Secrets remain Secrets.

April 29, 2023




There is a river in my village called Sogidi

It is more of a lake or a natural pond

It has a lot of good fishes

Growing up, we were told a lot of myths about it

It was said that fish in it can never be cooked and whosoever dared to cook the fish would be visited by evil spirits

I never could dare enter the fence built around that river, while hawking pepper or yam or cocoyam or whatever wares for my grandmother during the holidays

I would sometimes pass by the river and chill by the fence from the scorching, hot sun

I would see the fishes, so used to being unharmed swimming joyfully in it

When I turned 15, I was transferred to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo

The river was about 20 kilometers away

One day, I told my friends about it

I remember we were talking about strange things and I mentioned it

One of my friends said we should go to the river to fish

Another said we should, and then another said we should

I was not going to be the namby-pamby among them, so I said, “Let’s do it”

We went on a Saturday morning with a basket and bucket

We fished freely without anyone seeing us

We then took our catch to the hostel and cooked the fish

We ate the fish until our tummies were growling with joy

Nobody knew a thing about it

A few days later, I went to see my grandfather

We got talking and I told him what we did

He said, “Make sure you don’t say this to anyone in this village”

I asked why

He said it is not the fish that hurt those who eat it

It is the wicked people who desire to protect the myth that do so

I got his message clearly

I never told a soul until many years later

People are wicked in a way

If you let them in on a secret, they will stab you to death with it

They will do so while pretending that they are protecting your interest

This is a lesson I learned quite early

A secret is the burden of one

Once you tell it to another, it becomes community news

The person you told it to will then tell you he or she told others out of concern for you

I have seen many burnt by this fact

The story of Alade, the man that grew a horn is another story that taught me the benefit of keeping a closed mouth

This man suddenly grew a horn and became afraid that the community would label him a wizard and lynch him

He told no one

He began wearing a cap everywhere

He refused to get married or have any friends

He knew his life was dependent on the secret for his survival

One day while he was alone in the forest, he felt burdened by the secret

So, he shouted it out loud

“Alade hu iho” meaning “Alade has grown a horn”

The next morning, he found a lot of people with pitchforks at his door

They demanded he removed his cap because he was a demon

He thought about it long and hard

How did they know his secret?

Then he remembered that there was a rainfall and fearsome wind the previous night

The wind kept whistling “Alade hu iho”

He was killed with the thought in his chest that he should have kept his mouth shut

Learn to keep your cards to your chest

Nobody needs to know what you desire to keep secret

A closed mouth can save your dreams from being destroyed

A closed mouth can save you from a life of ruin

Choose what you say to people wisely

Not everyone who parades themselves as your friend is your friend

Some envy you

Some hate you and some simply don’t know how to keep a secret

If you have to share your secret with anyone, talk to the Holy Spirit

He knows already and it will not shock Him

His intention is always to make you better and to support you as you heal from whatever it is

Stick with him

The wind of a friend is very deep, and if one betrays you, it may alter your perspective of people for life

Guard your heart with all diligence

Protect the “you” of the moment even if the “you” of the past had messed up

In this world, all you have is judgment and bile

There is no other friend to lean on than Jesus

He bears all our yokes and griefs with joy

Carry everything to him in prayer

Forgive yourself and refuse to let the opinion of Lilliputians dissuade you from taking your giant steps in life

You told a friend intimate things

The friend went ahead and told the whole world

You find out and confront the friend

The friend says I did it for your benefit

Don’t fret

Don’t be angry or vengeful

Just stop counting on such as a friend

The consequence of the friend’s action may be steep or shallow

Learn from it

As I round off, please note this

Nobody has the right to determine your course in life but you

If you have found a good thing, please keep it

Let those who are determined to ruin a good thing try their best

They will live their lives

You will live yours

Their opinion is nothing but dust and ashes

Always remember this




PS: “There is a feast I am planning

I will announce that I have had it after it has been done

A lot of friends will not even know I am having it

They have forfeited the right to know anything of value about my life”


My grandfather told me this in Yoruba when I was 12, I never forgot it

Have your feasts and enjoy them thoroughly

The absence of someone you call a friend who is really not one is something to celebrate




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