Every time I think of Professor Anthony Kila, another Nigerian comes to mind. The reason, I guess, is because the duo have so much in common. Urbane and uber brilliant, they both have had and are having stints as scholars. And more I encountered them under similar circumstances. That other, is Dr. Austin Tam-George.
Incidentally, my first encounters with the two were on television, separately. They were guests and I was watching. And as in both cases it didn’t take me long to know that I was listening, in each case, to a someone with nuanced command of logic.
And as things would happen, I became a friend of each of these best and brightest of minds. And then came this invitation. Kila is to be made Balogun of his ancestral home in Ekiti State. Well, as those who should, know, Kila is also a prince. His mother is a direct descendant of the King Kosoko Imperial Household of Lagos. That is to say that Kila is steeped in the ways of royalty and the state, the ruling of the African state.
But he is as already hinted, a first class academician. And he is to add to that the formal title of being made Balogun of Igede Ekiti.
Alas, I had to miss the investiture due to scheduling difficulties. So immediately he returned to Lagos, where he runs a post graduate school, I paid him obeisance as the newest Balogun in the universe.
Suddenly, what was to be a journalistic chat turned up a hothouse lecture on the sociology and the politics of comparative cultures.
Cultures are basically the same he tells me. It is just that they exhibit individual hints. I have traveled around the world sufficiently and I can say this. It is just that what stops many from appreciating this may be the limits of their understanding. The Yoruba rites of power and religion are not any different from what you experience in England or Rome, for instance. At their hearts they are one and the same.
But how is he to fix being a Balogun, that is war general in modern times? Perhaps as expected of the Cambridge trained don he is, his answers were like a thesis.
What causes wars are poverty and hunger, uncertainty and fear. If one removed these things, there will be no need for wars. So a modern general is not one that tots guns. A modern general is more in the guise of the Chinese general, Sun Tzu, he told me. And his brief is to win the war without firing a shot.
In other words to serve his kingdom as an able Balogun, in modern times, it is not his brief to mount and ride military tanks. His, is to deploy his reach and contacts to help drive the prosperity and development of the kingdom and its citizens. He pledged his thankfulness to his community and especially the Oba, His Royal Highness Oba James Adelusi Aladesuru 11 JP.
And as I was concluding this piece the twin men, Balogun Anthony Kila and Dr. Tam-George came to my mind again. Why are brains as fine as these not in government? Why is Nigeria so unblessed? Perhaps it is because we don’t have a room in our state for men and women of genius. We prefer to run the state with mediocre ones. For these mediocre ones to serve the state begins from one deifying and worshiping the leader. And ends there.
Well, it doesn’t cost you a penny to neglect your best and brightest. Its costs are in the underdevelopment of you and your nation. All else is in humor. Ahiazuwa.