Abosi is one of those African words that are hard to translate. This is a Yoruba word literally meaning hypocrisy but with a willful and malicious intent developed from a subtle killer instinct.
If we do not report Alabosi with passion for bloody madness in our individual families, they may come back to haunt us or climb up to become our political rulers. Usually, they started odious behavior early in life, but parents hide them out of shame and embarrassment. The story of the boy that was not cured by sending him to Europe and America only exacerbate his problem. He came back home to kill his mother. This is why a father gave up his Boko Haram son in Borno.
If we are so concerned about mad people, we would extend our kindness to mad men on the streets and your own house before worrying about a rich mad man doing all he could to stay away with a peace of mind from Alabosi. Vultures would do anything to feed on you including declaring you dead to inheriting the little you have. We need not worry about those like Yekini that could feed, clothe and provide roof over themselves. Unless we are after something else!
This friend of ours was on his way out when he was visited by some people from the old neighborhood. The security told them he was not at home. No problem, they would wait until he came back. They had come very early in the mornings before, he was not at home. Held hostage inside, it was getting too late for his appointment. So he decided to go out, no matter what. His wife held on to him begging him not to. He became a prisoner in his own house.
Why was the wife so concern about him going out and ignoring his visitors? After all, they can't declare him mad as long as his wife does not sneak foes into his bedroom. But they may kidnap him. Whatever he has saved for retirement may be lost. Ask Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour.
The problem here was the friend they turned into his house-prisoner retired and could not take care or pay most of the school fees he used to. He was not even a politician. Indeed, one of the old neighbors reported to this writer that he has become selfish lately. As they usually say: what is thousands (K!) he could blow in a sitting? Nonsense! Damn too stingy!
Retiree was no excuse and it was immediately dismissed because he must have saved money somewhere. This was coming from those that never saved a penny in their life. Poverty, especially in between handouts can be dangerous. When we were trying to get into colleges, one of these guys was so obsessed with lottery, he told us by the time we finished college, he would be a millionaire or billionaire, papa!
May God save us from those that love us to death, especially when they think you have money they have a right to dispossess you of, rightly or wrongly. We have heard about brothers and sisters betraying one another over money and lately children facilitating the entry of armed robbers into their parents' home. In the case of Rashidi Yekini, they have to employ his mother to gain entry into his house since he declared it off limit. Well, they used his dearest to get him.
Contrary to the excuse used to gain entry with his mother, we knew Rashidi was not mad but a private person that enjoyed his solitude with friends and relatives he wanted around him. The Alabosi were not happy with that. As far as they were concerned, Rashidi was wasting his own money and spending it erratically on those they considered undesirables. Most of the people on his street enjoyed his company, claimed he had girlfriends and went out to practice daily.
The latest evil is declaring you mad over your own money or kidnapping except if you have an impervious security. Nigeria has changed from the days Rashidi grew up there. Today, Alabosi worship money and are willing to get it anyway they can except work hard for it. The amount of time, intelligence and plan they develop to dispossess others can be better spent on legitimate business. What they want is what belongs to others, ready to twist and turn you to submission.
Ibadan is a beautiful and accommodating City with many firsts in Africa. And without the crowd, bustling and hustling in Lagos. The history taught us about slaves rising to the position of power and those in power falling below. Fascination with the City by many makes it an attractive place to live and Rashidi Yekini loved it there. Needless to say he was an international soccer star that came home to retire while playing for local clubs for fun, so his style and taste was peculiar.
Rashidi was declared mad even to the police in Ibadan that found nothing wrong with him. But this man had money and possessions they were after. If you do not throw bundles of money in their direction, you are stingy and if you spend it the way you want, you are foolish. The problem is if they were so smart, what did they do with their money and become so desperate?
Outright 419, embezzlement, and looting are used to complement daily nefarious activities. The fact that families have become targets and people have to fortify houses to protect themselves from the people they grew up with, deprives all of us of the love and close relationships that were the bedrock of African civilization. People are afraid to go out at night, not only in the major cities but in small towns where dispossessors have spread, with annex across the border.
There are people that never had opportunity in life or were not as lucky to be in the right place at the right time. However, most of those that want to dispossess you and claim yours are greedy people that spend lavishly while you invest yours wisely thinking about saving for future needs. When we were growing up, our parents used to buy us a small box called 'kolo'. We would save shillings given to us by parents and their friends so that we could use it later.
It is called delayed gratification. When children learn how to save and delay their gratification, they are less likely to become impulsive spenders. This is the difference between children that grow up to be rich by working hard and saving their seed money and those that grow up to become conspicuous and lavish spenders always running out of money. They then turn to those that have diligently saved and invest theirs. Give me your money or else!
Rashidi Yekini's neighbors loved him and missed him. We do not know what become of his property because the mother must have found out she was used by the real mad men chasing bloody madness. Before children learn values of hard work and honesty in primary schools, they are exposed to Alabosi that should be role models being accused of fraud, jailed for looting, making national honors' list despite their shady characters and reputation. Monkey see, monkey do!