Ladies and gentlemen, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write about this subject matter, because somewhere in my subconscious I hoped and prayed that the scourge of rape would have greatly reduced by now. I have also been reluctant to tackle this issue, because there’s no way to write about rape without feeling a good measure of anger and sadness – emotions I was shying away from. The rape epidemic in Nigeria has been increasing at an alarming rate daily. The virtue of the women folk in particular has become endangered in our society. It is virtually impossible to open the crime section of any newspaper nowadays without reading about one reported case of rape or the other. It is baffling, as it is very worrisome because many non-governmental organisations, groups and individuals have been quite active in the fight against this plague. Yet incidents of rape keep rising.
By now the story of Ahmed Mohamed, the teenage ninth grader who was arrested and interrogated on suspicion of bringing a “hoax bomb” to school is stale gist that has blown over as many of us would say. However, Ahmed’s ordeal in the hands of his teachers and police officers in Irving, Texas USA has once again brought the bigger problem of stereotypes and its effect on individuals, groups of people, and the society in general to the fore. Many times, people are stereotyped because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sex, skin colour, nationality or anything else the human mind can conjure up. The reality is that virtually all of us are guilty of prejudice against another person or group of people because we have a preconceived notion about who we think they are or how we feel they should be.
Recently, the government at the federal level and many states of the federation marked 100 days in office. A tradition that is largely supposed to give a clear blue print they intend to fully implement in the course of the next (almost) four years in office. While the average Nigerian can be said to be upbeat about definite strides at the federal level especially in areas such as power generation, the oil sector which has recorded a remarkable turnaround in the hitherto comatose refineries, and the fight against corruption, the same cannot be said of developments in Lagos State under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
When I did a piece on “How To Be A Nigerian” here I omitted the fact that Nigerians love noise. It is almost unforgivable and I apologise for that. Our undisputable love for noise should perhaps have come first on the list of the factors to look out for in identifying a typical Nigerian. The average Nigerian thrives in a noisy environment, whether on the streets, in our homes, cars, offices, churches and mosques who perpetually hold vigils and early morning services (are arguably the worst culprits when it comes to propagating noise) or at events. It’s almost as though we are not existing when we don’t make noise.
Stage invasions, confounding statements, outlandish comments and unabashed braggadocio are only a few phrases that can be used to describe the persona of Kanye Omari West, the American rap star and recording producer. Just when the world thought the self-professed god could do nothing to surprise them anymore, the highly controversial maverick pulled yet another stunner by announcing that he will be running for president in the 2020 American presidential elections during his acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award at the 2015 Video Music Awards on Sunday. Kanye did what he knows how to do best. Get the world talking.