My village and the twin plants of technology

December 11, 2017 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

SarahTz photo



Fatimah Bakare-Dickson


My approach to life is to learn daily, especially by the mistakes I have made, look forward to corrections and a new life. I live in a beautiful, natural and serene environment, devoid of air pollution, electricity, telephone and whatever thing that will influence negatively. This is our belief and it has worked for us.


The village square is our pride, it is fenced with Agave plants, a lot of people mistake it for an Aloe vera plant. My father told me it was the decision of the elders to do so years back when wrestlers ran after one another just to portray the anger that lies in their strength.


Aloe vera fits the description of an Agave plant. Looking at the two plants, it has a similar appearance but Aloe vera has a gel in it while the agave has more thorns on the body, thicker and grows bigger naturally. The Agave is commonly used for fences in the rural area. It can also help during the rainy season to divert water away from the walls of the house. Physically the Agave and Aloe Vera plants have the same looks but entirely different functions.


I am a twin, the younger one by five minutes. I do not know how it is calculated but was so I was told since I was a child. Just like the Aloe Vera and Agave plants, we are two of a kind. My brother is quick to anger while I rarely pick offense.


Close to my father’s hut is his brother’s, a middle age man with scanty gray hair on his head. He is quite huge and fair skinned. He talked very fast whenever he was angry and he was one of the few that resisted technology in our village. In his argument, he believed that technology corrupted the future and it gave sight like Adam and Eve after they had contravened the law.


During the harvest season of Cassava, we were all home after a hard day at the farm. Then suddenly we saw a car approaching our compound. It is strange, we all knew and an important thing must have necessitated this visit. Masquerades they say just don’t appear at one’s doorstep without a reason.


They were two men in European dressing, one had eyeglasses and the other had hair on his upper lips close to his nose. Moustache they call it but in the village we call it “mouth hair”.


They called out for my father and my uncle at the front his hut. The four men spent time in what seemed a heated debate on issues I do not have knowledge of, but it made sense to the four. I remember they talked about masts for a network in our community and the stream for electricity generation. They were there after sunset and the moon began to appear before the four adjourned their meeting for the following day.


My brother walked in from nowhere and started singing one of Akin’s songs “In my journey through the world over land and over seas, I see different cultures and different people’s ways, I was born where the sun never sets and never rises, I was born where the heat is like a second skin. Children crying on the streets automobiles are making noise the land is growing dry and week spirit dying low. The forefathers are calling me never tired never weaken the pride in me is bursting loose am an African boy”.


There was complete silence in the compound as he was singing and chanting life experience. I expected him to study the mood of father and uncle so as not to get into trouble but instead his fearlessness pushed him on.


My uncle whispered, “the pride in me is bursting lose.” He sat looking downwards with his two arms on his thighs, nodded his head and looked at my father in confusion.


“An African boy” my father replied. I wondered what my father meant by that statement, an African boy, could it be that technology is at our doorstep and we are refusing it, are we the only technology disadvantaged people in Nigeria?


As my father and his brother continued to ponder on their discussion, my brother continued his melody; “… seven goats seven beads, seven cowries seven nuts seven lives that’s what I’ve got I am an African boy, over seas over lands over mountains in the wild I’ll be brave and I’ll be strong I am an African boy”. My father looked in amusement, what a time to sing this kind of song.


My twin brother being a fearless person, I threw a stone towards his direction, he looked at me and I blinked my eyes which could mean “Shshsh, silent”. I expected him to understand that simple sign. Instead he shouted, “what is wrong with you?” He looked towards my father and raised the stone up to make a statement and then threw it back at me. Everywhere was silent and waiting for someone to lighten the atmosphere.


Then my brother continued again, “Automobiles are making noise, never tired never weakened.” My father looked at him and this time cut in at the middle of the song, “Where are the Automobiles?”


He smiled and gave a vivid description of the tractor on the farm and the noise of the bullock that carries it. He further gave a description of how he enjoyed riding on the back of the bull once he is done working on the farm, the bulls are usually slow and it walked sideways even when going forward. I enjoy it when they do the walking for you. It is always a sweet ride after a hard day at the farm, they are the automobiles in this village.


My father and uncle are trying to weigh what the future holds and brings to our generation and indeed, time alone will tell.





Fatimah Bakare-Dickson

Fatimah Dickson is a Bachelor of Film Art Graduate, she is a homemaker, and a documentation affectionado, involved in civic discuss across gender and children issues. She runs REEL DOCUMENTARIES, a not-for-profit outfit that utilizes the media in promoting change amongst women and children, and can be reached on 234 8034740500, [email protected]

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