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Francis Ewherido

In the 80s (may be it started earlier), students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recreated Igbo monarchical institutions and cultures in the various hostels of UNN. And so it came to pass for Mbanefo Hall to hold its annual Ofala. He had many friends there, so attending was a must. Food was minimal, but booze was everywhere.  He started with Premier Beer, then Golden Guinea Beer, Harp Beer, Star Beer; at a point he shifted gear to bottled palm wine. Then they brought one more bottle “for the road.” At this time, he was not only full, but foolish.

But there was little sense left, so he rejected the offer because he knew that one more bottle and he would be totally knocked out. It was time to go home; he staggered towards the railings of the fourth floor. He put one leg on the railing, but while he was steadying himself to jump down, the little sense left reminded him that he did not jump up to the fourth floor, he climbed the staircase. He brought down his leg, held the railings and traced his way to the staircase and staggered down to his Room 103A, Eni Njoku Hall, a distance of about 150 meters. In his room, the roommates started harassing him for being drunk again. He told them the matter was “as big as an ant and as small as an elephant.” A purposeless smile danced on his lips, he knew it was purposeless, but he was powerless to stop the dance.

University of Nigeria Nsukka

The next morning, when he woke up, he started recalling the events of the previous day. Then it struck him: he could easily have brought sorrow to his parents and entire family. UNN is built on hills and the ground is as hard as a rock, so he stood no chance if he had jumped from the fourth floor. There and then, his love for beer disappeared. He has not found it over 30 years after.

Moderation is a virtue every human being must cultivate. And you grow it as you grow older. If not, that thing when dey sweet goat, na im go kill am. Tomorrow is Easter. Tonight many people will drink themselves to stupor in “celebration” of Easter. Some others will drink themselves to death in commemoration of Jesus’ triumph over death. Jesus is rising from the dead, but some will drink themselves to both physical and spiritual death to “celebrate” him! Some have been fasting and abstaining in the last six weeks since Lent started; they have been disciplining themselves and mortifying their flesh, but between today and tomorrow, all the discipline and mortification of the flesh will fly through the window. So where are the lessons they learnt? Over time, many people have either died or killed others as a result of drunkenness in the season of Easter.

Drunkenness leads to unbelievable actions. Last week, we read the story of a 40-year-old motorcycle rider, who impregnated and sired a child with his 14-year-old JSS3 daughter. Guess what the father said was responsible for his abominable act: drunkenness. He is not the first father to blame such a disgraceful act on drunkenness. We have read and heard of other cases like that. My only confusion is that in most of the cases, these men were either widowers or divorcés. Have they lost the ability to get other women, or they suffer from a monumental lack of dick control, or they just saw their daughters as easy options? Anyway, they said it is drunkenness, so let us give them the benefit of the doubt. Other drunks have equally done very foolish and embarrassing things due to drunkenness. Vows have been broken, oath of offices breached and families, friends and followers have been let down; unfortunately history will repeat itself. But it is important that inglorious history does not repeat itself through you.

It is not only in drinking we need to be disciplined, even food. Lent is over and some people will resume their undisciplined and unhealthy eating habits. Whatever weight they shed over the last six weeks will be regained within a week. The women seem to be ahead of the men in this department. You see a woman piling on weight and you draw her attention to it, the next thing you hear is, “this weight is just oppressing me o, I do not eat much.” Yeah, you do not. Meanwhile, you start cooking with two whole chickens, by the time you are done cooking; only one and a half is left. Then, when you serve lunch or dinner, while the rest of the family is eating voraciously like a hungry pride of lions, you are picking at your meal with disinterest. Yes, I agree with you, you do not eat much, weight is just oppressing you. I guess only the food taken at the dining table leads to weight gain!

Before you know it, a young tiny girl, who got married yesterday, is looking like a fat grandmother beside her trim and dashing husband, who works in the midst of sharp and beautiful ladies. Young mama, you are playing with fire. But it is not only the young mamas. I have noticed a trend among some young men. A few years into marriage, they pile on weight and grow pot bellies. Now we are hearing of young men in their 30s and early 40s with low libido, weak erection and erectile dysfunction, caused mainly by obesity and excessive alcohol consumption.  My friends, you better buckle up before someone else takes over your conjugal responsibilities. Many wives of today are not as patient and restrained as our mothers and grandmothers. In any case, a man in his 30s and early 40s should still be firing from and on all cylinders, no dulling and no excuses. For young men, it is rainy season and your wood should be green. When dry season comes and it starts going brown, even your wife will understand. But certainly not now, a brown wood during rainy season is an aberration. Na so I see am.

Tomorrow is Easter, a perfect time to reflect on not only Jesus’ triumph over death, but the supreme sacrifice he made for us on the cross. This should reflect in the way we live and treat our fellow human beings. Happy Easter to you all.

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