It was sunset. The time when reptiles leave their homes in search of prey as farmers return home to rest. They just came home a few minutes ago and so, to behold Mama Obinayo standing over her son, arms raised bearing a cutlass dripping blood as he wailed till he eventually passed out, is indeed a tale of doom.
On hearing the initial loud scream, her neighbour runs out, calling the others who rush alongside to behold the sight. Her face stern; you couldn’t tell if she was angry or sad. Sheer lack of remorse.
The next thing that follows is a mob slapping, beating and dragging her on the spot. No questions asked. While they are at it, she is stripped of her clothes some of which are used to tie the fallen thumb back into position. All hell breaks loose but just as she’s about to be burnt alive, someone stops them from amidst the crowd.
‘Make una wait first abeg! Wetin Mama Obi do?’
And that was how an innocent woman, who just saved her son’s life by cutting off the huge snake that wrapped itself around him while he lost his thumb in the process, was rescued.
It was a mistake that nearly cost a life. Nobody thought of her would-be orphaned child nor would have cared to take him in should she have died.
And we do this sometimes; not in this shape or form but somewhat related.
When was the last time you asked for the background to a ‘tale’ you heard over social media or the reason for the action you were so quick to criticise when the gist hit your phone screen?
It’s so easy to judge in the absence of the facts; so easy to cast stones when the outcome is visible but the intent, unknown; so easy to conclude on what is before you without probing to find out how it came about; so easy to believe the wrong about people without question while asking many more questions when the good things about them come to the fore.
It’s the festive season and if you’re like some of us who travel home, you’ll understand the essence of this post. News flies faster than wide fire this period, especially when we ‘congregate’ from all walks of life. It’s only considerate and humane that we verify the ‘gist’ before stoning Mama Obinaya with our words or from the ‘send’ buttons on our devices.
Who knows? You might just save a life by doing that. If you’re bored, consider downloading the OneRead app for ios and android devices. Trust me; you would have spent meaningful time consuming beautifully crafted African stories.
In the meantime, feel free to soro soke in the comment section!