Since Prof Chinua Achebe let us in on the top survival strategy of Eneke the bird in his novel, Things fall Apart (which for those who do not know, says that since hunters have learned to shoot without missing, it has learned to fly without perching) many variants of the philosophy have since emerged, including the famous ‘Cunny man die, cunny man bury am.’ And this rather peculiar one: since vehicle owners have learned to hurl insults at danfo bus drivers who do those unreasonable 007 stunts on the road, which often cause distressing traffic, the danfo drivers have learned to keep their heads straight ahead, refusing to turn their heads to look in the direction of those vehicle owners they have offended for their verbal missiles to hit home. By their actions they frustrate attempts by the vehicle owners to vent successfully, making them stew in their rage.
Once day, my neighbour who is a danfo driver, took me through two of their most important classes. The first was Body Shaming Class 101, where the drivers were paired in twos and taught how to verbally dress down passengers and other road users, intimidate them, make them feel small, distress them and cause grievous emotional harm. They were told to deploy without fail these
mechanisms if they considered the actions of other road users as aggressive or threatening their safety behind the wheels.
I did not allow him give me more details from this Course. Body shaming of any kind is not in order and I did not want to have such content stored in my subconscious. But I was interested in the other course: How to survive the killer looks. You would not believe the case studies he mentioned as he attempted to provide justification as to why individuals needed to learn how to survive the killer look. The first case study was Abel, the brother of Cain. Abel would have lived had he taken seriously the killer look his brother picked up following God’s disapproval of his sacrifice. Abel was naïve and paid dearly with his life. Jacob, the second case study was not going to make Abel’s mistake. When he saw that his father-in-law had picked up a killer look towards him, he took immediate steps to get away from the reach of danger. That decision saved his life, and left for us a pattern to emulate if we must survive the killer looks that men sometimes pick up without prior notice. Are you taking Abel’s or Jacob’s approach when it comes to handling killer looks?