Tag Archives: Nigerian life

Shh! Silence, please!

What Nigerians don't Understand
What Nigerians don’t Understand

There’s a conspiracy against silence in Nigeria. We seem to prefer a shout to a whisper in this country.

Nigerians are the noisiest group of people I know. As a new corps member in Delta State I had wondered, what’s the cause of malicious exchanges between relatives?  I realized Urhobo use higher decibel in communication not necessarily as quarrels.

Everywhere you go, someone is making noise. They aren’t making sounds, they’re making noise. People who make noise for their own amusement intrude on the privacy of silence to which the rest of us are entitled.

Silence is a natural state. Any noise is a deviation from the norm. A lion doesn’t roar for more than a few minutes out of 24 hours, and while I don’t know any lion personally, I’ll bet there are days lions choose not roar at all. How often do you hear thunder, the eruption of a volcano or the rumble of an earthquake? These natural sounds are special and they only break the earth’s silence on rare occasion.

I don’t understand why some people insist on filling the air with noise. They can’t stand to be in a car without having the radio on. They can’t stand being anywhere with nothing but the natural sounds of earth in their ears.

In noise making?
In noise making?

I guess our country is besiege with heavy conscience people; People who can’t stand the reprimanding of a sick conscience and would do anything to crowd out the thought or voices from within.

You can’t have a peaceful ride to work on public bus these days. Either the driver is tuned to some commercial craze stations as in the BRT or there are evangelical brethren bent on winning your soul to Christ regardless of choice.

You get to work and your colleague is playing some solemn music in the corner even though it’s against the company’s policy.

You start making your calls as a marketer and the telecom companies are dying to entertain you with some caller tunes. If I have to wait for someone on the phone, I don’t want the thought of what I wish to pitch crowded out of my head by some inane bit of music.

When you get home, the war against silence continuous; the neighbours’ generating sets, on way past into the night and some dude who blasts music from the next flat are there to content with.

This man is always at the gate to our estate...
This man is always at the gate to our estate…

It’s the gratuitous noise that irritates me most. When a driver hunks his horn indiscriminately; the frequent lack of discretion of ambulance users and sirens for politicians. There ought to be genuine medical emergencies, not some rogue at wheels.

As similar as I want to believe the English and Yoruba grammar share some idioms. It is only in the Yoruba – a race known for their excessive exaggeration of things that this idiom exists: “Aye agbo, orun amo. [The earth will hear, the heaven will know]. You’ll agree with me that for the heaven to be privy to anything we do on earth a noise of thunderous proportion must have been generated and sent to the skies.

I realize now that when I was a kid, some of the boys I played with were constant screamers. They always made more noise by yelling louder than the rest of us. It’s a trait some people carry with them through life. They do everything louder than everyone else.

These people are the ones ripping us off in ludicrous ways with corruption. For anyone, who must host heaven and earth, in a party must have stolen big to make it possible.



Regardless of all mouthing of secession and ethnicity, you need no feeler to know that nothing unites Nigerians more than sports –football especially.

The president even suspended all pressing national matters to welcome the golden eaglets some nights ago, that’s how serious the game is to us.

We all like sports and we’re all agreed something’s wrong with the serial poor performances of our senior cadets at international callings. We want sports that put more emphasis on action and less on the money. We want sports to go back to the basics.

I have some suggestions about how to bring several professional sports back down to earth.

streetsFirst, our athletes are a disgrace to our collective national pride. In a nation filled with runners and sprinters I see no reason Kenyans should out-class in performance anywhere in the world. What do we do with the Gala sellers in Lagos traffic? Those boys break and set world records daily chasing buses for a fifty naira worth of sale. All we need to do is position a man at the finish line with a fifty naira note as the gun goes and watch in wonder as they would make us proud.

I know for certain, that those Ilaje kids along the Atlantic Ocean would do a better job in the water than the crop of Igbo boys we take to the Olympics.

Also, there could be better use of the Yorubas than admitting them into the basket league despite thrie stunted growth. Instead recruit Fulani boys, who have a pedigree of longer limbs than any other tribe and see how much success they would bring.

In boxing, Bola Tinubu should be made life president of the boxing federation as he has the way to lure his Lagos Agberos into the boxing cadets. These boys are wasting talents harassing bus conductors daily on Lagos roads and punching vehicles bodies into dents.

Next, we’ve got to make losing less profitable. The winner of National Sports Festival goes home with some cash as well as the second and third places. This is ridiculous. Giving cash to losers could make losing popular. The winner should get everything. Give the losers transport fare home. We all know Bash Ali will quit boxing immediately this policy becomes operational and many Igbo boys would rush into sports.

I’d insist that in professional football, the same player that starts a game should end it and any player on the bench for three consecutive games should find another calling. If football players are going to be paid all the money, they ought to have to work full-time, not half time.

Concerning fans and supporters, no citizen should be allowed to support any foreign club. In fact, certification from local club should be a criterion for employment. With such interest these fans will pour into local league we shall see immense turn around in our national league.