Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka is one of my highly admired and respected figures in Nigeria. I admire his white Afro hair, his shining goatee, and his effortless and precise control of English Language. I equally embrace his razor sharp but apt utterances on political, economic, and world issues. I “read” him in the newspapers the same way I read his books. I love him for his boldness and frank assessments.
One of the Professor’s books that I hold so dearly is “The man died” which is his classic prison writings. Though I can’t lay my hands on the book any longer, I can still remember a powerful declaration made in it. It says, “The man died in a man who keeps silent in the face of tyranny.”
But the aim of this piece is not to talk about tyranny. A lot has been said on that subject by the Professor and others like Late Gani Fawehinmi, Late Beko Ransome-Kuti, Femi Falana, etc. Instead, my objective is to look at another “man died” who is also under a tyrannical rule. The difference, however, is that this man is his own tyrant; his own enemy.
The man died, as far as this article is concerned, is the man who fails to make financial provision for his family prior his death. This man ceases to be a man before he dies. When he finally dies, his dependants also die financially. That’s it.
Not so for the few men who pride themselves as real men. These real men know that their names must survive them. They believe, rightly so, that without making adequate financial plans for their wives and children, the “hawks” called “extended family” members would share their assets on their demise, inherit their wives, and abandon their children.
The man died is also described in one of King Sunny Ade’s songs. He sang, “Aya alailowo d’aya alaya. Omo alailowo d’omo olomo,” which means, “the wife of someone without money becomes another man’s wife, and the child of someone without money becomes another man’s child?”
Though King Sunny Ade’s song does not address “the man died” from the same perspective as mine, the fact remains that “the man died” is the same, whether alive or dead. If the situation could be so terrible for the living “the man died” described by King Sunny Ade, how much more for “the man died” that is truly dead?
My message is very simple. Every man who fails to plan for his dependants, every man who does not think about what could happen to his assets after his death, remains “the man died.” Pure and simple!
You just have to tolerate me for this rather “brutal attack” on man. What are men for, anyway? As men, we must have the courage to tell each other the truth…hard truth. Real men are blunt with each other. So pardon me if I’ve touched on your ego.
Aha, I can hear a man fire back at me, “Insurance is haram!”
Well, I so much respect you for that. But remember what the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBH) said to that Arab Bedouin who asked him the question, “Shall I leave my camel untied and seek Allah’s protection on it, or should I tie it?”
Can you remember the Holy Prophet’s response?
The Holy Prophet advised him to, “Tie your camel and then depend upon Allah (SWT).”
As I respect you, so I respect your religious beliefs. That’s why I will like you to consider a Takaful policy if you feel so uncomfortable with the conventional life insurance policies. Takaful is an “Islamic Insurance” concept and I have some knowledge of it. I should be writing about it on this page very soon, anyway.
Be the real man, not the living “the man died.” Take up a life insurance policy today; not tomorrow.
May you live long!