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July 24, 2024


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Teacher’s Diary

In 2016 when Will and Jada won’t go to the Oscars in protest against the non-nomination of talented people of colour, it was a cry against the depths to which the kites of coloured talents and careers could be sunken forever – by no recognitions.
In 2021 when Jada made public her struggles with alopecia, it was a cry against the depths to which this autoimmune disorder – alopecia- can and has sunken the femininities and self esteems of multitudes of women all over the world struck by this disorder.
Now 2022 when Chris Rock joked, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you”, in reference to Jada’s shaved head, which provoked Will Smith to get up, walk up to Chris, hit and swore at him live on stage at the Oscars, It was a move that has now fallen Will’s kite to sunken depths.
What fell will’s kite so?Anger? Impulse? Provocation? Stress? Pain? Protectiveness? Paternalism? Pride? Destiny? The list of possibilities is endless and dependent on such factors as: who we each are, our life experiences, our E I levels, situations, circumstances and fate.
So what do you do when: You’ve flown their kite(s) and they’ve fallen your own; you flew their kite(s) and they fell your own; you fly their kite(s) and they fall your own; …you flew your kite(s) and you fell your own; you’ve flown your kite(s) and you’ve fallen your own?
My long demised mother Adeyinka Omolabake Latunde-Dada, made it possible for me to have a relatively lively childhood living most of my single digit childhood years at 23 James Robertson Street SuruLere Lagos, from the beginning to the end of the 1970s.
Moments of rich persons-facing play-time engagements with neighbour-children, pop up now and again in my head, and of course, I indulge in these reveries, spiralling back well over four decades into what we were up to then.One of such recurring play moments I loved then was making kites with my friends and us flying them.
I remember being the one that mostly tenaciously searched for materials that would glide them best into the sky, carefully choosing the right broom-sticks to skeleton the kites, hunting for the tail material, sourcing  and providing these; and repairing kites that won’t fly well enough.
In those evenings of 70s Nigeria, neighbouring Malams converged at gateless driveway of our houses (gateless houses being a feature that Nigerian homes have since sadly lost).
Our Malams brewed their teas in their quaint little brass kettles set upon tiny tripods & played Hausa medleys on their ‘gojes’. Against the backdrop of such lightly breezy starry nights us children launched our proudly self made kites into the sky, giggling and talking happily.
Our kites were heartily competitive or simply play in nature. We eagerly repeatedly inching up on tippy toes as gentle breezes soared our kites. Much as I loved sourcing materials for our communal kite-making use, mending our defective kites  and keeping hopes alive of higher launches, I began from those tender years, through personal experiences, to realise the dissociative turn-away that people/comrades can swiftly  make when one’s ‘great’ kites flop/crumble/crash down. 
Will is certainly being currently turned into shreds by anyone everyone. Of course no one is saying that Will Smith’s reaction was good. However consider now how his soared kites made over the years, representative of black-success as well as Jada’s exemplary conquering of alopecia, now take on lesser relevance following a moment of destructive impulsivity.
Will’s apology and tears of regret, resigning from the academy on April 1, although in order, have not sufficed. He begins a 10 years ban from future Oscars, for his ‘unacceptable and harmful behaviour’, exhibited live to the full viewership of the world, and so indeed ‘overshadowed’ the celebrations of 2022’s Oscars.
You and I must therefore mind how we react when our kites fall by any or whichever way. That Will Smith himself found his actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation ‘shocking, painful, and inexcusable’ confirms that many out of character behaviours may be spiritually driven.
At all times, holding off your responses to clearly provocative onslaughts is key. May God help us all.You may want to consider the following scriptures: Proverbs 12:18a – “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts…”Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back”James3:5-12 – “So also the tongue is a small member….How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire….staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

Omoru is a freelance writer, education, health and social care advocate

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