A Letter to My Lecturer
I write to you with rage, following the event of yesterday: the
pronouncement, barring me from coming to your lectures, because of my
Afro hairstyle. In your own words, “Afro hairstyle defines indecency
and preludes an irresponsible lifestyle.”
Wow! Such fine words, made more finer by your mismatched foreign
accent which is neither American nor European. And, definitely, not
All night, my mind rode down the rough road of those fine words,
rounding their bends, navigating every treacherous corner in them. And
with utter dismay I found out that, like every other fine words you
have ever spoken since I came across you in this University, this too,
was a cesspit of shit – loud, bogus and illogical. A thing uttered for
the cheap sake of jaw wagging. A mega nonsense!
There are lots of things that define indecency, and if you can for
once be true to your certificate, you will know that a lush Afro,
jet-black and well cared for is not one of them.
I am a humble student. You, a lecturer. But from the look of things,
it has become quit necessary -and urgent as well- that i spare you
some lectures on the meaning of indecency and irresponsibility. Before
the unimaginable happens. Before it is too late.
Sorry. I’m not going to drag out a Dictionary. I’I will rather use
familiar instance to explain this. To make it easier for you. Let the
Dictionary be reserved for you and your likes who continuously
struggle to strike a meaningful balance between American English and
British English. My prayer is that your dreams come true someday. But
if it does not, may our fast evolving Nigerian English find an empty
seat on your tongue.
Indecency is not a thing that sticks to the outside body. Far from
that. It is rather a poison that creeps into the mind, curl up in the
deep recess until it ravages the entirety of the man. It finds safety
in the delusion of hosts like you who hold on to the false believe
that they are decent because they adhere to certain visible code of
conduct. Like closely shaved hair, trimmed beards. Tucked in shirts.
Suit. Tie. And other shits. While condemning those who appear
eccentric to the narrow prisons of disrepute. This method is weak and
lopsided. It is self-serving and hypocritical. Those who uphold it are
like the Pharisee who flaunt whitewashed tombs, while letting their
inner caucuses fester with decay. Christ refuted it. The Christ in
whose name you pray. He called it hypocrisy!
Indecency, dear oga lecturer, is not my Afro, nor the dreadlocks it
will soon become. It is not my multi-coloured wooden beads. It is not
my kente, adire, danshiki, or creatively styled ankara fabrics, or my
loose kampala shirts… It is not my confident, cultural- conscious
carriage and conversations. It is not my fondness for breaking through
the thick, senseless walls of orthodoxy. It is not my curiosity . It
is not my knack for asking questions and demanding logical answers.
No sir! These are not indecency. They are not irresponsibility,
either. These are the lifestyle of an individual who have got no
patience for bland role playing; one who has found courage to be
himself, to uphold his dreams. One who want to live his own life and
not the false life the society blindly imposes on people.
This is not indecency.
But rather sir, Indecency is you despite your cleanly shaven hair,
well ironed clothes tucked in with ties and stuffs, making your office
a bedroom. Indecency is you stumping into the class and, in the manner
of a rabid hawkers, demand that we buy your poorly researched, error
ridden, badly published pamphlet or risk getting mass carry overs.
Indecency is you insulting our ears with strange, unlocatable accent
and callously playing deaf to our complaints.
It is your insistence on using Achebe’s Fifty-seven-year-old Things
Fall Apart to teach contemporary African Literature, because you are
too lazy to learn about The Adichies, The Abanis, The Habilas, The
Afolabis, The Bulawayos, The Wainainas and other new names that have
sprouted in African Literature.
Sir, the definition of indecency is girls parting legs in your office
or guys parting ways with their money to get ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ in your
Course.It is your boring and crude and uncreative teaching style which
is way behind international best practises in Education.
No, oga lecturer, my Afro does not say anything irresponsible about my
future. It is rather the lack of scope and depth in the explanations
you scrape out that point to a very bleak and wretched future for our
dear Country. It is your physical abuse of students under you, your
untamed lust and lecherous stares, your inability to approve and
supervise challenging researches topics, your appetite for ill-gotten
money and the childish tantrums you throw when none comes your way –
these, oga lecturer, are what constitutes indecency and
This linen is too dirty. And, for the sake of our noses and our
already troubled planet, I will wash it no further.
So sir, I beg you in the name of gawd, grammar, girls, or whatever
thing that gives you erection. Please, leave my Afro alone and mind
BlackBoyReview… In the land of telling and showing…