Wi go yan fo Intanet

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor, Naija Langwej Promoter, Abuja-Naijiria

The title of this piece could be captioned variously as: ‘‘Wi go tok fo intanet,’’ ‘‘Wi go rap fo intanet,’’ ‘‘Wi go jam fo intanet’,’ ‘‘Wi go blok fo intanet,’’ etc. The key words in the foregoing are ‘‘Tok,’’ ‘‘Rap,’’ ‘’Jam’’ and ‘‘Blok.’’ To tok oo rap fo intanet means; to talk (tok) / speak with (someone) online. To jam or blok fo intanet means; to meet with (someone) online. Therefore, wi go yan fo intanet simply means; we shall meet/speak online (in reference to someone else) In Naija, the word internet (intanet) is largely used in place of online. Pesin fit de fo intanet, pesin fit get intanet, pesin fit du intanet, ol na online. The reader who is not familiar with Naija ‘‘yans’’ is intentionally being exposed to some slangs/phrases that are similar in meanings, etc just like in other languages. Mek wi tok ebaut intanet. Let’s talk about the internet.

The internet is a revolution; a proof of the fact that the world is truly a global village. It is a world of limitless possibilities in all ramifications. Ease, reach and promptness are its greatest hallmarks and nothing like it. One could actually do everything online building social and business relationships/networks. Like the human brain, the possibilities of the internet are largely unexplored by its users and its inventors/makers are not oblivious of this. Imagine the whole world talking under the Facebook platform just one of the numerous available social networking websites. Fo intanet, enitin fit hapun. Evritin de hapun.

To be online means having the entire world at your command while experiencing the interplay of the good, the bad and the ugly in competitive glee. While some use it to create positive energies for growth and development of individuals/societies worldwide, others concoct devilish machinations that are deployed for the infliction of pains, to maim and even kill unsuspecting victims. The recent killing of Miss Cynthia the only daughter of a retired General in Nigeria is a case in point and deserves no belabouring at this time. It is one of the countless evils men cause to fellow men using the power of the internet otherwise meant for the good of society. Although one may ascribe greed for money as responsible in Cynthia’s case, the truth is that, it could have happened to anyone. It has happened too many. Yours truly was a victim. The heart of man is deep. Tori plenti, no bi smol.

Sometime ago, I found a product that I direly wanted online. On reaching out to the company that produces it, I went ahead to place an order using my VISA Credit Card. It sounded perfect but till date, I didn’t receive the order. Whenever I put a call through to the company, a sweet ‘‘oyibo vois’’ reassured me that my order was on the way. My follow up calls earned me further reassurances to the effect that my order should have reached me. I became fed up and of course abandoned the thought of ever receiving the product which I duly paid for but unknowingly to a phoney company.

There is no gainsaying the fact that some people were lucky to land genuine relationships that developed into marriages or lifelong business relationships. One needs to be very very careful. Even though I once got my fingers burnt as a result of wanting to do business using the internet, I wasn’t deterred to conclude that the internet is entirely fraudulent. For example, I can say with confidence that I have a family friend in faraway Dubai as a result of networking online. It was a relationship that started in a social networking website called LinkedIn between me and a lady who is amazingly intelligent and genuinely interested in opening up business contacts across the world using the internet. First, we discussed several personal issues, then job prospects in respect of one of my siblings. She was sincerely interested in lending a helping hand and made a promise to that effect. Somehow, the prevailing political situations in the Arab world at a time worked against everything. We kept on communicating. Eventually, she and her husband realised their long dream of starting a training/consulting company. She offered favourable discounted rates for participants that will be coming from me. My daughter fell for this and eventually went to Dubai for a short course on Project Management conducted by her company. Prior her departure, all arrangements for Visa and airport reception was made by my friend. It was perfect. My daughter was not handled as a course participant but a family member visiting. She was feted and treated like a Queen. Mr and Mrs Malu Raj are Indians who currently run Orion Management Services LLC, a world class consulting firm in Dubai. They are a perfect example of a couple using the internet for the good of humanity. That is the internet for you. Bot evritin fo laif na risk.

This piece is actually a dedication to the soul of the departed Cynthia. My heart goes to her family and all who had innocently lost their lives via relationships they may have contracted via the internet. Whoever sets his/her eyes on the beautiful photograph of the late Cynthia which was on different newspapers last week, will imagine how heartless we can be. She was capable of giving his killers whatever they demanded. Not her precious life which they mercilessly took. Shain yo ai as yu de tok fo intanet.

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