Nigeria and the Spirit of ‘Aṣiṣe’


Translated in its simplest form, “aṣiṣe” (ashee-shay) in Yoruba means blunder, mistake or error. But the English language perennially fails to capture the nuances of certain Yoruba words. Aṣiṣe is deeper than a mere, everyday mistake. There is an element of unusualness to it, a bit of stupidity or an insinuation of operating under a spell. And, to make matters worse, aṣiṣe can go on and on even when the blunder is obvious to all. When you look at where Nigeria is today and how it got here and why it remains here, you cannot but fall for the temptation of accepting that the spirit of aṣiṣe has continued to hold us down. We have to banish it as a matter of urgent national importance.

Sorry, I am not talking about the 2023 general election or who is likely to be the next president. Maybe that is part of the problem. Maybe. But we have been electing presidents and governors and legislators over and over and the simplest things still look like rocket science….

Source: Thisday Newspaper