Nigerian Spice: Discipline in the Ghetto
By Emmanuel Adebayo, Nigeria:
It was a day like any other; I had woken up early to prepare so as to catch the first bus out of town. At the park, I secured a good seat and decided to walk around a little so as to ‘prime’ my legs for the long journey. While walking around the park, I caught sight of an event that left me flummoxed.
Two vehicles seemed to have converted the driving space within the motor part into a race track! The vehicle behind was in hot pursuit of the other, for what reason I did not know, but he was following closely making the duo look like a two-coach train. The two cars racing and raising dust caused commotion within the park as everyone cleared the path and sought safety from the wild ones.
In few minutes, while the few people within the park were trying to get out of harm's way, more people poured into the park to see what was happening. I was standing at a safe distance so I didn’t need to move, I just kept watching as the events unfolded. People began to ask questions, some trying to stop the vehicles and others just simply enjoying the show.
The vehicles finally stopped when the one doing the chasing did a dangerous maneuver that left his counterpart no choice but to stop. By this time the motor car chairman had come out of his office, men moved over to where the cars had finally stopped and literally dragged both drivers out of their car. The men, whom I later understood to be the elders at the park, before listening to any explanation from either party instructed that the cars be pushed to a far corner of the car park and the four tyres of each car deflated. The men were then led into the chairman’s office for what I suppose would be a serious session of discipline. According to the elders, whatever excuse they had for their virtual madness was not enough a reason to put lives and other people’s property in danger.
I stood and marveled at the level of discipline within a motor park, a place where they’re generally regarded as unschooled and uncivilized! In my heart I wished such level of discipline were maintained right from the nuclear families in the country to the peak of governance; discipline and good morals seem to have lost their place in the country.
We live in a time where abnormal has become normal and normal is abnormal! Being crazy is the order of the day; disobedience and unruliness are a normal experience in schools and at home. Musicians and movie stars aren’t helping matters either, they are just willing to give to the public what it wants to see and hear, anything to be famous and popular…all we see and listen to on the TV now is MADNESS; a disgrace to our very culture…oh! How far we have moved from the lofty height we were at the beginning.
Gone are the days when you actually listened to music to get inspired to do the right things, now all we hear and see in the music industry is sex, money, gangsterism, drugs and every negative thing, and yet we complain that the upcoming generation is violent…what do we expect? Saints?! I listened to a popular hip hop artist recently and a line in his lyrics says ‘stupidity Asa taken over me’ – what do you expect of his listeners – he sang it once, the public listens to it over and over, they’d be ‘stupider’ of course .
The movie industry – filled with comic relief characters, movies empty of worthwhile messages and real morals. Discipline seems to have just disappeared! These days you can hardly tell the difference between an in-school teenager and one that works in a garage, they all now talk and walk alike, it seems to be groovy to talk and walk in the garage format. The field seems to have turned; the discipline and order expected at the schools are now being found in the garage, while disorder and noise expected from the garage is now being found in the school! What a bummer!