Our Titles and What We Are

Adeola Aderounmu

Titles are not true reflections of human dignity and real honours.

There are several titles in Nigeria that people acquire out of ignorance. Still there are several others borne out of mischief.

There is real value in academic titles when they are acquired through meticulous processes.

However men and women of low mentalities who acquire useless titles, academic or not, expose themselves to ridicule and shame. Sadly they have no idea how laughable they appear in a sane world.

It started many years ago that every dick tom and harry started going by the title of “chief”. It didn’t take long to realise that they became chief because there were first thieves. This is because a large proportion of the title was given out or falsely acquired by men and women with dubious characters. Some of them were international fraudsters. Only a few men remain that can be honoured for their positive contributions to humanity through decency and hard work.

Between 2 nights an unknown person can acquire the title of Igwe. This draws no consequences from the true custodians of our culture and heritage. At some point we lost touch with the order of things. Everything fell apart.

A man can become an Otunba at the same space of time. The name sticks and life goes on. If he is wealthy, no one checks how. If he is on the verge of a breakthrough we don’t care what he’s meddling with. If he never makes it big we take solace in calling him the unfortunate or fake otunba.

When I learnt that Alhaji means stranger, I was shocked. How is it a title to be called an Alhaji? Help me someone..!

Our bad government champions this cause. It’s a sad situation. GCON, MON, BLA BLA BLA and so on and so forth. The people who receive national honours are the ones who have stolen more money and looted the treasury of the federal republic of Nigeria. Goodluck Jonathan presided over the recent scandal called National Awards.

Such propagation of insincerity is a key element that facilitates the stupidity of title acquisition by nonentities and clowns.

Every governor wants to be a wannabe Dr. and one thing or the other. Even local government chairpersons are out looking for ridiculous tags.

Nigeria has now imported the term Dame.

A dame is a female title of rank, equivalent to ‘Sir’ used as the title of a knight. I don’t remember the queen of England visiting Nigeria recently. Dame could also mean a slang term for woman. Isn’t that derogatory?

If the title was given by a church then everyone attending the same type of church worldwide should alter their names, start them with Dames.

This title wahala provides comic relief in a society littered with “rubbish and garbage” form of governance.
If only the number of titles that my people carry can wipe away poverty and sorrow, I would recommend more. In the words of Akin Akintayo, I will suggest the Akowoje of Ibadan, and others like the Looter General of Nigeria, Penkelemesser of the People, Didirin United, Adaluru of the Federation ati bee bee lo.

When you write about Nigeria or about Africa or any failing society for that matter the most difficult thing is your conclusion. If you give a positive note, you’re like a dreamer. If you give a negative note (plus the essay x-raying negative notes), someone will ask you, what then is the solution?

Whichever way you look at it, there is a lot of hopelessness in Nigeria. Then you’ll be shocked where people place their emphasis. At this moment someone is ready to pay anything (money or life) to get one type of stupid title at the other. He has stolen so much money that he cannot believe that he is still outside the league of people wearing useless tags.

Meanwhile another man is trying to find his daily bread, struggling between thin and thick.
Titles don’t matter. What matters are how we live and let others live. The quality and standard of the life we live is the ultimate. We don’t let others live by importing rice from Brazil or by siphoning public funds to private accounts. It is very irrelevant to try to zone knowledge, power or stupidity among many other things that are nonsensical.

In the part of Africa where I come from, millions of people have stopped reasoning. Therefore they attached titles to their names to deceive people with the humility and knowledge that they don’t have.
With each passing day it has become increasingly difficult for me to continue to proffer solutions. I don tire..! As in, where do you start from again?

How we got to this point appears to me like an everlasting dilemma. You must be strong in your mind, head and soul not to go crazy while trying to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

Why should I even try to tell anyone that titles don’t matter? In Nigeria?

No way!

One thought on “Our Titles and What We Are

  1. The devaluation of once prestigious titles has resulted in the local cultures (and their custodians) being devalued, as the values they are based upon seem to be forsaken. The undermining of the local cultures, will only re-enforce the notion that Nigeria has nothing good to offer the world (even to the black diaspora, who may occasionally glance Nigeria’s way, for a different yet positive point of view , will quickly avert their gaze in disappointment).
    But the conclusion was indeed profound, why should you tell people the obvious. The unchecked misuse of titles is an exercise of lust for respect, authority and power to satisfy unworthy egos and vanity.


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