THE SUBTLE CHANGES IN OUR SOCIETY BY SADIQ DASIN

We do not need to worry ourselves too muchabout the past and present events that are happening in our society that divide us as a people. The past shall not only change but may even go away completely with time.

Society is evolving and with it, our beliefs, superstitions of the past and our practices are getting extinct. And so are the people perpetuating them.

I am one person who believes that in no too distant future, we would not fight about tribe, religion or region. As time goes by, it would be difficult to identify any one with their tribe, religion or region. What would matter will solely be what would bring food to the table.

If we that are 50 years of age and above die, social norms as beliefs, superstitions and ethnic identity would naturally die with us. Those who would have replaced us would certainly not bother about prescribing behaviors for themselves along with expectations of the behaviors of others. Doing what is RIGHT will be the norm.

For instance before Christ, Europeans bore names such Mr. Stone, Mr. Snow and Mr. Black. But with the coming of Christ, their names changed to Biblical names such as Peter, Paul, Issac, Isiah, etc. For some time now, such names are anathema in Europe and America. They adopt names similar to Europeanised tribes and fanciful names adopted by celebrities even if such names were names of celebrities’ pets. Now no body talks about tribe in Europe and America even though such mundane things were big challenges in the two continents. I hope I am not exaggerating.

Here in Nigeria, Edo state Muslims who adopted Muslim names are abandoning them fast. Adam or Adamu is either Adams or Adamson. The case of Edo women from Muslims homes is even worse. They now bear English names. Igbos in Lagos adopt Yoruba names and some don’t even want to be identified as Igbos. Yoruba names and speaking only Yoruba in their homes is in vogue. Igbo girls bear more English names than girls from any tribe in Nigeria.

In the North, Hausa names such as Dan Dare, Nagodi, Dan’Asabe, Danjuma and Fulani names like Sodari, Bangaje, Tugga, etc are fading. You now hear Fadil, Nabila, Jabir, etc. Northern Christians are leaving their old traditional names existing in their local languages, and are not only adopting Hausa names like Godiya, Abashe, Kore, etc, but are changing to trendier names adopted by the Hausa-Fulani from the Arabs such as Sanusi, Mubarak, Nasir, etc. Some Christians also adopt European names that have since been abandoned in Europe and America.

Superstitious beliefs are almost gone though some exist in form of religion that they are not. Today no body would agree that poliomyelitis is caused by a she-devil called Inna or if your cattle are dying you forcefully push KELLE through their mouth.

Pastors that speak Queens English tend to have more flock in their churches than those who preach in local dialects or in Hausa. Local Pastors now have to shape up as they are being gradually shoved out.

In mosques, the trend is similar. With Madrasas or Islamiya in abundance, Imams who recite verses with Tajweed during prayers are the vogue. Hausa Imams that recite GAIRUMAN NGALUBI or Fulani Imams that recites A’ UJU BILLAHI are getting extinct. The Borno Imams reciting as if he they are speaking Kanuri are being naturally replaced.

Young girls that run away from home because of Auren dole, which was never sanctioned by Islam, are less seen in cities. Now girls flock cities to work as domestic helps, or in filling stations dispensing fuel, at supermarkets or go to Kano to do KannyWood or those ‘things’ that bring food to the table.

Single mothers no longer hide the fact that “since I can’t marry myself, if I no see husband at the age of 40 I go born”.

The uniformed “Yellow fever” traffic wardens that were for Igbira people in Kano is no longer Igbira preserved. They earn like the police. Kanawa apply to work with Karota.

In Hausa land any man that can speak the language and prays along with them in their mosques marry their daughters without a do. The Fulani nomads that were largely located in the Sahel and semi-arid parts of West Africa, are forced by recent changes in climate patterns to move further south into the savannah and tropical forest belt of West Africa. In fact intermarriages between nomadic Fulani with other tribes has long been taking place. A study I read recently disclosed that there may not be more seven million nomads in West Africa and they are fast becoming sedentary. Perhaps we may not even need law to domesticate them as time goes by. The Tuaregs and Berbers are integrating in Burkina, Mali, Senegal, Niger and Chad.

Smaller tribes in West Africa and indeed Northern Nigeria are disappearing. Any person from another tribe who marries from a tribe other than his own, will have his offsprings speaking a language other his own. Children of any union between Kanuri and Hausa produce Hausa and any union between Marghi and Chamba will produce neither of the two.

Most army generals in our armed forces have wives other than from their tribes. The
the civil service and political class marry across tribe. Workers in banks and in the private sector do intermarry across tribes. One can on and on. The things that divide us are changing as the old ways are giving way to the new.

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