Monday 20 July 2020

Nigeria: And the Oscar goes to Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei

The art of the ill

I have watched the implausible incredulity of Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry version of Hollywood. The trite storylines of repetitive histrionics and melodrama that taxes your willing suspension of belief to the extreme. What people might not believe is how it is art that imitates life, that what you might term impossible or improbable in saner climes is everyday occurrence in Nigeria.
One such episode I could not ignore happened earlier today, when Prof Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, the acting Director-General of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) appeared before a Nigerian House of Assembly Committee to face questioning on his stewardship of the agency he heads.
Now, we are led to believe he might have been indisposed but against doctor’s orders honoured the invitation to appear. That is beside the point. The live feed to the event simply shows that under the assault of interrogation, the professor suddenly took ill.

First aid originality
He appeared stunted and slumped over the table before when heroic members of the House came to his aid if that is what you may call it after observation. I can find not medical terms for any of the actions taken. The tugging of his shoulders from behind was not anything like the Heimlich Manoeuvre, not that he was choking on anything that needed dislodging from his throat.
The person who approached him from the front, appeared to be contemplating with great hesitation whether he was going administer the kiss of life through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but he could have had all fingers in the professor’s mouth trying to prise it ajar.
Now, miraculously, the intervention, either of discomfort or palliative urging appears to have revived the professor who from what I observed was starry-eyed and lifting his arms as if to dislodge the hands from his suffering buccal cavity. The spontaneity of the intervention made for an engaging global audience with intrigue. The professor did not die. Hallelujah!
Feeble bandits on account
Which brings me to the thought of how many influential people caught in embezzlement, malfeasance, fraud or misappropriation fearlessly and unassailably aggrandise themselves with moneys in their care with impunity and reckless abandon, when brought to account appear to fail in heart and health with the suddenness of some divine affliction.
One would not suggest it is a ploy, but too many in times past have been given the benefit of the doubt and much latitude to request and obtain leave from the courts to seek medical attention abroad. That avenue is trammelled by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, I would be remiss in the duty of acknowledgement and appreciation if Prof Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei; and don’t twist your tongue on his first name, it flows with effortless ease off the tongue, is not considered for an outstanding prize for a live-action award of extraordinary artistic talent rarely seen in highly accomplished professional actors.
Professor Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei of Nigeria, please, step forward for the honours. A standing ovation is deserved.

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