An epidemic began to afflict the country the day we got our independence. It first started in the core North; the West, the East and the South raised their noses and blamed the unsanitary living of the northerners on it.
‘When they spit anywhere they see’
‘Aboki mallam that uses his spittle to wash his hands. Dirty lots’
We mocked the northerners when we saw footage of them going stark naked because of the disease. We all agreed the spirit of madness has descended upon them. Sorry to those unfortunate people. We left their fate in the hands of those ECOWAS, UNESCO, BASACO and other COs. Let them come and fix it.
Then one day, along the rail tracks at Unity road Ilorin. One of the women selling petty goods in the makeshift shops began to scream and roll on the floor. Yells of anguish and intense pain. Suddenly she tore her buba and yanked off her iro. In the blink of an eye she was naked. Only then did she stop screaming. People were scared to move close to her. Others silently whispered and traded gossips.
‘Astagfurlah astagfurlah‘ one of the gossipers began, we always begin every evil thing we want to say in Ilorin with plead of forgiveness from Allah. The reason is due to the common knowledge that we are all devout Muslims in Ilorin, that our town is said to be the closest to paradise. ‘Astagaqafurulahiiiii oooo amo I think it is the juju she does that made her mad. Iya Silifa has ran mad’ one of the other women selling petty items declared. Everybody murmured and went back to their stalls.
The next day news came in from the east, that five men went naked in Aba market and they first ran around the market screaming until they tore off their clothes. Then they walked leisurely to their shops, some parading their rotund stomachs, others their wizened legs, everybody saw Mr Okafor’s penis is actually as huge as his women had claimed. People feasted their eyes and laughed at the men’s nakedness. They all concluded they did money ritual and going naked was what the demons asked them to do to bring them more money. Not once did they connect it to what was happening in the North.
Two weeks after there was a federal announcement to officially tell the people that an evil epidemic is in the country and getting stark naked was the only known way to prevent one from catching the disease. The effect of wearing cloth when the first sign of the epidemic start is intense burn on the skin, if the cloth is not removed on time the skin burns and starts to peel. There is no known cure yet but scientists in Europe, Asia and America are working on something. The news was met with mixed reactions, adults were mostly concerned about showing off what was wrinkled in them to the world, some just want to survive the ‘madness disease’ as they eventually termed it, others are filled with perverse thoughts. Emeka sucked his lips and realised here is a golden chance to see Amina naked.
The next morning, the whole of Nigeria stepped out of their house naked. It needed no getting used to as everybody just wanted to survive. Those who set out to leer at naked bodies soon forgot when the sun got too hot on their skin, when splatter of muds splashed on them and dried on their skin. When it became difficult to identify who was sane or insane that you had to take extra caution with who you would interact with in public. They even said a mad man sauntered into First bank and nobody noticed until he began to cackle wildly and attempted to climb the counter to reach at the cashier.
Women, fully naked and wearing just stilettos is no longer sexy. In fact that is the look that separated working women from market women who wear slippers or cheap sandals.
Everybody began to carry about nylons or big sheet of paper before they board buses, so they can place them on their seats to avoid soaking in the genital fluids of someone else. It was the same with Okada. Those who have none would have to collect the spare one the Okada man owns. The one many butts and vagina has sat on. Eyama! But man must survive.
Since everybody’s nakedness is out in the open, those who trade in sex now resort to drawing colourful patterns on their body to make nakedness more enticing.
Mothers now berate their daughters for attempting to cover up.
‘You want to get afflicted by the madness disease ni?’
In mosques, people took extra caution while bending in the position of the Ruku so you won’t mistakenly bury your face in the butt cracks of those infront. In churches, the congregation kept their eyes closed when the presence of the pastor is announced. They gave him time to hide his privates behind the pulpit and close it again when he was about to leave. Pastors no longer walk around and passionately preach the gospel. Custodians of the houses of God ceaselessly tell worshippers of God to pray. Pray pray pray without fail because the end time is near.
After months of different displays of nakedness, the president made a special announcement one night decked in a shiny glossy material that looks like what barbers cover their customers with. He told the country there are now alternatives to clothing and one of them is what he is wearing. It will cover their bodies and would protect them from the ‘madness disease’. He thanked the Chinese government for helping them with a solution and urged the public to try and get theirs. However, only the rich could afford to cover their bodies.
We began to hear cases of naked men and women waylaying rich folks to rob them off their thin piece of clothing since the rich can always get another.
It cuts a sorry sight seeing naked women and men screaming and jumping. How can one even take their threats seriously? Most of the time the rich hand over their glossy coverings while laughing and holding their sides. That itself looks crazy. It seems nakedness is only all it takes to run mad. Everybody is content with the nakedness. We can always run into a shop, steal and act like we are mad to avoid getting burnt with a tire around our neck. Our president doesn’t care. He has thousands of the glossy covering at home. The Chinese government gets richer.
Happy independence day Nigeria