By Xavier Kanu
In a bid to better my mental health, I have decided to boycott all matters that concerns Nigeria (be it the News or Topical discourses) well, at least for now though. And I must say, I haven’t been better with it as Channels News keeps bombarding my notifications with unpleasant News updates topped with the updates I see on my friends’ Whatsapp statuses. Is bad news now the order of the day? This is a matter for another day, I have a final exam to prepare for, I might need all the focus I can garner.
But one important update that gave me the nudge to write this article was the one I saw on my new friend – Peggy’s status. Peggy is a new friend, and what I do with many of the new friends I’ve had is to stalk them, at least this will help me to know their preferences. But Peggy hardly post statuses, and when she did this time, I had to go check. She was very critical about the screenshots she sent, corroborating the stances by the actual person who posted it.
In the first screenshot, it was a collage of images with one showing a very lean man which many believed was as a result of malnutrition. While the second image was also a very lean person with ribs very visible to the blind – but this time, a woman, which many had ‘better’ conjectures for – ‘ a runs girl’. Like I have mentioned earlier, I’m so not interested in anything happening in Nigeria but then, I have to say one or two things about the many stories we have created from the figment of our imaginations.
“The dangers of single story” was first made known to me (or I’d say I was more conscious of it) at the Bridge Program in 2016. The topic lend words to how humans have managed to perfect their skill in preconceptions which in most cases have been implicated in the irrational behavior when it comes to proper analysis of a subject matter. This I can say played out yet again in that screenshot.
Asking my brother- Emmanuel who I’ve found to have suddenly developed this addiction for Twitter what he thinks about the whole story. He didn’t disappoint me when he said – ‘ I HEARD she was a runs girl who was pushed out of a car’. Many of us have decided to choose what we want to believe, the story we choose to believe without probably trying to confirm it authenticity, only accepting it when it best suit us.
The trend became sadder when a specific gender was particularly targeted. Many who hypocritically joined the bandwagon of gender equality campaigners, cheer leading the call for equality but still at the slightest unconfirmed information about the female gender you’ll find them trolling on all social platforms.
We can always do better with our actions, the story we chose about that lady might be true or false, what that really matters in most cases like this very one is compassion or even more is rendering help. Many who rallied around for the malnourished man could also do so for the lady. Some days ago, we celebrated #GirlChildDay and the call for action was on inclusiveness and equality. Well then, I hereby call on all well-meaning Nigerians to show some love to this lady, if she still in need of help, it should be rendered without delay.
For our fathers use to say – a dog that refuses to take cover during a storm, will be surely be drenched 😑