The room was quiet while I was serving the green salad on a plate for Maryam. She lifted her head up that very moment and said, almost angrily:
‘You know, I agree with those who say a lot of negative things about the social media but to me the very worst thing about it is the phenomenon of the self videos. They manage to ruin my mood anytime I come across them.’ She complained.
‘Really? Is it because you don’t like watching amateur videos or do you not like their faces?’ I asked, amused by her anger.
‘It’s everything Bint. The video quality, their faces, their messages; the whole package. I just hate them and sometimes even hate those who forward them to me. I mean why do they think I’d like to watch such stuff?’ She queried.
‘Yes, you are right. Sometimes I too wonder why some people think I will be interested in certain crazy videos that say nothing new or beneficial.’ I answered.
‘Take the case of this lady I just finished watching. She claims to be giving advice to a serving North Eastern governor with whom she was once well-acquainted. She started by introducing herself, announcing that she was a niece to a well known politician from the state, and reminding the governor of how well they used to know each other. Then she began to say how she was deeply disappointed in his stewardship because he had nothing to show for being in that exalted office. She decried how even the road to his home town was so bad that motorists use it in fear, even though their son is now the state governor. Then she descended to what, in my assessment, is her real reason for making the video; the fact that His Excellency no longer picks her calls and considers her unimportant. She went as far as to remind him about the time she was providing young women to him from the state-based polytechnic, just so he could have a good time. So how dared he behave like he didn’t know her? I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So all her complain about the governor not performing and the tears she shed because he was failing those who elected him, were actually because of her personal grouse with him, not a genuine desire to advise an erring state CEO.’ Maryam concluded.
‘Did you really see her shed tears in the video?’ I asked in wonder.
‘Yes, indeed Bint, she actually broke down at a point because she was so emotional about how the governor was failing his people. Yet she spoilt her own broth by saying she was the one providing him with the young ladies to mess around with from the tertiary institute in the state capital. But I should not have been surprised, from her long Bob Marley hair attachment, to her excessive make up and her self-confessed position as a pimp, what she said was only to be expected.’ Maryam observed.
‘I know how you feel Maryam. I actually felt the same way the first time someone forwarded to me one of those funny video preachers. This one had on a short sleeved blouse and only her scarf on her head. Her ears and neck were bare, her blouse neckline was low enough to bare a cleavage. Yet she was busy preaching against the lecherous old men who were in the habit of taking young, unmarried women to Dubai for company. When I began to watch I became confused. Was she preaching against evil or making an invitation to evil? I mean there she was talking in a seductive manner. Raising her eyeballs up and down, baring all that could attract the same randy old men she was criticising. So it didn’t make sense at all that was campaigning for good morals Maryam, because her appearance and her words were not in sync. At a point I just pressed ‘stop’ because I couldn’t take anymore of that hypocrisy.’ I declared.
‘You are right Bint, hypocrisy is the word. These new breed preachers are only seeking attention to themselves. If they were really out to stop evil it should show in their dress and conduct in the footage. I think it’s high time people stop sharing such videos so that those who make them will know that they aren’t getting watched anymore. It isn’t right that some women of doubtful moral standing, desperately seeking male attention should take us a for a ride with sanctimonious claims to morality.’ She advised.
‘Yes Maryam, we must stop sharing such silly nonsense and hope the phenomenon will stop.’ I concurred.