BY OMOLIGHO UDENTA
CHARADES, believed to have its origins in 18th-century France, is a classic party game that’s generally fun for all ages. It is a game of pantomimes where you have to “act out” a phrase without speaking, while the other members of your team try to guess what the phrase is as quickly as they can. Whichever team guesses an agreed number of phrases correctly in the shortest possible time wins.
Phrases chosen are usually titles of books, TV shows or movies, or famous quotes and sayings.
These are written on individual pieces of paper, which are then folded and then put in separate bowls, one each for each team.
Team members each take turns picking these pieces of paper from the other team’s bowl; you read its contents to yourself and then without speaking, help your team try to guess the title by giving gestures, clues and signals till a member of your team guesses the title or time runs out.
Sometimes in our day to day life we play games very much similar to ‘charades’ especially in relationships and office politics. Women, especially, are usually guiltier of this as half the time they leave men guessing, only telling them when they are ready what is on their minds.
These days we have come to see that our politicians’ (and those around them) can also be really good at playing ‘charades’. I, mean who would have thought that anyone could keep us all guessing for almost ninety days about the state of anyone’s health!
WE, Nigerians haven’t had too many clues about what is wrong with the President, what state he is in etc but with the little we’ve been given, a lot of guesses have been made by virtually everyone.
Pity though that no one has come forward to tell us if we are right or wrong. When after an embarrassingly long delay, our ‘representatives’ went to visit him, they were turned away. Perhaps the doctors caring for Mr. President didn’t take them seriously!
After all, who goes to visit a sick boss, friend, etc months after the said sick person was hospitalised?!
The fact that there has been no word directly from Mr. President doesn’t help matters much and the fact that nothing has been done to refute or dispel the rumours (and they are many) is worrying, to say the least.
And, although South South leaders have been reported to have strongly condemned the way President Umaru Yar’Adua was brought into the country (he was brought in the dark because there was a power outage at the airport) without informing the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan or us, the common Nigerian, the only response we’ve had (as at the time of writing this) has been that press statement released by the Special Assistant to the President on Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi made on Wednesday. In the said press statement Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was pointedly referred to as ‘Vice President’.
THIS game of ‘Charades’ being played really shouldn’t go on for much longer. How difficult can it be to tell us all what the true situation is so we can make necessary changes and move on? Unless of course some are afraid of the outcome of those changes and would rather leave things as they are, which is ultimately, us with two heads, one visible and the other invisible but very much in control, it would seem. A headless body is as much of a monstrosity as a two-headed body.
Five things we wonder
(Strictly for the young)
My friend lives in America. We have not met officially ever. I cannot shake his hands, and he cannot touch my face. But we see. You see, there is this thing called a webcam. I know what he looks like because we have pictures of each other. And just the other day, we spoke. On the phone. And also online. You see, technology (or, te ki ina lo ji) is a special thing. Even when someone is far away, you can still be in touch. It doesn’t matter if they are ill, or healthy, young or old, follower or leader. The issue is, when will we admit that in this day and age, with the leaps and bounds being taken technology-wise, confirmation and communication are just clicks away.
• “I am the Minister of Information and I have no information”. When great quotes are made and re-quoted through the years, I doubt the speaker thought they had stumbled on something that would last. And Professor Dora Akunyili might have said many things that fateful day when she spoke up and out about the current situation with the President, but the one we will all take away is that simple sentence, which was criticism, condemnation and plea all summed up together.
• So how did the interview process for the new Super Eagles Technical Advisor go? Were they given times, made to sit outside an office and then ask their interests and hobbies? Did they wear suit and ties? And how did the negotiation go, I wonder? And why are we paying so much? And will we win the World Cup? And Congo? Really? Really?!
• How can one person make a difference? How can you make a difference? You could write a book, sign a petition, buy a teeshirt, join a walk, tweet, donate your status update, pray, talk about it, cry about it, write a letter, go to Taruwa, call a radio station, talk to someone... The point is, the things we care about might seem bigger than we are... But all it ever takes is one.
• Why was ‘We Are the World’ remade, if they could not be bothered to keep the heart and intention of the original song? Why did Justin Bieber start that song and get a solo? Why was there autotune? Why did all the rap artistes on that track actually deliver such a weak rap? If you are not going to do it well or better, then don’t do it at all. We will admit though that watching the video makes the song a little easier to listen to. But we don’t care.
And there you have it folks. Our random things to wonder about on an average Sunday like this!
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