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Cisi Eze: List of Covfefes in Nigeria

Cisi Eze

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If you are reading this in 2020, you probably know the exact meaning of “covfefe”. Right now, in 2017, I do not know what this word – coined by Trump – means.

Giving it “deeper” thought, covfefe might mean witchcraft. Trump might have coined it from, “coven” and “na-efe fe”, translated from Igbo, it means “to fly”. There goes! Trump might have been taking lessons in Igbo language, ya know? Engligbo – a mixture of English and Igbo – is a real som’tin’.

Covfefe might be the word you say (or scream/grunt) when you are about pull out or withdraw. No pun intended. On May 31st, 2017, Trump tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” The next day, we heard the US had withdrawn from the Paris Agreement. Last-last, we saw Trump tweeted: “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ??? Enjoy!”

Trump does not know what covfefe means, and I’m wont to believe the word means, “dumb and redundant”.

Anyway, I looked around me, and I saw that here, in Nigeria, many things are covfefe. Here are some of them:

1. NYSC
Who NYSC epp? Personally, it epp’d me, but I can’t say the same for most of us. What was the reason for creating NYSC? Has it served its purpose? Why haven’t we scrapped it? If we must have it, why not overhaul it to suit our current socio-economic and political situation? Is there a way to transform and restructure it into a system that enables young people to focus on entrepreneurship in agriculture, solid minerals, and manufacturing? This would entail the government using corpers’ kit money, feeding money, “bicycle allowance”, allowee, etc., to empower graduates. They do not have to travel to other states. In fact, we can call the new scheme “Develop Your Backyard” (DYB). Young people would be asked to use their initiatives to start something lasting in their communities. As not everyone was born to be entrepreneurs, others would be attached to sectors where they can apply knowledge they acquired in the university. To be honest, ehn, NYSC is like bride price; it has outlived its usefulness. It is what? It is covfefe!!! Can we start curving this covfefe already? Tueeh!

2. Nigerian educational system
We know we have a trash educational system. Oops! That sounded harsh, but whatever! I’ll be harsh, o. Educational system that teaches children how to find X and Y without preparing them for adulting business… is that a sensible educational system? Who our educational system epp? It brings a fish, lizard, dog, and bird together in one room, and asks all of them to fly. Does it take into cognisance there are nine types of intelligence? No. If you don’t pass English and Mathematics, you don’t move to the next class. According to this system, you do not get promoted to the next class if your result is like this: Mathematics – F9, English – A1, Literature – A1, Government – B2, Fine Art B2. These pipo dinnuh un’stand that there is something called “linguistic intelligence”. If this system recognised different types of intelligence, there’d be more technical schools, where children would learn and specialise in useful vocations.

3. Centralised government
Nigeria is not a country you can rule from one centre, in my opinion. You see how Jonathan’s hair turned grey after two seconds of being in Aso Rock? You see all the stress PREFRON Buhari is experiencing? Small thing, flight to London because our medical centres here are crappy, even after all the money budgeted… Sorry, as at June 2017, we do not have a Jan – Dec 2017 budget.

As I was writing, ruling this country from one spot is stress. You need so much green tea to relazz your navs. (Chamomile tea will relax your nerves, too.) With people asking for Biafra, I think a regional government would be a better option. Would we have a NASS in this system? Methinks not! We would save them the stress of having to “represent us there”. (See all the money they are paid, nau. It’s a stressful job.) Let’s not sleep on this suggestion; I think it’s something we might want to experiment.

4. Religion
Religion and spirituality are different things, right? Spirituality, in my own opinion, is how an individual connects with the “Soul of the Universe”. (Heu, gosh! See my life in the atmosphere? Too much Paulo Coelho.) Seriously, an individual may observe rites without connecting with the “Supreme Architect of the Universe”.

Conversely, religion, according to Emile Durkheim, is “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden — beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them”. (You do not want to know Sigmund Freud’s definition of religion. That definition shocked me as a teenager. The truth in his definition still shocks my mind.)

Because I’m extra, here is my definition of religion: “Politicising and monetising spirituality.”

Recently, I went on tour. From Lagos I went to Osogbo, Ibadan, and I finally stopped at Port Harcourt. Child of the Lord, as the bus was driving in through Choba, Rivers State, I was in dazement. Very shooketh was I! At every junction, there was at least one signpost of a religious centre. They all had “creative” names, o. Hia! It was just doing me to start my own ministry. “God of Cisi Miracle Centre”. I even imagined my big head on the signpost. Of course, there would be Bible-wielding haters quoting 1Tim 2: 11, but haters are my motivators. Imagine swapping religious centres with manufacturing factories and agro-based industries. We’d have more employment opportunities and less importations. Would this not boost our balance of trade, curb inflation, and boost our GDP?

If we were to be honest with ourselves, we would realise we need to restructure certain aspects of our society. We can’t keep clinging on to the past in the present, you know? It’s hard to let go of the familiar, but it is much needed. Let’s curve every national covfefe! They are inhibiting our national growth and development.

P.S. Do you think Nigeria as a whole is covfefe? Like, we should just sell the country and share the money realised from the sale. As life is per head, I think it’s high time we all started answering our names individually. Ha! Most of us have mentally checked out, sef. E go be, guys!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Mujib Waziri

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

8 Comments

  1. Nuna

    June 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    The whole of Nigeria is a big ass covfefe!

  2. L

    June 9, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Interesting perspective Cisi. Enjoyed reading this. If convfefe means something gone wrong then Nigeria as a whole is a convfefe. All depends on your definition. So many things are deeply wrong with this country. It’s indescribable.

    P.s. BN could you italicize coined or colloquial words/ slangs used in future posts? you usually do that but here they were so many, almost throws a reader off track.. Particularly for those of us that appreciate learning English words and current colloquialisms here 😉

  3. Ezinne O.

    June 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Cisi!!! Lmao… I agree with you on regional government. I read the Aburi Accord and realized that we won’t be here today had the agreements, which were reached at that accord been followed through. We’d have been developing our different regions instead of crowding up Lagos and Abuja. But Northerners want “oyel” Gowon had the sense of a matchstick, all they saw was oyel money. I call for decentralization of government, it’s way easier than the Biafran secession struggle, but who go gree. Oyel money too sweet, too much power at the center.
    The Educational system is a joke, let’s not even go there. No effort to even improve it. When the criteria for being a teacher is to speak good English and give assignment. If you have money, send your kids to good schools, if you don’t encourage them to read and question things. The internet is full of answers. We are busy shushing our children for talking carelessly, they are said to not have respect when they ask questions. Let us encourage them to speak up and thirst for knowledge, the Nigerian education system can’t help them. But we can.

  4. Joyce

    June 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Hahahaha. Quite interesting. I would say that Nigeria as a nation is convfefe (based on your definition of the word from the mistake of a president). I pray the country gets it right for the sake of the younger generation.

  5. sulaimon ronke

    June 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Nigeria is covfefe, the nysc and Church part is the main covfefe

  6. MurderSheWrote

    June 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Nigeria is most certainly covfefe. If ever there was a global covfefe prize/awards Nigeria will win every year till Jesus comes down. NYSC. Oh I dunno where to begin with that piece of trash. The thing has lost its relevance and has outgrown its initial purpose. But because the Ogas and Madams at the top are chopping from it they refuse to scrap it. All of them are evil and disgusting. Which brings me to my number 2 Nigerian covfefe. Public office holders. So I just read the article that the Buhari campaign organisation has established their South West chapter of the 2019 Buhari Campaign. Oh God scatter the camp of this people. People with no plan for Nigeria milking the country and it’s poor people dry just because they cannot let go of power. 98% of public office holders in Nigeria should be stoned and exiled. They are evil. My heart breaks for this country. House of Senate contains a bunch of nuisances. House of Reps nko, equal nuisances. The judiciary is a mess. The governors are ALL armed robbers. Where cometh our help, Nigeria, where?!!!

  7. Peter

    June 9, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm thinking about it ohhhhh

  8. Emeka Ejiasi

    June 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Bravo. You have a fan here. As we are putting heads together to solve this ‘covfefe’ aka Nigeria, my suggestion is that we try contract government. Let’s contract out the governance of the country to a foreign group for an agreed period of time. If not satisfied, we can take our country back. They can’t do any more damage than what’s being done now. On the other hand, who will buy ‘covfefe’ in its present condition?

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