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Nkem Says: Can We Please Stop Farting in Public?



Nkem NdemAhu enwe’u nno.”  I remember My grandma (God bless her soul) made that comment every single time she farted and we complained. As a child, I always wondered how her anus was still strong enough to release such robust, stinky farts. At her age, one would expect feeble farts…I mean she was wrinkly, grey-haired and soft-spoken… but no, her farts were always silent and deadly.  She was also never apologetic about them either. Instead, she would insist you be grateful and thank her for the farts.

To be fair, she was right. There are no toilets per say for farts: It is gaseous, and it doesn’t make any sense trying to trap or contain it really.  That being said, as humans made in the image of God, we should still have empathy and regard for other souls. We should still try and control where and how we release our farts, especially when it is stinky and others can be affected. It may sound exaggerated, but truly, some farts can affect the quality of an inhaler’s life. There are some farts that are so toxic they can cause internal bleeding or kill brain cells.

I survived one of those kinds of farts this evening.

Sometime last month, I got a message from a girl on Instagram. She seemed cool and legit. Nothing suspect at all. She just said to me that she is an occasional writer, she loved my articles and would like us to be friends. Now, I don’t have a lot of female friends and I thought it would be great connecting with another of the female species. I agreed to meet up at Sabor Lagos, my favourite restaurant in VI. We had a great time until it was time to leave. She did not drive and I said to her that rather than take an Uber or Taxify, I would drop her off at home as she was going my way anyway.

As we drove off, I turned on the radio. My song was own. Phyno’s majestic voice was giving me life, crushing my fears and leading me to that moment of joy and faith in humanity. Then it happened. Suddenly, a potent gas filled the car. It was a strong smell of rotten eggs with a hint of fermented blood. Even if someone had squat and pooped at the back seat, it would not have smelled as bad. Worse, there was no escape. We were trapped in the car. I was very sure I had not farted, and I had set the AC not to let in air from outside the car. Clearly, this girl was the culprit. She was the only other being with the ability to fart in the car. The funny thing is that this aunty just kept talking as if nothing had happened.

How rude!

My lungs were on fire. I could feel my white blood cells already agile and gearing up to fight. I just couldn’t pretend and open my mouth to respond to her. No way was i going to pretend and swallow the smell. I was upset …but I also didn’t want to embarrass her by calling her out on it. I just kept mute. She noticed I was uncomfortable, so she stopped talking and kept quiet. After about five minutes, when the smell wouldn’t die out and my nose was refusing to adapt, I just slowly wound down the windows. It had become a matter of life and death. it was awkward. I did not speak, nor did she speak until I dropped her off. And even after she got off, the smell lingered.

Why though? Why do people think it is okay to fart in a space where you have other living and breathing beings situated? It may seem like a trivial issue but I strongly believe that farting in public is a topic that we should talk more about. I once had one of my best friends publicly humiliated and punched because he farted in public. People have lost opportunities, relationships have suffered and more because people farted in public! Why are we not talking about this? Are we all too afraid?

After this experience, I am even more weary of these digestive-miscreants who have no qualms spoiling the air for others and ruining their day.  Please, to what authority do we file these complaints? How many years in prison should we propose for these villains? While I await the answers to this question, I have two tips that may help those who find that they always want to fart in public and are have no clue how to handle dram

  1. Watch what you eat before you go to a public event or you go out with someone else. Avoid dairy products and other foods that may cause bloat. Yes, eggs especially. They can stink up your fart so much that you can even get away with a silent one. And if you are on your period, never fart around another human. I repeat: Never fart next to another human. Those who know, know.
  2. Find ways arounds the problem. If you cannot suppress or hold the fart and you know if will stink, go calmly to a spot far from everybody else and release yourself in peace. If there is no safe corner like in my situation, humble yourself and at least alert the person and ask for the car window to be let down. It wont take much from you. You can even joke about it. Own it.

Do you have any other helpful tips? Please share. Let’s put an end to this farting in public thing biko. If you have also had a similar experience please share and tell us how you handled it.


Nkem Ndem is an energetic and highly accomplished Media Consultant who loves to help small businesses, especially women-led, grow their online presence using the right digital strategy or transition from traditional organizational boundaries. With years of experience in Copywriting and Editing, Content Branding and Strategy, Social media, and Digital Marketing, she is clearly obsessed with Digital Communications. She is the Head of Content and Lead Consultant at Black Ink Media - an Ideation and Content Agency that excels in providing fresh, creative digital services to content-centric businesses. Find out more about her at or send her an e-mail at [email protected] Also follow her on IG: @nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv.

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