Death they say is inevitable and not the greatest loss as some rightly believe but a time for deep reflection on an existence that comes after the life ends.
Against this backdrop, this timely and thought-provoking piece is carefully scripted by the writer to put into more perspective some of the rhetorics Nigerians attribute to the concept ‘death’.
Recently, Nigerians took to the social media to air their views about the ‘talk of the town’ funeral of the mother of a renowned entrepreneur Obinna Iyiegbu popularly known as Obi Cubana. For many, it’s indeed a great ‘carnival’ following the excessive euphoria that the burial brought coupled with the lavishness by the organisers whose doings were really on the high side.
In the words of Nollywood actor Alex Ekubo, Obi Cubana’s mother “had won the Ghost of the Year in Heaven” following the lavishness (as rightly opined by some Nigerians) prompted by the burial. The actor’s submission is quite simple, Lady Uche Odozioku Akaeze Iyiegbu’s burial truly reflects how flamboyant some can be especially celebrating the funerals of their loved ones. Some even go as far as borrowing from friends or cooperatives in guise of giving their loved ones a befitting burial while others are always ready to spend all their life savings just to show their profound gratitude in memories of the impact the deceased had on them during his lifetime. Celebrating the good life spent by your loved ones is quite a welcome idea but should we necessarily based it on excessive or wasteful spending, especially in a time where most people find it difficult to feed?
Yes! It’s always a great idea to put up a big celebration in commemoration of a life well spent. Imagine a mother who out of all odds sacrificed her love for the good of her children. Doesn’t she deserves a befitting burial?
It’s not a surprise if personality like Obi Cubana with such an humble beginning could put up such a big celebration just to show his deepest gratitude to his beloved mother who according to popular opinion sacrificed everything just for her children to be successful in life. Indeed, she’s truly a mother worthy of this big celebration.
On the contrary, some may see no sense in a burial where a spendthrift in an attempt to outshine others showcases his lack of regard for the Nigerian currency with little or no concern on the implication of this extravagant and reckless wastefulness on the average Nigerian youth who more often than not may be triggered to replicate same in the name of belonging to the ‘big boy geng’.
For instance, studies have shown that most cases of cyber crime is on the high side in recent times as a result of the ‘get-rich-quick’ tendency by some young Nigerians who are easily influenced by the flamboyant lifestyles of the so-called celebs who mostly make their ‘cool cash’ legitimately and not necessarily by fraud or ritualistic means.
Following the flamboyant lifestyles of these celebs who more often than not are role models to an average Nigerian youth, the latter in turn, cut corners just to exhibit these lifestyles portrayed by their idols and the trend goes on.
By implication, we now have more crimes in the society as a result of the uncontrollable desires by these young people with little or no knowledge on what it takes to be financial independent. Since they can’t get the money they needed to replicate the lifestyles of their idols legitimately then they look for other alternatives to achieve their dream houses, cars, properties etc. forgetting that there’s always a time for planting before harvest.
Going forward, Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial left us with an insight to how some Nigerians can be so offensive about how these celebs spend lavishly without thinking on how best they could utilize this moment to leave indelible footprints on the poor.
Take a look at the amount of money generated via this burial then imagine if these monies could be channelled to establishing a foundation where the community members are empowered financially and in turn, there would be drastic reduction in the rate of unemployment in the country.
Statistically, an average Nigerian civil servant earns 30,000 naira as new minimum wage while the estimated money generated during Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial supposedly stands at 300,000 000 naira (in a single day). You should know the number of years it will take a civil servant to gather such huge sum if he decides to save his monthly salaries. It’s really an unbalanced world, isn’t it?
Everyone has right to how they spend their money with Obi Cubana’s case not an exemption, and should not be crucified for throwing such a big funeral in honour of his beloved mother. Afterwards he worked for his money and decides how best to spend it. However, would Nigerians richer than Obi Cubana had done something differently if they were in the same shoe with him? A rhetoric that takes only the wise to dissect.
In all of these, we should consider what is best and just for the sanity of the society. The Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial has a lot of lessons for us to learn. Life is not always a bed of roses and there will always come a twist of time where the poor today becomes richer tomorrow and vise-versa. How well we utilise this moment determines how best life becomes meaningful for us. You can either decide to go the Obi Cubana’s way if you choose to do and you can decide to go the contrary depending on what works for you. In summary, let’s be more interested in what will be useful to the development and growth of the entire society and not the temporal euphoria that only benefit the few.