LOUD WHISPERS: Tempus Horribilis

Queen Elizabeth II gave her famous ‘Annus Horribilis’ speech on November 24th 1992 to mark the 40th anniversary of her ascension to the throne of England . Before then, people were familiar with the more traditional use of the term ‘Annus Mirabilis’– wonderful year. The introduction of the phrase ‘Annus Horribilis’ fascinated British people and the world, not just because of the unprecedented pun, but the implications it signified. For once, ordinary British people were able to see their Queen as a human being who could feel and bleed. Her first son separated from his wife.  Her daughter divorced her husband. Another son divorced his wife after a stream of scandals. The tempestuous life of her daughter in law was laid bare in a tell-all book. As if that was not bad enough, one of her favourite homes, Windsor Castle, almost burned to the ground. When the British public learnt that their taxes would be used for the extensive repairs required, there was massive grumbling instead of sympathy. All the scandals had been very bad for the family business of Royalty. The beleaguered monarch slipped two words into her speech that revealed her personal pain as a woman, mother, grandmother, and CEO of an ancient institution coming to terms with modern realities.

As we start the fifth month of the year, it is probably too early to say that 2016 will be an ‘Annus Horribilis’ for Nigeria, but we have seen and heard enough to know that it is a ‘Tempus Horribilis’ – a horrible season. Where do we start? From the logjam over the 2016 Budget, the constant string of revelations about Nigeria’s money running like water from a tap for an election, the daily drama at the National Assembly, the endless fuel queues, the power crisis, to the deeply disturbing carnage of the marauding ‘Fulani Herdsmen’ to the road disasters that have claimed many lives, including those of a Minister of the Federal Republic and his family, and last week, six medical doctors from Ekiti State.  Add to this the fact that thousands of workers have not been paid for months, and yet they have to purchase basic commodities that have risen at alarming rates with money they do not have. Kidnapping has returned with a vengeance, and as I write this, a senior family friend, former Minister Iyabo Anisulowo from Ogun State is still missing. There is so much hunger, anger and despair in the land. The season has become unbearably hot as well, with temperatures at alarming levels. Not even the arrival of the first rains has helped.


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Loud Whispers cover final

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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5 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: Tempus Horribilis

  1. Gloria Ogunbadejo May 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Brilliant Piece!

  2. Femi Diipo May 3, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Brilliant piece… Unfortunately the evil perpetrators are hardly the type to read or listen to reason

  3. Fola Richie-Adewusi May 4, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Erelu always on point!!!

  4. xasie May 4, 2016 at 10:17 am

    @Femi. Yes o. They hardly read and listen. Thanks for this mind-changing piece

  5. Taiwo May 5, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Well said Ma and we hope for the best to come.


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