Home Opinion New faces of Nigerian Moirologists and Mutes

New faces of Nigerian Moirologists and Mutes

Nigeria's President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By Frank Meke 

Professional mourners, known as moirologists and mutes, are as old as the world. Significantly, these odd businesses are worth about 100 billion dollars and still counting, and it has become a tourism offering to which Nigerians, unknowingly, have taken to a new level.

What actually do moirologists do for a fee? They cry more than the bereaved, deliver eulogy, comfort, and where the pay is good, entertain the grieving family. In short, they are paid to praise or mourn the dead. 

The dead here could be human beings , dead and underperforming persons, or institutions. They fabricate grief or testimonies and are usually described in the legal profession as busy bodies. In the African traditional settings, they can be described as jesters, paid to imitate manners, speech, dress sense and gestures of the dead, or a failed governor, minister, or agency heads.

Before I come to the Nigerian scene,  it is important that to bring to your notice and understanding that these guys and ladies, whom you may loosely describe as actors, are truly funny characters,  crying for a pay and not actually for the dead. Nigerian comedians have been beaten to the emerging offerings by sycophants in every areas of national life, and you can not be too sure that hunger, deception, trickery, and selfishness which are works of the devil are not behind it.

In the Book of Matthew Chapter 9 verse 23, (I want my friend and brother wale Ojo lanre to go research it), Jesus Christ my lord and master walked into the house of a ruler whose daughter was dead. Who were the people Christ met there? Minstrels (professional death care operators) and who again?, the “people making noise” (for a fee).

In verse 24, the master told the jesters to give way so that He could pray the dead girl back to life. What was the response of jesters to Christ admonition? They laughed Christ to scorn! And if you interrogate it further, it means that these fakes believed that Christ does not have the power over the lies of the devil and certainly can not bring the dead back to life.

To the noise makers, the dead girl is a business for them, and for anyone to come and say that the dead should rise again, such person(s) deserves their mockery and extreme hatred. 

To further deepen the process, Julius Caesar also hired a funerary mime in his time, a heritage sign of success by the rich in the early century to help eulogise or imitate the dead. 

To our colonial masters, British society called them MUTE, a symbolic protector of the dead, and if I may add that the dead can be a company, organisation,  project, and an idea. So, mutes can be hired to protect failed dreams, individuals, or organisations. We need to know that when an organisation, company, or project fails to meet with its vision and mandate, it is a dead entity. 

Let me come to the reality of these hired jesters and the possible damage to which their activities have done to our efforts to call out public officers to account. Recently, I attended an event, a well packaged noisy event to unveil an insignificant good for nothing project.  Who were the most noisy celebrants ushering the governor and his entourage to the showpiece? Minstrels with drums and flutes, aka kakake, some so long that it could easily pluck out the eyes of those who wonder at the level sycophancy in Nigeria. 

Check them out even on the streets. You will see these very odd characters,  targeting your vanity, praising you to high heavens even when they don’t know that you need help to get your bearings right, but because they are born psychologists and experts in the vanities economy,  they will call you a “General” and salute you with two hands, certainly in the know that  true soldiers only salute their seniors with a hand at a time.  

In our industry, the funerary mimes,  imagines , mutes, and moirologists are multiplying by the day. It is usually a seasonal business, particularly when a new minister( like Lola Ade John) or underperforming heads of government agencies are  put on public assessment. The minstrels will shop out for a client and will fall down like a zombie, cry to high heavens, and even  attempt to rewrite the history of the industry or that of his fancied failed client. 

These moirologists operate with different strategies and imitate different manners of dressings. Some of them will wear babanriga with a colourful red or black cap depending on the dressing of their failed client, speak for them, and for themselves and intentionally reposition themselves to take over the position of their dead client.  

There is one from a particular village in our sector, which has become better than any known propagandist in history. He is mute, does not listen to his horrible voice and unsavoury body language,  a known Judas Iscariot, a son of the devil who can manufacture noisy sounds to confound the pedestrian and simplistic

He promotes his village tourism with a borrowed Indian look alike suit, with a charmed walking stick and an insignia’s cap borrowed from another village culture. Those are dressing patterns of these fake actors who are out to feather their nest and destroy the sector, which they claimed to single-handedly brought about its fortune. 

Since we see these things and usually wish them away, don’t be surprised to see these praise singers at corridors of power tomorrow to our dismay and discomfort.

Let us wake up and stop listening to messages of the organised practitioners  of  minstrels and moirologists in our  industry. I won’t be surprised to see them register their association and later apply to the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria as a member. I won’t also be surprised to see them pay curtsey visits to Lola Ade John, Nigeria’s Minister of Tourism, that’s if they have not given her award for failing to deliver on mandate. 

I am very sure they will be welcomed and trained by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, with an enriched curriculum on deep fake dressing, speaking in tongues,  mimicking, jesters, noise making, zombiism, and disruptive entertainment.  

Reminder: The business has a global 100 billion dollars outlook, and trusting the creativity of our industry portfolio operators, the business of jesters could generate twice that figure in Nigeria under madam Lola Ade John and will create fifty million jobs by 2030. Please confirm it from our magicians in tourism and culture. I can’t forget Oga Lai Mohammed!


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