Last Tuesday took away any lingering doubt that the globe has since become more of a village. On that day, the world gathered at the global village square to gossip and tell stories about something so private or personal. Actually, the virtual session was convened by the ubiquitous, nosey Cable News Network (CNN), who pride themselves as the world’s news leader. The fateful edition of CNN Talk, which by the way runs live for all of 30 minutes every weekday at noon on the global television and Facebook, had the vexed theme, ‘Meghan’s royal baby imminent: private event or public occasion?’
As I watched and heard firsthand global citizens feasting on what was essentially adult gossip (read adult movie), my mind could not help but stray back in time to the seven unbroken years I spent in my village. If you have had no experience of village life, I can avail you of both its feel and ways. Until globalisation invaded our space, there was such a yawning gap between a village and a city. But now, in more ways than one, the village is a city and the city a village.
Now, let’s look at peculiarities of the village. First: in the village -all villages- as the iconic Ray Ekpu once wrote, ‘everyone knows everyone by name.’ Don’t misconstrue that to mean the village is a love community. No, not only is it not, in Africa it is also the sectional headquarters of hate and strife and rivalry.
Second: everyone knowing everyone gives birth to and in fact feeds envy, gossip and lousy competition. That’s what generates the allegation and counter-allegation of witchcraft, mysterious deaths as well as age-old disputes and fights over land that have become synonymous with the village. Third: illiteracy is the middle name of the village(r). This explains away the total absence of opportunities, luxuries and facilities: welcome to joblessness galore.
Fourth: another defining characteristic of the village is the propensity for careless talk or -as we say in Nigeria- for talking anyhow. African villagers talk with abandon, without caring a hoot. And, fifth: education is appreciated but it is not a fundamental criterion. I can explain that: most Africans who live in the hinterlands know that education is good; however, when it comes to choosing their leaders the most educated candidates may be sacrificed for just that reason: too educated!
Going forward, can we go back to last Tuesday and recollect with proofs how the globe carried on like a village? No pun intended, the highly educated panelists on CNN Talk complete with an alarming majority of contributors on the edition in focus acted like villagers. For crying out loud, how does the pregnancy of the Duchess of Sussex concern especially those of us non-Britons or are we so jobless? It got too disappointingly low for me when some participants gloated rather racially, illiterately and pessimistically.
Imagine someone wondering if Prince Harry wouldn’t need a DNA test to authenticate the baby as his or whether the successful American actress married for money and fame. Where else would you find such depravity other than in the village? Yet, all of those involved are city or educated people. Can’t we therefore deduce from the foregoing that our towns and cities worldwide have become more like our villages?
Unfortunately, there’s more depressing correlation. Check the quality of those running very important national economies. Can’t you find a leader or two who clearly didn’t acquire the education that accentuates character and learning? In such cases, can’t it be argued that on the global throne it is the village that rules the city?
My dear reader, I hope with those few points of mine I have convinced you that the village is winning its global cold war with the city. In my fatherland, where this reality is even truer, citizens are migrating back in droves to the rural areas because towns and cities now manufacture worse vices hitherto considered village-limited. Finally, I enjoin the few good people left in the world to join me in prayers that Meghan and her child(ren) never experience Prince Diana-like ending (whatever that means). God bless our world!
You mean they also came for the godfather?
Last week, I picked up some innocuous news on Facebook about the January kidnap of a man in Calabar, Cross River state and the fact that three months after, there’s been no word about him nor action from you know who. I told myself it couldn’t be the same Petertex, but just to allay my anxiety I wondered aloud on the thread. The replies which confirmed my worst fears totally stupefied me.
In the wee and indeed through the mid and late 90’s when the FM station of Cross River Broadcasting Corporation reigned in the premier league of the trade, Petertex Etim aka the godfather was one of its top pros. He was so so so good. I can never forget the PV Show which he co-anchored every weeknight with his colleague, Violet Adams, Lady Vee.
Radio programmes don’t come like that anymore. I mean, the PV Show was so compelling I listened to every edition, wrote in more often than not and went from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to visit both presenters in their Calabar homes a number of times. Both have front row seats in my personal hall of fame among the few broadcasters who inspired me and forced me to stick to the blind medium.
I am so shocked to imagine that anyone could contemplate let alone execute the kidnap of someone like Petertex Etim, the godfather; someone who has brought so much joy to humanity and added so much value to life. I am even more shocked that it’s been nearly four months; yet, everybody is carrying on as if nothing happened. Isn’t it a crying shame that the media (his own primary constituency) killed the story by pushing it to the back burner?
Media, what is happening to us? We waste all that time and space and resources reporting politicians but look away when it comes to something that concerns us. Who bewitched us?
Here then is a clarion call for the media confraternity in Cross River state and nationwide to awake and mobilise for the release of our colleague. The police and other security agencies should get to the root of the matter by successfully returning the godfather to his wife and children and teeming fans. Until then and thenceforward, our prayers are with his family as well the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation!