Demola Rewaju: Koboko, slaps and knocks… setting minds straight since (like) forever

by Demola Rewaju


See, koboko is just terrible. Whether single mouthed or double or triple, it is a reminder of those MOPOLs and soldiers of Buhari’s days in power.

Whichever parent decided that the knuckles hitting hard on any part of the human skull is a good form of punishment could not have been anything but a wicked parent – that single discipline is the worst memory of childhood (except your parents were sadists). Grown ups usually take pleasure in dishing out knocks and some are specialists in it.

I remember a tutor who had three solid methods or variations of knocking someone: he could flick his middle finger like a missile released by the thumb at your forehead or use the middle finger tip to rap you in the middle of the head on that soft palate like place that becomes hard as you grow in life or just give you the good (?) old knock. With the knock, you would never see his hand coming – one minute its by his side hanging loosely and the next you feel something like a thud from heaven on your head and that’s part of the pain factor – for a brief moment you wonder if God had actually decided to punish you himself till you look at the man’s face and see the sheer smile of satisfaction and you clutch your head and reel backwards, anything to get away from the source of pain. However it comes, a knock in childhood would send your mind out of order and back to quick compliance like removing and reinserting a blackberry phone – the whole thing shuts down and reboots properly. I also hear it said that the head that is destined to suffer a knock will suffer it no matter what happens. If the head is inside the aeroplane wearing a helmet, when the time comes, it will remove the helmet and stick out itself for the knock to fall.

What a knock is to a child, a slap is to a youth. Here again, there are some slap specialists and all the ones I know are of the female gender. Confession: I’ve been slapped twice in my lifetime by females (two different ones) and let me tell you, there is something about a slap from a lady cheated on that makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking just before the devil whispers ‘retaliate’ in your ears. The first lady was an angel I hurt and I knew the slap was deserved. The second lady had threatened the slap before (encouraged by some docile boyfriend from her past I’m sure) and my reaction wasn’t so good but let’s move on.

I know a friend who patiently endured five slaps from his babe after she caught him cheating only to give in to that devilish voice whispering ‘retaliate’ and send the girl from his house to the hospital. I don’t think a woman should ever slap a man even if he cheats (#DearFutureWife…) but I am convinced that there is a connection in the mind of every female that the antidote to cheating is slapping. He cheats, she slaps: reset button pressed, brain shutdown, brain rebooting, system: all correct. A friend’s girlfriend once told him in my presence: ‘you know if we were not outside I would have slapped you’ and my cheating friend kept on apologising. I would have checked to see if his balls were still intact but I remembered my own slap episodes and joined him in muttering apologies…

No matter what age you are, horsewhip aka koboko is the surest weapon that can set your mind straight regardless of circumstance or status. First time I ever saw it, I had nightmares of Roman soldiers using it to flog my Saviour on the way to Golgotha and ever since then, I reject any form of koboko whipping because my Lord has suffered it all for me.

See, koboko is just terrible. Whether single mouthed or double or triple, it is a reminder of those MOPOLs and soldiers of Buhari’s days in power. If that thing touches you anywhere from your neck behind to your lower back, your legs are always the first to respond as you take off for God-knows-where, trying to touch the spots on your back with your arms twisted all the way backwards. The second reaction is ‘God punish the person that flogged me’ but if followed by another whip, your thought becomes ‘…but what did I do to offend you this person now?’.

I am proud to say I have never had to feel koboko on my body but I know people who have the marks on their body from sadist parents. The problem is that nobody is too old to be manually reset and I am now at the age and discipline where knocks and slaps can no longer come my way but koboko flogging is no respecter of age and discipline. Those soldiers in mufti who usually put the whip on their dashboard close to the windscreen know that the sight of it is enough to scare anybody and the feel of it, enough to manually reset the mind of anybody, overriding any silly misconceptions they may have and clearing their doubts.

One silly boy told me that the key to stopping a soldier from flogging you with that whip is either to take off before the thought crosses his mind or to shout ‘stop’ in that second before he brings the thing cracking down on any part of your anatomy. The question is: would you like to find out if it works or not?


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