Tomorrow we’ll start wondering why we have an epidemic of rape in this country… why so many Nigerians seem fundamentally incapable of acting in the interest of civility and decency, or for the common good. Go to camp and do the math.…and not in a good way.
I expected many things when I went away to camp but least of all to come back a fortune teller. Sadly, within three days of stepping into that camp, I learned to predict the future, and what I saw was not cute.
One of the highlights (alright, quite possibly the only highlight) of actually staying in camp is that you get to meet all sorts of people from all over the country.
If we then decide that the people in camp count as a random sample of young people in Nigeria, (which is sort of true since they’re all from different schools and states, and as it wasn’t the Abuja, Lagos, or Port Harcourt camps, they most likely were assigned to that camp by chance ) then it can be argued that the behaviour and mentality exhibited by the people in camp roughly matches the behaviour and mentality of the average Nigerian student outside camp of the same age distribution.
Immediately, there are worrisome observations everywhere.
In camp, I met an unfortunately large number of young men who were of the opinion that some girls deserved to be raped because of what they were wearing. This opinion was continually echoed by men in camp from day one and even by a large number of women.
In camp, I met men that told me there was nothing wrong with a man “correcting” his wife or girlfriend as long as it leaves no permanent marks. Translation: It is okay to beat women as long as it doesn’t show.
In an argument with some of my colleagues at the OBS (Orientation Broadcasting Service – the corper-run radio station found in most camps), in which the boys had blamed every failed aspect of a recent task we had carried out on the women, I was told to shut up and sit down “because I was a little girl”. Needless to say, it ended in people having to be dragged out of the studio.
But there you go.
The widespread lack of basic communicative abilities is barely worth mentioning compared to the rampant sexism, constant misogyny, and unwillingness to think rationally among the young Nigerians I met in camp.
When you consider that these are the same people that our government is bent on sending to schools to teach the next generation of Nigerian children, predicting the future quickly becomes an exact science.
Tomorrow we’ll start wondering why we have an epidemic of rape in this country, why there is so much brutality and disregard for basic human life and dignity, and why so many Nigerians seem fundamentally incapable of acting in the interest of civility and decency, or for the common good.
Go to camp and do the math.
Sugabelly is a Manga artist and illustrator of epic comics at http://jigida.com. Lover of art, digital media, anime, and pre-colonial culture. She blogs her life (and loves) at www.sugabellyrocks.com and tweets @sugabelly. Kwenu!