Dear Diary: Sour-prano Untamed

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Dear Diary,

Something happened to me recently. Something that involved my subjection to a loud discomfort in an enclosed space, with my freedom and power to object strangled by a general mindset; a religious mainstream.

As a violation of my fundamental right to peace of mind, it would’ve taken a much different turn if it had happened in a developed country. I’m of the certitude that the source of my unrest would’ve been made to stop, sanctioned, sentenced, or a combination of the three. In utmost sincerity, I prefer the mix.

As if waking up thirty (30) minutes to 5am—in a bid to leave home on the hour, beat traffic and get to the island as quickly as possible—was not enough, every variable I must have contact merged in a conspiracy. Excruciating hooked pain as I sat beside an annoyingly annoying passenger. You’ll understand me soon enough.

This passenger—a woman quadragenarian I’d like to name Mrs Brutus Melody—was a typical pain source (in the rump, neck, and other strategically important body parts) that starts little, gathers momentum inch after inch, arrives at a crescendo and finally, explodes. All in a drab unmelodious tone. I had once imagined Mr Ibu singing Kumbaya; trust me, I prefer the imagination to that reality.

First, her lips began to move like a squirrel munching kernel after a week of fasting and no prayers. I cast her one of those quick glances that carry a c’mon-stop-this-your-nonsense-before-thunder-strikes-you message, but she didn’t move a muscle. Not even a fibre. Continue she did.

As a general rule I follow, I never expend a molecule of glucose let alone a negligible amount of energy on matters that neither affect me/people nor pose a threat to national security, so I relaxed and occupied my space while she continued munching. I went over my laid plans for the day.

But then munching became humming. Hums that can irk the deaf, not at all like that of the sweet humming bird.

Livid as I was, I didn’t bother to turn to her since I already could imagine the woody mien she would have installed on her face; the face that got my vote of immense hate—or hatred, whichever is more caustic—within just a few minutes. I tried to suppress my anger but I noticed my face was also contorted in a way Mr Bean would envy.

The noise from the bus slightly muffled her voice and I was relieved. None of the noises was desirable but somehow I—and other passengers I can assure you—preferred the former to the latter. The relief was however short-lived. The engine revs eased upon gliding into traffic and Mrs Melody took that as a cue to go up at least two notches, shifting into gear her musical explosion.

And she blew our minds to pieces. Nay, scratch that, she blew us to smithereens.

Prior to the moment I had no idea what she was up to but it started making sense to me seconds after the burst. Mrs B. Melody had hitherto prayed (the munching), worshipped (the humming) and then on the main songs of praise (the outburst). All faces turned to her with several frowns and contortions communicating disapproval, but the gestures proved futile as she was deep gone in the spirit.

What can the faces of the disturbed do to a disturbance whose eyes were firmly shut? We didn’t even seem to amount to a mountain before the wicked Zerubbabel in skirt. She delved deeper into the songs which were grossly loud and incoherent, and then spoilt her face like she was trying so hard to weep or stifle an emotional breakdown. It is better depicted by the countenance of one who crunched alum or rushed near-ripe agbalumo (Chrysophyllum albidum).

She shifted through various kind of gospel musics—rock, reggae, high life. . . even pentecostal hymns and many others yet to be discovered let alone documented—in terrible treble and catastrophic tenor that was pure tremor-inducing terror. Yes, frogs croak and it’s annoying, but even the slimy croakers are often rhythmic in their business.

As you would expect, I dubbed her the owner of the most horrible voice mankind has ever heard, and imagined. Whoever beats the record should be shot. Close range. In the head.

The traffic lasted for over an hour and Mrs Melody didn’t pause for once; she had the strength of at least two horses and one black cow. In between I had developed migrane, murmured, hissed severally like others, and a pregnant lady by her other side had changed seat. My anger stemmed from the fact that nobody complained; not even a word to the effect. We all sat and listened compulsorily while the lone mass choir did her morning devotion, more like a mini church service aided by a made-in-Obudu public address system that has seen better days.

Diary, do you know why no one stopped her even though we all would unanimously agree to toss her out into the lagoon if presented the priceless opportunity?

Fear. Fear of stopping someone praising God!

It is ridiculous! You may not understand that. I doubt if you really understand religion, especially in the way we handle it in this clime. I doubt if you know a thing about Sunday school either. The thing here is this: nobody wants to be dealt with like a certain woman was, for mocking a king praising God in his own way, in his own palace. I refer to the King David versus Michal case contained in the holy book here (around 992 BC).

Notice the bold words above? She got served because she mocked him, not complain of disturbance; and he praised in his palace, his royal space, not in some fancy chariot with others or a full fourteen (14) passenger bus.

It was a violation and she was wrong (my opinion). No one should disturb the peace of others all in the process of praising God. What if I was meditating and communicating with my God as well at the moment? What if I was churning in my head ideas on how to cure ebola without a salty input, or better ways to relate with Bola?

With these valid points of mine I have convinced and not confuse myself on the subject matter, right? I’m justified and should be bold to caution her, yes?

Wash! Iró nlá!! Terrible lie!!!

I didn’t. I couldn’t. It was a risk I wouldn’t take at that moment. The believe had eaten deep into me and obviously my other comrades-in-discontent.

So we suffered. In silence. Enduring our collective malady; none willing to risk the possible consequence of stopping the ma and her brutal melody.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.


17 thoughts on “Dear Diary: Sour-prano Untamed

    Heedriz Depearl said:
    August 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

    lolz. This and many other reasons are why I never board a public transport without my base-rich, ear-hurting earplugs! Otherwise, Im sure I would have suffered in silence too.

    Liked by 1 person

      Adewoyin Joseph responded:
      August 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      *smiles* Your counter-measure is almost as hurtful as Mrs Brutus’ treat :). With the loudness of her explosion, an industrial ear-muff would be a good start.

      Thanks bruvv.


    Yemie said:
    August 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Hilarious piece, well written too! Good thing it was just a one-off disturbance, lucky you! Try living close to a Church and or Mosque, where your eardrums are daily subjected to and bombarded with noise pollution in its rawest, loudest form, then you’d know you had it great. Some folks just delight in breaching other peoples’ right of way in the name of religion and its downright pathetic! Psst!

    Liked by 1 person

      Adewoyin Joseph responded:
      August 20, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      I’m so laughing at this. You brought to mind a funny event from childhood. Church disturbance once made a certain landlord in my neighbourhood turn to Mohammed Ali; noise from a church vigil wouldn’t let the hypertension-prone man sleep so he left his house, made for the pulpit, “ministered” a few blows (three heavy ones I think) into the pastor’s life and then went back to bed. It was crazy! But it worked. . . for a while.

      I can absolutely relate. Don’t be very annoyed so you won’t be pushed into becoming the next Mohammed Alice *smiles*

      Many thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

        Xceptional43 said:
        January 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        And they let him go without baptising him in prayers?


    topazo said:
    August 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    there is a church near my house, just the next building to mine actually, that i want to bulldoze and i need help doing it. i can count on you right?

    i have prayed to God that their speakers should spoil but maybe God is enjoying their praises too much…imagine a church so small, and a pastor whose voice without speakers reaches my room on the far side of the building using at least 4 alaba ‘made for naija’ speakers! it is a federal crime!!

    i swear we are wicked in this country, especially the religious ones…in fact the more religious, the more wicked and inconsiderate of others…all in the guise of worshipping God…

    ok, i am ranting and i will stop…you touched a raw nerve…*exhaling*

    i am calm now…nice writing!

    Liked by 1 person

      Adewoyin Joseph responded:
      August 20, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Ahahahahahahahaha! Finally, you let it all out! LOL. Of course! You can count on me to come and witness the demolition; I trust you’ll handle the other logistics perfectly. Ironically, what those churches lack in size and structure they make up for in speakers—crazy ahuja and yamaha speakers with significant local touches from creative Nigeria electricians.

      Lots of violations and pure wickedness from our countrymen all in the name of religion! Why make much noise when He could even hear your subconscious?

      This comment, I like. Thanks.


      HARD VOICES said:
      August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Next to the piece, Topazo’s comment got me chuckling (I never laugh, I just chuckle, once a day; now my chuckling for the day is taken, lols). Man, rant not and just turn your Alaba Speakers for one-room pastor church into art. Turn it into a blog post make I use up ten days chuckling in one hour. Thumbs up guys


        topazo said:
        August 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

        you be soldier? why you no dey gree laff?
        abeg laff o…it’s good medicine


        Adewoyin Joseph responded:
        August 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        LOL. Now you made me go beyond chuckling.

        Thanks chief!


    Xceptional43 said:
    January 31, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    The actual post or the comment. I don’t even know which made me laugh more.
    Sometimes, you just bone face and try to enjoy the endurance of the noise. It is not an easy something. But we are a long way to go for regulations on noise pollution to be passed because that is a problem not even among the problems we have.

    I laugh in swahili……

    Liked by 1 person

    Adewoyin Joseph responded:
    February 2, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Yeah right! We have more “real” problems, complaining about “ordinary” noise and coerced praise and worship would be a waste of time. In fact, the latter could depict one as the first offspring of Lucifer in this clime.

    I can show you how to laugh in Chinese (you’ll need all the strength you can get though) if you’ll teach me the Swahili version. 🙂



    sheedart said:
    February 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Oh God. This reminds me of my experience last year. I had just moved into a ‘better accommodation’ or so I thought. Turned out my next door neighbor is my landlord’s son and likes to listen to music via the huge speaker just by his door (He claims to be a DJ). Choi. According to him, he doesn’t enjoy the music if it’s not party loud. WTH? I refused to suffer in silence o. Eh. Didn’t matter if he was hitting them Hausa jams or playing the Holy Quran. I was banging his door everyday to turn it down. Eventually, he got it and leaves the house when I’m home.

    Nice write Senor.
    PS: I most likely would have suffered in silence in your situation too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Adewoyin Joseph responded:
    February 6, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    LOL. Tried to reproduce the narration in a short clip in my head… I envy your intolerance for sh*t!
    Your DJ friend could be perpetually high on something cheap or probably had friends only him could see. Whichever one the problem was, you were apparently the reset button for his malfunction. iLike 🙂

    I still find myself in forced hyper-loud in-transit service sessions (a few more manageable than others) and other similar scenarios, but I know I’ll very likely not say nada (especially where other passengers pick the songs and do back up singing even before the choir mistress/master finishes the first song).

    Thanks a bunch ma’am.


    DrSwag said:
    February 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Lol…..I love Sour-prano! Ingenous! This here is quite hilarious but quite pertinent to our society. The noise pollution and encroachment into peoples spaces is madly deafning. Have your service within your enclosure, worship, hum and sing within…live and let live..biko…Nice one my brother..Hilarious…

    Liked by 1 person

      Adewoyin Joseph responded:
      February 16, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Live and let live… after you’ve listened by force or done your part in the noise-making sha. 🙂

      Thanks a bunch Doc!


        DrSwag said:
        February 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm



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