Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:05 pm
By Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi
Then: Any qualified Prince could indicate an interest in the throne and the oracle had the final say.
Now: The oracle picks from a shortlist of Tycoons, Lawyers, Academics and retired service men. Unemployed or poor Princes need not apply.
Then: The sun indicated day and when the moon rose it was night-time. Simple.
Now: Rolex, Omega, Breguet, Vacheron and the one you ‘never truly own but hold in trust for the next generation’(Pateke Phillippe)
Then: Foot. If you were rich, a horse or camel.
Now: Choices range from Toyota ‘Tokunbo’ to Limousines. Whatever you can afford.
Then: In your dreams. Or those times when you had too much of Mama Bruno’s ‘Ogogoro’. Or if you were a witch, but you had to be back before dawn.
Now: You can board a flying object, sleep and wake up on the other side of the world.
Then: The town cryer. It could also be Papa Ngozi who put out everyone’s business anytime he was drinking Mama Ngozi’s palm-wine. Auntie Jemila also had a story to tell everyday. And it was never hers.
Now: Facebook, blogs, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other things you have probably never heard of. All useful for breaking news of any kind. Very useful levelers and equal opportunity offenders.
Then: Only one or two wise men in the community knew what the gods were thinking or needed. You had to take their word for it. Somehow the wise men got it right. There was peace and order. Now: Everyone knows what God is thinking, thanks to the religious industrial complex and the vast human and financial resources at their disposal.
Then: There was the Rotary dial phone, the one you used your finger to move clockwise. You could also go to Mr Jegede’s house on Saturday night (he had the only telephone on the street) and wait in line with others to call your ‘Broda Kenny’ in London.
Now: One cell phone for work, one for family, one for your business and one for Bukola with the big……………….
Then: Able bodied men went to war, and came back as heroes or they died and were mourned as heroes. The clever ones, when they lost their battles, never came back but simply wandered off to ‘found’ a new town in a wilderness somewhere.
Now: Huge (questionably) bodied men sit in their offices and eat all the weapons and soldiers.
Then: Only one or two wise men in the community knew what the gods were thinking or needed. You had to take their word for it. Somehow the wise men got it right. There was peace and order.
Now: Everyone knows what God is thinking, thanks to the religious industrial complex and the vast human and financial resources at their disposal.
Entertainment and Celebrations
Then: Celebrations were a way of life. They usually involved everyone in the community and they all came together to celebrate each other’s milestones. Everyone brought something so that the host or hostess was not unduly burdened. Invitations were unnecessary. Everything was for everyone.
Now: Celebrations are still a way of life. One group of people come together to celebrate, while another stays outside to gawk at the guests and beg them for money. Invitations are absolutely necessary and nothing is for everyone.
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BisiAdeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at [email protected]