200 Million ‘MuMu’ – An Oppressed State of the Mind

A good friend once told me, ‘man makes money’ but, I of course argued otherwise. ‘What part of the ‘jungle’ are you from, I jokingly asked? He responded with a soft smile but, remained quiet. I left him thinking how ‘foolish’ and ‘unrealistic’ he really was, to have such notion. Coincidentally, there’s a relatively contrary version of my friend’s notion back from where I come. There’s a popular saying in Nigeria, ‘Money makes a man’. My friend happened to be German and me, apparently, the ‘coolest’ thing to ever happen to Africa (or so we’re made to believe), a Nigerian. With so much determination, pride, guts-feeling and self-belief, I dare to say, I’m proudly Nigerian!

Statistically, objectively and realistically speaking, there’s power in numbers. The power in numerical advantage increases the chances of probable cause which, is always greater than that of a possible cause. Relatively speaking, the reality of ‘efficiency’ with less numbers can never be overlooked. A great example and testimony to this are great feats of ‘Alexander the great’. His conquests and victories were achieved with a very strategic, efficient, and effective approach. He was usually outnumbered by enemies on a ratio of 3:1 but nevertheless, he never lost a single battle throughout his lifetime. So what does it signify? Does ‘more’ necessarily mean ‘better’? Is China necessarily more advanced than their rival neighbor, Japan? Well, I’ll leave that for you to ponder.

In a broken and derailed systems like most third world nations where literally, everything ‘works’ and technically at the same time, nothing ‘works’, does presumed numerical advantage matter? For the purpose of this article, I’ll focus mainly on Nigeria as a viable subject matter. Nigeria, a nation of almost or perhaps, over 200 million people with presumably the most corrupt minds, demeanor and above all, mentality. One of the most educated globally yet, ‘mentally poor with obscure mindsets’. The majority’s mindset is corrupt with sentimental norms and epileptic virtues and values thus, their leadership and government becomes the most convenience and easy targets to attribute blame. Perhaps, blame ‘neo-colonialism’? Cheap shot, try again!

A nation that reveres corruption and its vices, where people condone immorality and adulates nonentities. A nation where respected media platforms (Journalists and Bloggers) readily praise and revere ‘Thieves’, ‘Thugs’, ‘Hoodlums’, ‘Murderers’ and immoral practices at a price. A nation where hard-work is shamed and undermined, where ingenuity and honesty are considered weaknesses.

A nation that elected to office, an accused murderer in detention. A nation where ‘ill-gotten’ wealth is glorified, gratified and glamorized; where, ‘Clergymen’ only teach and preach ‘how to get rich’ doctrines. A nation where ‘Clergymen’ are ‘mini-gods’ in their own minds and rights thus being worshiped thereby, extorting, exploiting and brain-washing their members. A nation that is greatly religious mainly as a result of economic hardship. They believe strongly in mundane ‘prophecies’ than God, Bible and Quran.

The very popular English proverb, “necessity as the mother of invention” seems to have major exceptions from an African nation’s context and pretext. In Nigeria and majority of African countries, “necessity seems to breed fear, bribery, mediocrity, corruption, foolishness, stupidity et al.” Majority of us are products of a contaminated system (since independence) or probably an inept of a qualitative moral background. I refuse to allot blame to not just the leaders but, everyone as we’ve been raised and bred in the cocoon of biased realizations, bigotry and epileptic view of reality and common sense. A nation of over or almost 200 million people couldn’t improvise alternatives to basic infrastructures the ‘leaders’ denied its people.

A 17th century French Philosopher, Joseph de Maistre once said, “Every nation gets the government they deserve”. Since independence, Nigeria and most of her African counterparts have been vastly ‘successful’ at breeding ‘leaders’ with rusty ideas and corrupt mindsets, leaders with the worst possible notion of life. Of course, these ‘leaders’ aren’t foreigners but, citizens of the land. For the past 60 years, this has been the stories of almost every African nation and everyone still blames the ‘leaders’ for their predicaments. Perhaps, could the French Philosopher be right? Aren’t these ‘leaders’ reflective of the true picture and demeanor of their populace?

Does a ‘Gandhi’, ‘Mandela’ or ‘Lincoln’, ever exist among the 200 million ‘Mùmús’ in Nigeria? Where are the progressive minds? Formal education isn’t enough… is ‘Revolution’ the answer or Mediocrity continue its rule? May God bless the ‘Helpless and Hopeless’! Proudly Nigerian!

‘Mùmú’ is a colloquial and informal slang for being ‘gullible’.

Source by Emmanuel F. Shonibare



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