Salt, Two Kinds of Protests, and The Future

When I was a kid, salt was the antidote to bellyache. Mother would say, “Lo bu iyo die si omi ki o muu”. That’s Yoruba.

I interpret: “Go put a little salt in water and drink it”. I think it worked.

I also came to love salt and sometimes just went to the kitchen to have a lick, just for fun. In time, my younger siblings and I agreed I was “omo iyo”, or “child of salt”.

But mother also used to say, “E rora je iyo o. O maa n ja ifun eyan!” – Eat salt sparingly, it can severe a person’s intestine!

We, at least most of us, use it daily. And like other spices, its usage follows a certain prescription:


1. Use only when you need to

Because you only need it for food, and only when you need to eat.

2. Use sparingly

If you add too much, you will mess up your food. You might throw it out and go hungry or have to cook all over again.

3. Use, with your eyes on the future

Savour the taste, but remember the future. Too much now and your body may suffer for it.

Two Kinds of Protests

The events of the last few weeks tell me that protests are like salt.

Protest, yes, when you need to. And truly we protest in many quiet ways, all of us at home, at work, and elsewhere.

We are protesting when we “beg to differ”; when we dress the way we want without heeding fashion; when we quit a job; when we refuse or insist on anything.

And of course, we are protesting when we demand to be treated fairly and respectfully by the system.

But you should use it sparingly. Protests, like salt, should not and cannot be the only ingredient in your recipe.

And when you do, remember the future. There are those who care nothing about the future – “What future?”, they ask.

There are peaceful protests and violent protests.

Violent protests end in mayhem and pillage and clampdowns.

Peaceful protests seek positive resolution, some acceptable compromise after negotiation. That protest should have morphed into negotiations quicker.

Many smart folks explain how the peaceful #EndSARS protests turned violent because of violence. But the system says, the violence never happened #fakenews#. Who do we believe? Did some people incite the mayhem for their own purpose?

The Future

We cannot afford protests to go south this way in the future. We cannot afford to have the kind of destruction of property and, especially, lives reported over the last week to recur in our land. For all we know, some injured folks may seek retribution.

I pray God intervenes in the situation and ministers peace to everyone affected; and that He grants wisdom to the elders and authorities to quell any residual fires.

In conclusion:

As much as lies with you, salt your own food.

I’m sticking with the Bible’s admonition: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak”.

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