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By Francis Ewherido



English does not do justice in depicting certain situations, so we take refuge in our mother tongue, hence today’s title. But some people seeing this title would think I am about to talk about a very good friend and big brother of mine, Olorogun Jacob Diedjomahor, who made his village, Ovwodokpokpo, in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, a major fun seekers’ destination point.

Diedjomahor in today’s article is simply a question. Why this pride? Why this mountainous ego? Why this unnecessary sense of self-importance? Poor English; so many words just to describe “diedjomahor.”

Recently, a very prominent man died. He was well educated, intelligent, good looking and rich. These adjectives are some of the fuels that inflame the fire of pride and ego into an inferno.

And he was a very PROUD man with capital letters. As the news of his death downed on me, I became very humbled. My mind started to “wonder-wonder”: So this man is dead? He could no longer eat his exotic and expensive food? He could no longer drive himself in his expensive vehicles as he loved to do? He could no longer put people in their places, a favourite past time of his.

A naughty mortuary attendant could even fiddle with his genitals and no protest would come from him. Usually, the man was a lion who roared at the slightest opportunity. Now he laid still and stiff in the morgue. Ki diedjomahor (what is the whole pride, arrogance and bloated egos about)?

Another very proud and arrogant beautiful socialite bestrode the Lagos social scene for about two decades. She was a woman of elegance and style. When she went to an event, she walked straight to the first roll because “that is where I belong.” She was financially stable but not stupendously rich. Then she was hit by a terminal ailment, that bastard and devourer. She spent all she had and become broke. Concerned friends organised a public fundraising for her that was even published in the newspaper. Even on her sick bed, she felt very embarrassed. Finally she died. In the mortuary, mortuary attendants who were not competent to undo the strap her shoes would see her nakedness. Ki diedjomahor

That is why these days when I read stories about some people who have achieved status of “celebrity” exposing their ignorance and foolishness, I laugh.  “I cannot date a guy who lives in the mainland. It must be Lekki minimum.” Go and find out how much it costs to rent or buy a duplex in Ikeja GRA or Surulere and report back to me. “All married men are cheats.” How many of the millions of married men in Nigeria have you slept with? Or, did you do sampling? What is your sample size? God bless my lecturer in the university, Professor Sylvanus Ekwelie. He would slaughter you with his tongue if you used words like “all” or “most” without facts. Thirty six years later, his admonition reverberates like yesterday.

“I cannot marry or date a broke man or poor man.” Ignoramuses. That is partly why your marriages and relationships do not last. Only foolish girls go into relationships and marriages with the mentality of a sprint.

Marriage is a marathon. Come, let me go and show you billionaires who started life with their wives in two rooms or even a single room. Come let me show you a man whose wife and first child were “detained” in the clinic because he could not pay the post-natal bill 30 years ago.

He is now worth billions. Some of these “celebrities” are empty brains and it shows once they open their mouths. Kim Kardashian is a very beautiful women, but she also has brains. From notoriety (posing nude and leaked sex video tapes), she has metamorphosed into is a shrewd multimillionaire businesswoman today. Without brains, your beauty or notoriety is useless. New products (younger girls) are churned out every day, so your shelf span is short. What happens when you are off the shelf and you have no brains? Intelligent girls are more focused on prospects and character than immediate and ephemeral gains when assessing men.

In another scenario, you collect the number of an artisan you want to give a job. When you call him later he comes on line and you say “hello,” the first thing he would say is, “who is this,” not “who is calling, please.” In the past, I got pissed off and cut off the line; end of a potential transaction. Why do I do that? I felt he was rude or proud. Then it struck me that by cutting the call, I was guilty of what I was accusing him of doing. Kidie midjomahor (what is making me proud)? These days, I have deliberately learnt to explain why I am calling, though I still consider “who is this” rude.

I was told this story, but I do not know how true. A student claimed he failed a subject because he mistakenly called his lecturer “Dr” instead of the Prof that he was. You were a Ph.D holder before you became a professor, so? I spent three months in hospital.

The world renowned professor who was head of the team that attended to me was called Mr by his subordinates. Everybody called him Mr except my wife and me. If you see his resume online, you will be dazed. Yet he is simply Mr. Please get me right. If people have worked hard for a position or title, give them their flowers. But if the story is true, is it enough to fail a student? Diedjomahor?

Some people are very intelligent and knowledgeable in certain areas. This knowledge makes them very proud. Some are very annoying and suffocating. They treat everyone around them as sub humans. It is common in WhatsApp group platforms. Diedjomahor?

A friend of my mine went to see his parish priest. He is Catholic. He greeted him, “good afternoon, Fr.” He noticed a frown of disapproval in the face of the priest and quickly realised his mistake: “Good afternoon, monsignor.”

The priest responded: “I wonder o!” A monsignor is the title bestowed on some older priests. You are ordained first as a reverend father before you are appointed a monsignor at a later stage. On the last day, these titles would count for nothing. In fact, we are told that those who occupy higher positions would be judged with higher standards. It is like to whom much is given much is expected. Ki diedjomahor?

If anyone drops dead tomorrow, everything goes down with him/her. When my father was being lowered into the grave, my anguish was two-fold: losing a father prematurely and the fact that he was going into the grave with his enormous knowledge of English. I really wanted to take that knowledge before he was lowered into the grave.

That is how we shall all go into the grave with anything that is making us proud or cocky, except the things we cannot take along to our graves: the physical assets which will be peacefully shared or fought over, legacies and knowledge we documented for posterity.

We should all strive to live fulfilled lives, but realize that at the end of the day, everybody will end up six feet below and become manure. Your beauty, knowledge, brains and glowing skin will become manure. Ki diedjomahor?

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