“Nkan nbe”… “Iriri aye”…”Irinke-rindo”… (Late) Kolawole Olawuyi… Does any of these ring a bell? If no, two things: either you’re an extreme ajębótà or you are extremely young; you may not really grab this gist. But if yes, read on…

Growing up in South Western Nigeria was fun in those days, but it sometimes involved some emotional torture. This radio programme (which later graduated into television), was aired between 7-9am every Saturday. Nobody actually woke me up to listen to it, but from the sound coming from several radios, twenty houses to the right and left, I had no other option but to listen. Even adults who had jobs to do would carry their transistor radios close to their ears while at work. I think different clones still exist till today, but really, children have no business listening to such stories.

The programme was aimed at informing people about the mysterious and creepy events happening in Nigeria in general and, Yorùbáland in particular. We heard all sorts of stories; mostly about witchcraft, fetishism, ritual killing, etc. Although I found the stories hard to believe, I became unnecessarily terrified cum claustrophobic. Then, I couldn’t go to the toilet unaccompanied because of the fear that a two-headed snake might emerge from the sink!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying the fact that creepy things happen; they do, everyday. The furore was just unduly sensational. As Muslims, we are taught to rely solely on Allaah, follow the traditions of the Prophet (saw), pray and supplicate sincerely, keep the body and soul clean, seek refuge against the devil(s), go about our daily activities with honesty and justice and, of course, enjoin what is good and forbid what is bad. We are to live between fear and hope, but lean more towards the hopeful side. If we truly believe and do righteous deeds, Allaah has got us covered!

“Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Mawla (protector).” And in Allah let the believers put their trust.” (Quran chapter 9 verse 51)


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