LOUDWHISPERS: Pythons Do Not Dance

When my son was young, if I returned from a work trip, he would pester me for details of where I had been and what happened there. There was one story in particular that became his absolute favourite. Anytime he wanted to amuse himself, or get himself out of trouble, he would say, ‘Mummy, please tell me that story about Sierra Leone again’. So what happened in Sierra Leone? I went to Sierra Leone in October 2001 to run a women’s leadership workshop. The war had just come to an end, and civil society organisations were organizing to play a key role in governance. The program took place in Bo, in the Southern part of Sierra Leone. I landed in Freetown and was taken to Bo in a World Food Program (WFP) helicopter. It was a short ride of no more than 30 minutes. The workshop lasted for a week, and I was due to leave Bo on a Saturday morning so that I could spend the night in Freetown then catch my flight back to Accra on Sunday. The WFP helicopter was not available on Saturdays, so I was booked on a local airline, the kind with aircraft so tiny, you say a prayer as you board. My flight was scheduled for 11am. My friend and colleague Jeannette Eno, who had been my host responsible for convening the workshop and all the logistics, told me that they would need to send someone to check at the air strip if there would be a plane available. I asked what of course was a foolish question, ‘Isn’t it a scheduled flight’? Jeannette gave me an odd look. When the person she sent to check came back, lo and behold, the flight had been cancelled. Why? The plane did not come from Freetown. Why not? The Pilot died. This is the point where my little boy asked, ‘Was there no other pilot’? to which I answered, ‘Well, apparently no one else was available’. My son howled with laughter and rolled on the floor, asking me to repeat the story over and over again. I watched him laughing and started laughing myself, but my own laughter was not derision. There is a Yoruba proverb, ‘When a situation is beyond tears you laugh’.

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Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 Responses to LOUDWHISPERS: Pythons Do Not Dance

  1. Gloria Ogunbadejo September 18, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Wise words set out as clear as day for all and anyone to comprehend….May the Divine prevent this call and understanding of this message and similar pleas from falling on deaf ears! AMEN

    Reply
  2. Ogechi September 18, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Great expository piece and real.
    Pythons do not dance indeed.
    They swallow,
    They cause to disappear
    They kill.
    Stay on Alert. This is not a dance.
    Is this still a Democratic rule or ????

    Reply
  3. Olakunle Olajide September 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    These are exemplary words from a woman who can relate to the ruins caused by wars. I just pray and hope this won’t get out of hands in my beloved country. The situation of things are not overly palatable at the moment and now, the thought of war is lingering. May the good Lord prevent this from happening.

    Reply
  4. Princess September 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    A writer once said women are intelligent creatures, I concur. Ma’am you have just proved that in this write up. We as Nigerians needs to be extra careful, am saying this from the perspective of political black mail and the likes. Some mouth need to be stopped. And we can only do that if and only if we can stop posting and speaking gibberish of those in power. May God help our understanding.

    Reply
  5. Akpes September 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    An ideal hand is the devil’s work shop. Most of our illiterate young chap don’t want to engage in menial jobs, hence that tend to constitute nuisances to the society. If you give a hoodlum little stipend to start up a fight or war now they will do more just for the money. Not until we come together as one, there can never be peace in Nigeria.

    Reply
  6. Ebonychyqui2 September 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    This country would only get better if we give it a synergistic approach. We all need to come together to achieve a common goal, which is peace. If not war would be the order of the day.

    Reply
  7. Femi Diipo September 18, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Python indeed does not dance, the title of this article brilliantly tells it all. War is not an option and we must all do all we can to make sure this doesn’t happen in this country. As well illustrated here, everyone suffers at war, and we’d all be victims if we allow this to happen

    Reply
  8. Dom Dom September 18, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    It’s always sad to realize that no matter how much lessons history offers, some will still always choose to be victim of avoidable events. By now, one would think everyone will be doing all they can to make sure war doesn’t happen again in this country and history doesn’t get to repeat itself. Sadly, we are not all that sane. But we the sane ones must make sure that war doesn’t get to happen this time, and the python is slaughtered even before it takes its first breath

    Reply
  9. Olufunke Baruwa September 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Erelu has penned a very thought provoking and timely piece which calls for action from all of us who believe in peace.. I suggest we all do the needful and let the change indeed begin with us

    Reply
  10. Perpetua Dandeson September 19, 2017 at 3:06 am

    With our country’s population, we should not be thinking about war. An elderly woman who visited a while ago said that she prays that her children will not see what she saw as a child. The people who are gunning for war are oblivious to its lingering effects. We really need to stop sharing pictures and videos that induce fear and hatred. Not many Nigerians will sit to think about the authenticity of the broadcast. God help us.

    Reply
  11. Elaine Nwosu September 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Hmmm. please, let us share this.

    Reply
  12. Foluke Adams September 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

    If we will work on ourselves and say the truth. Speak wisdom and not be selfish or proud about the right thing then the python won’t dance again. The python will be killed. God bless you for these words of wisdom.

    Reply
  13. Loreta Williams September 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

    @olufunke. You said it. The change must start with us. Let gather whoever we can gather and educate them. These people don’t even know what war is, they only watched it. If it comes, the man composing the music will leave the singers to die. Let’s be wise.

    Reply
  14. Modupe Sharon September 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I am happy I read this here. God bless you ma. #OneNigeria

    Reply
  15. Bruce UGIOMOH September 20, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Very insightful thoughts. Without condescending, women are the ones that will redeem Nigeria in due season.
    We must be prepared to speak the truth to ourselves at all times.
    Soldiers anywhere in the world don’t like to be disrespected especially when they have a statutory duty to perform.
    We must guard our utterances and be mutually respectful to one another.
    This is our country and we owe it a duty to build it. I witnessed the needless civil war, some of my classmates never returned after the war… Please women in these zones, prevail on your men to see reason. The picture of war is ugly and should be avoided. Nuf said.

    Reply
  16. DSEED September 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Python don’t dance indeed. Words for the wise.

    Reply
  17. Oluwatosino September 22, 2017 at 5:13 am

    What a beautiful piece…….
    Indeed, the python does not dance, it slithers. Of what good is war when it’s going to break apart the country and destroy lives and properties. I wonder why some Nigerians are still encouraging war when they know the histories of past wars and the damaged it caused.
    The Python is not to be messed with, So is War not something we should joke with. I hope Nigerians get a solid understanding of what are crying for. May the good Lord help us ijn..

    Reply
  18. Eric Onuoha September 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    A brilliant article. No country remains the same after a war. Nigeria is still recovering from the civil war that ended more than 30 years ago. We must do everything possible to avert any war in this country because we may never recover from its devastating effects.
    God bless Nigeria

    Reply

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