Why Curse When You Can Comfort?

January 18, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Chris Lee



Akinpelu Yusuf

Why do we curse? Is it a curse for some people to curse? Or is a curse a course in some people’s faculty? Must we always curse? Should we even ever curse at all? If the word curse is becoming too repetitious, apology. Don’t curse me yet!

It is not uncommon to hear or see people (and even ourselves) run a thorough search on their vulgarity vocabulary, finding a suiting cussword each time they are vexed. These cusswords could come in various forms: just anything offensive and unclean like a curse itself, abuse, foul language, insult and their ilks.

However, different people do this for different reasons. Some to retaliate. Some others to correct. Many more to show anger. Quite a number for fun. A handful to show helplessness. Others to wade off defaulters. Well, these groups of persons, of course, each time they do, have their own stories to tell for choosing to do so.

Take for instance those who curse in retaliation. “People can be nauseating,” they claim. “People can be frustrating,” they might further say. So in dealing with these people their own way, to curse is a choice. And it sure is; but it is but a wrong choice. Maybe the advice of Marcus Aurelius that “the best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury,” sounds better.

Also, those who correct with a curse have their claim: To make people do the right thing, lay a curse on them, abuse them. And of all the culprits in this category, parents, guardians and in loco parentis generally believe more in this. Some, with the cruelest of whipping and bashing, pomade their wards with a lotion of curses. And like that, they – the wards – carry it about all day long, or even all life long. Because I sure know a curse can outlive its bearer.

Not to forget those whose mouth has long forgotten how to mouth “sane” words. To show elation, they curse. To show depression, they curse. To joke, they curse. Their lingua franca is the unsung language of cursing. Even Malcolm X, in his heyday of profanity dexterity, is no match to them. Special thanks must be accorded to Hollywood stars who have ensured our ears and mouths are not bankrupt of cusswords – with us not forgetting their Nollywood counterparts who are following in the same light. They have successfully topped up the database of members on this group.

That said. From here, we can’t but bring our curiosity of questioning to the fore. For whatever reason – or reasons, be as it may – a cussword is spilled, who is at the receiving end? The curser? The cursed? Or even the earwitness? (or is it the eyewitness we call them?) Maybe our faith in fate should settle that.



Does curse come to pass?


Hungarian, Bela Guttmann, the then coach of Portuguese side, Benfica, in 1962, placed a curse on his team. Following his employee’s refusal to pay him a bonus for winning a European Cup twice in a row, since there was no such clause in his contract, he struck back by cursing thus, “not in 100 years from now will Benfica win a European Cup.” Some quote him in an interview that “no Portuguese team, in 100 years, will manage to win the cup twice in succession like he did.” Now, Guttmann has since died, 36 years ago, yet, disturbingly, his curse still lives on – no Portuguese team has defended its European title despite coming close on two occasions; Benfica is yet to win a European title in 55 years despite reaching the final five times! Most certainly, this curse seems to have gained its fulfilment. Or is that not so?

Also, as far back back as 1835, it was believed, Alaafin Aole of the defunct Oyo Empire did gave a curse to those who betrayed him. ‘Aole Curse’, as described by Samuel Johnson in his History of Yorùbá, and by other tradition, came when Afonja, the then Oba of Ilorin and Aare Onakankanfo (Generalissimo of Yorùbá Army), rebelled against him, demanding his head. He – Aole – was said to have placed a curse on his Chiefs who deserted him and the entire Yorùbá race, saying that as they left him never would they have unity among them. This he did by shotting arrows, breaking pot and predicting their downfall to the enemies who will be foreigners way back in 1835. Aole, too, like Guttmann, has since died, but the manifestation of his curse, though relative, cannot be totally ruled out.

Considering the former and latter, one will begin to see how curses have been laid by deaders for even the unborn generations. Ergo, without doubt, except we derive pleasure in denying facts, a curse comes true. Especially when the curser was wronged. Maybe the Yorùbás had this mind when they would repeatedly say, “curse comes true – if it doesn’t now, it will sometimes in the future.” Saying that, they struck the dead on chord.



Is it bad or good?


No two ways about it, not only is a curse abominable, it is far from being adorable. Its likelihood to bring doom is enough reason. Its filthy–laden words further prove that. In fact, those seem unconvincing. On radio, television, newspapers and other media platforms that know their salt can, and will, never air foul–words or cusswords in their broadcasts, reportages and coverages. The words of your mouth, “if you can’t make it good, at least make it look good,” is the admonition of Bill Gates that comes to mind.

Going spiritual, scriptural lines talk so much about the topic of discourse: Curse. In the description of who a true believer is, the Qur’an has it that “…And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil, vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allaah has forbidden)” (Surah Al-Mumenoon, Verse 3).

The Bible too wasn’t mute on this concept. In Ephesians 4:29, we were told, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto hearers”

The Bible didn’t stop there; it took a step further by saying in James 3:10, “Out of same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be”

From the foregoing, it is explicitly plain that a curse is forbidden and not a noble act, Quranically and Biblically, and more liberally, it is unideal. This is further buttressed by the fact that in places of joy and even grieve, prayers, well wishes are what are being mouthed for goodness boom – as opposed to curse that spells doom!

In closing, wrongdoing from person to person is inevitable in the human community – even in the animal world. Cliché has it that we agree to disagree and we disagree to agree. So, the fact remains that in response to disagreements and misgivings, cursing or foul–mouthing is not the way to go. It is logically faulty to be a choice; and not just that, it is mentally repulsive to even think otherwise. It, being frowned at by the Sacred Scriptures and ideal standards, are, surely, enough reasons to uppercut this ugly act. Also, coming to realise its unpalatability to the earshot of the public is a confirmation of its goriness. As humans, the being with refined awareness, sense and thoughts, we must flee from it! So I ask, why curse when you can comfort? Comfort don’t curse!










Akinpelu Yusuf

Akinpelu Yusuf is a prolific writer and speaker. He nurtures the ambition of becoming a forever to remember journalist of his epoch. He is a devoted Muslim by faith. He is student of statistics in the university of Ibadan and likes thing creative.

1 Comment

  1. P C K PREM January 18, at 11:07

    A good thought. Positive and inspiring. Will anyone listen? A path to happiness it is. Very well written, Mr Yusuf.


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