nigerian military “unknown soldiers” and matched to the seat of the military junta to drop it there without being arrested.
  1. Then there was Dr. Tai Solarin who lived his adult life wearing khaki shirts and shorts till he died and he was even buried in his shorts. He was so critical of every government that arresting him was not a strange occurrence. He told us at Mayflower School then that his luggage was permanently packed with toothbrush and towel in preparation for arrests any day. He would go every first Sunday of the month to Yaba Motor Park making speeches to those who would like to listen telling them what he thought was wrong with the government and on each visit, he was pressured by the government agents but he never cared. Tai Solarin, realizing that the local government councils were not responsible, went around picking human corpses from the streets and burying them himself to give dignity to the dead. Tai wrote in his will that when he dies, he must be buried on the farm and his decomposed corpse be used as manure for growth of vegetable. And as he wished, one hour after his death, he was lowered on a vegetable farm even when a serving governor was already on his way to his funeral. Tai Solarin’s mother died and when called upon to burry her, he said, he would not lose his mother and also lose money in the process of organizing befitting burial ceremony or funeral rites to his mother!
  1. Then there is the most respected Chief Gani Fawehimi. He, like Wole Soyinka is another one man riot squared. His special characteristics is to scream on top of his voices when ask any questions at all-even if such questions are simply deserving simplicity of responses, Gani will raise his voice until his heart begins to calm him down. He was in a rally when he slumped and had to be rushed to the hospital. His party conducted primaries before standing for the 2003 election; Gani Fawehimi brought domestic baskets and cooking pots as ballot boxes. It was so unique that it provided comic relief to millions of viewers who before then had been sick and tired of watching absurdities of political primaries on television.
  1. There is Pastor Chris Okotie who declares that God told him to go and contest for presidential election in 2003. He stood on the platform of National Democratic Party’s podium to campaign during the primaries and right before the eyes of the world declared that he would not offer any delegate any monetary enticement to elect him that if they had come to Abuja for him to offer money, then they would be disappointed as he was sure they had no one else credible to vote for except him. His colleagues vying for the same position looked at him with pity as though he was the much needed comic relief against what was going on. The same day he lost election, on his congratulation speech, he announced his departure from that part to join another one which would offer him a position. He used so many expressions that the delegates particularly from the north were looking at him as though, how could God have created such a compound fool? Indeed some mothers do have them!

Again here, I am hoping some people reading on this site will help provide a list of some other funny characters we have or had in Nigeria so that we can share some more fun. Those good ones who were strangely unique for their character impersonations and some funny public actors- not professional comedians but people whose deceits, lies, whose fraud cause us to jeer. People like Jerry Gana, Femi Fani-Kayode… some strange but funny characters.

Just for laughter

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