This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a while, I guess the time wasn’t right.
When I was a child, I was very inquisitive and outspoken. I remember always being told that I asked too many questions, my catch phrase back then was “what if?”.
Actually that’s not exactly true, it was really “what of if”. My childhood grammar wasn’t exactly Queens English or even close. My mother likes to tell me that my children would ask as many questions as I used to ask and she always laughs with great glee as she says it. One of her favourite stories of my childhood is of a time when there was a power outage. Sometimes these outages might be a result of power lines failing and it only affects a few buildings or just a general issue from NEPA, most times when electricity goes off the average Lagosian checks if other buildings still have light to confirm if it’s “line or general”.
The light went off and I asked “Mummy is it general?”. A few seconds later I ask again “Mummy what is general?”. Now that you know something embarrassing about me, it’s only fair that you tell me an embarrassing childhood memory too!.
I was reading a story on SDK’s blog about a pastor that specialises in the punishment of errant married couples, especially the wives- see the story here. The comments on the story ranged from the sensible to the downright hilarious, Africans have an outrageous sense of humour. However, I saw a comment that struck me.
“Satanist…now I wonder Eve first chop “apple” BUT devil na man. No be lie, Adam and devil are male/menfolk.”
I’ll be the first to admit that the comment makes little grammatical sense but the gist of it is- what if Eve wasn’t the first to eat the “apple”.
I felt a strange feeling run through my spine as I pondered on the implications of such a theory. As a Christian, I believe that God would not allow falsehood to persist in the bible. However I like to think about alternate universes and timelines and explore the roads not taken, I also make an excellent devil’s advocate.
What if it was Adam who’d first eaten the forbidden fruit? What if it was Adam who was deceived and Mama Eve wasn’t decieved but knowingly ate the fruit- just like Oga Apostle Paul said about Papa Adam (my beef with Paul continues). There’s no way we can tell the truth because the Bible was written by MEN, no woman wrote a word in the bible. How then can we tell if the narratives in the bible are true to fact especially when we consider that most of the books in the bible were written long after the principal characters had long died. Remember that we’re considering an alternate universe, before you think of stoning me for heresy.
This also made me remember Chinua Achebe’s words “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” It was the books of writers like Achebe, Ekwensi, Fagunwa, Nwapa etc that humanized Africans and told our authentic stories, even with all their work the perception hasn’t changed so much. My little cousin who has never visited ‘Africa’ once asked our grandmother if she had a house back in Africa, he struggled to believe that there was electricity, roads and houses in Africa because he hadn’t seen that on TV.
I’m glad that our films and books are telling our authentic stories, slowly and surely we’ll get there and maybe a five year old Nigerian boy who’s never been to Nigeria will never have to ask if we have houses here.
This evening, on my way home from visiting my friend. I boarded a keke that was driven by a woman in her late thirties/early forties, all the passengers were female too. We probably looked like a girl power advert and we definitely got a lot of attention. I wanted to ask her questions about the job but a thought came to me- I had never asked a male keke driver about his job, why make the woman a big deal? Isn’t she trying to make her daily bread just like the men?
It was when I took this picture that I decided that I’d upload this post today, to celebrate the people who decided to buck trends and blaze trails, those who said “what if?” and went ahead to DO. Those people have changed the way we see the world.