Traditional Ignorance: The Ibadan Mermaid Saga

When people say ignorance is a bad thing, one may not be able to grasp the magnitude of that statement until one actually finds himself in a situation that depicts it word for word.

Back in late July, there was this news agog about a fish seller Ramota Adeyemo discovering a strange creature amongst the frozen fish she's just purchased to re-sell in Ibadan. The creature was reported by some sites as a 'Fish with human parts' or a 'Mermaid'.
Some went as far as even describing what it looked like - that it wore 'braids'. Some even went as far as reporting that the creature was seen to have spoken to Ramota to allow it back into the sea or river in exchange for wealth or fortune.

Traditionalist were said to have warned her and threatened her that nothing must happen to the fish. Later reports would arise of Ramota and her family being attacked for harboring such a fish and not turning it over to indigenious traditionalists or area boys. 
The traditionalists had threatened that if the creature was not handed over to them, Ibadan would experience a serious flood disaster and that the 1980 experience would be a child’s play when compared to it.

On reading these reports I was skeptical. First nobody seemed to have been able to take a proper photo of this so-called fish except for this photo collage which part of it supposedly showed Ramota holding up the small fish. On looking at the creature, I saw nothing spectacular about it - despite the fact that the photo was not that clear.

Eventually a photo finally surfaced, and it was discovered that the so called 'strange creature' was actually a small octopus! 

Now you can imagine what those traditionalists must have felt like when somebody got that info across to them. What's really shocking is the fact that nobody could discern all the while that this creature was an octopus. And what does that tell us? People are ignorant!

The moment I saw the full picture of the creature I immediately knew it was an octopus or squid. Honestly, Ibadan people fall my hand big time! 


What if it had been that 'blokkus' eating fish (The Pacu) that had been discovered by another ignorant person? They would have probably concluded that it was a spirit from the marine kingdom that had been sent to castrate unfaithful men. And I'm sure that traditionalists would have resorted to worshiping the nasty little critter and offering it sacrifices....oh and they would say if it was not accorded respect like that, earthquakes would rock Ibadan and 5,000 residents would run mad and loose their 'blokkus' by mysterious accident...

LOL! imagination is running away with me. But seriously...the ignorace is alarming. So people abound that don't know that the sea has other creatures beyond just titus, cat fish and stock fish varieties?

I just hope comedians will not use this as an avenue to make fun of Ibadan people...(drat! I think I just gave them an idea!) I hope no comedian is reading this entry!

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