In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. ~ Nigerian proverb
So when last did you go to a barber’s shop or follow your wife to go make her hair. Or when did your barber come to do you private service at home.
Sometimes I take my barbing kit to the shop rather than do it at home because the barber’s shop is where you get to feel the pulse of the nation.
In the mid-brow area where I live, all kinds of people come to the barbers shop. We have state commissioners, musicians, principals of schools, drivers, other barbers, serving and former civil servants, school teachers and we did have a former governor who is now a present governor.
Now the beauty of a barber’s shop is the quality of the gist you hear. The quality and the variety of the gist. Sometimes I think I know what is going on only to re-asses the situation after visiting the barber’s shop. You would get low down first hand assessment of the state of the nation, celebrity gist and certain angles to a story that you didn’t realize existed. If something is trending you can be sure to hear of it at the barber’s shop.
I think every president, governor should make it a habit to visit the barber’s shop once in a while. Because I think that after a while government officials become deaf and seem not to realize what is really going on in their nation.
The other day, I read when the president of our great nation of Nigeria stated that if he had to run for election today, that he would win with higher margins than before as Nigerians would troop out to vote him and I wondered which barber shop our president had been going to. I guess it must be one in which Mr. Femi Adesina is the head barber.
At the beginning of our journey with the current president, all I could hear from the barber’s shop was a chorus of hope. Just like one comedy skit I recently watched, people would come into the shop and shout Sai Baba and everyone would shout Sai Buhari in return. It was fun and heady days as our president could do no wrong. Everything seemed to be working fine, electricity was suddenly better, the fuel lines had disappeared, the naira was stronger. Anyone who dared say anything to the contrary was labeled a Pdpig or wailing wailer. Oh you could feel the hope of the nation.
As the months went by, I noticed that while the support was still there, the wailers now seemed to be bolder. Some one or two strong Sai Babarist had become wailers. However no one seemed to blame the president. It was the fault of the civil servants. It was the fault of the politicians. Yes the president needed people he could trust that is why he was making the seemingly one sided appointments. Nigerians sef, una too dey impatient. He is an old man allow him.
Then another visit another time and now there were grumblings. Give us back corruption, Baba is too slow. Haba, is this the change we asked for? Things have really changed from bad to worse. The arguments were loud and raging how the only thing the government seems to be doing is fighting corruption yet the country is falling apart. No food to eat, prices are going through the roof, the naira is virtually becoming worthless against other major currencies. The arguments were hard and raging.
So late July I went to the Barber’s shop. One unfortunate guy who most probably wanted to crack a joke came in shouting Sai Baba! The way everyone jumped and attacked him verbally, some even threatening physical abuse was alarming. One patron was so visibly upset that he took his kit and walked out of the shop threatening not to come back again.
But there was something I noticed that was even more disturbing. When the calm settled after the outburst, no one was talking. It was as if the energy had been sapped from our usual debaters. People seemed to have retreated into what Nigerians refer to as “Siddon look” but I could see bitterness and pain in their eyes; Signs of betrayal.
No one seems to be talking anymore. Rather I hear talks of “my brother, ear dey pain we president.” Also, shey na we vote am, oya 2019 dey come. And they will say nothing when I ask what that means all they do is look at me and say.. 2019 is coming dats all as my Freind from NDDC would say.
i think the president should change his Barbing shop. The current shop really is out of tunes with rest of the country. We believe in our president and we know he has the right intentions. However, he needs right information to rule. listen to social media hear what the people are saying. We had a former president who didn’t listen. He thought the voices of the social media was the work of the enemy. Hmmmmmmm.
Anyway, while we are at it. I came across this lovely video that seems to capture the conversation of the barber shop. It is called election blues by Kuro. Enjoy.