Saturday, November 9, 2013


The Nigerian god is a god not of illness but of salubrity. I cannot speak for European and American gods and goddesses who allow their worshippers openly confess their illnesses to friends, neighbours and strangers. Sometimes they even go on TV shows and talk about what insidious viruses have attacked their bodies. There is a reason why we are happy and they are not. Our god does not approve of such shameful confessions. And you must recognize as a worshipper that the body is the temple of god. Thus, a public confession that your body is harbouring a virus is like saying that the owner of that temple cannot take care of his own house. God forbid that you should stoop to such blasphemous behaviour.

This, however, is not to deny the existence of viruses and bacteria which may from time to time pay visits to this temple of our god. Far from it. But we must treat such events as what they are: mere temporary visitations from our less evolved relatives. We know that one does not go proclaiming the details of a visitation from one’s relatives. Intimate things that happen during such visitations are to be kept within the family. 

So, say you have been visited by a flu and you suffer headaches, running nose and weakness, you must, when asked, say I am well or the more faith-inspired it is well. You are not a European who will say, I have a flu or I have ovarian cancer. Conceal it until it becomes unbearable and impossible to conceal. Do not do rude things like refuse to shake people because you may pass something on. Better a virus-ridden handshake than no handshake. Even when you sneeze wildly, people, instead of being offended at suddenly having to share their space with other living organisms, will say politely, bless you.

The only visitations that you are permitted to talk about are things like malaria or headache. By virtue of how common such visitations are, you can share thoughts about it, like a pregnant woman discussing remedies to morning sickness with another pregnant woman. 

Another exception to talking about visitations of organisms is when you are the host of a condition which has symptoms similar to those of visitations that attract judgment. Like HIV. A visitation by HIV is perceived to be the fault of the host and so we judge the host for harbouring it. We treat them like traitors and abandon them to suffer the consequences. Just like we do not judge people for stealing but for getting caught, we do not judge people for leaving their doors open by having unprotected sex or multiple partners. We judge them when we find out their temples have that treacherous HIV guest. I will talk about this later. But say you have something like cancer, kidney or liver issues, eating disorders or hormonal imbalance issues that make you lose a lot of weight. This gives people only one idea. That you are harbouring a virus like HIV. That you are a traitor. A sinner. An evil conspirator seeking to destroy the temple of god. In this case, when people see you and give you that look, you must quickly announce that your weight loss is due to a visitation of a non-treacherous kind and then proceed to state in great detail what type of visitation it is. This will not stop Papa Chidera from asking Mama Chidera if she has seen how ‘lean’ you have become lately. But it will prevent them from making the conclusion that you must have HIV. It will prevent them from drawing on history to back the claim – those nights they saw you with someone of the opposite sex and all the partners you have ever had. They will simply discuss your visitation with as much empathy as they have in them. Who knows, they may even try to help. Your friends may even organize fund raisers to buy you a new kidney or send you to India for chemotherapy. Your church will organize prayers for you and hundreds of prayer warriors will bind and cast this visitor who mimics the visitation of the treacherous one. 

Now if your visitation is actually of a treacherous kind, like HIV, you must conceal it as much as you can. Never ever admit this. For a while you may lie that you have other types of visitations. But you cannot do that for long without people suspecting you. Seek treatment if you must but do so discreetly. If you are attending hospital for anti-retroviral drugs for example and you live in Kogi State, instead of going to the centres in Lokoja, travel far away to a hospital in Abuja or Kaduna. The reason is very simple. Someone who knows you is likely to see you walking into the HIV unit and proceed to spread the gospel about your treachery. Or some hospital staff who knows you may stumble upon your records and proceed to warn everyone she knows about it. Lay low and avoid detection. If however this visitation has reached an advanced stage where the virus has actually moved in with you and has become AIDS, you must move far away to a village where no one knows you. Because no one will offer their righteous prayers on behalf of a traitor. There will be no campaigns for you. No tear-jerking hashtags. No concerts to raise money. No short codes for people to sms donations. No summoning of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to take charge. Only stigma. 

You cannot avoid visitations. But you can avoid being judged for it. Take my advice: protect your temple today. 

Ps. Pride goes before a foolish question. Stop pretending you know the meaning of the word salubrity and check it up in the dictionary like I did.


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  2. Elnathan's article = beautiful.....totally the naija mentality.

  3. As usual, spot on! And if you are a young girl, never ever let anyone catch you throwing up, lol. Pregnancy is the only reason people throw up.

  4. Elnathan you a very funny writer

  5. Had me in stitches especially the very end. I actually was going to pretend I knew the meaning of salubrity.


You fit vex, bet abeg no curse me. You hear?