The Talking Drum

Being african there are things that are just literally in my blood, like when you hear the traditional beats of the talking drum its instinctive i feel my body tingle, let me take you on a small history trip.What exactly is the talking drum and how does it work?The talking drum is a West African Hourglass drum whose pitch can be regulated to mimic the tone and prosody of human was used regularly during the Pre colonial era before the advent of post offices and now the internet, I am also pretty sure it was used to transmit coded messages which the indigenes did not want the white man to understand .

 Bringing it back to this write up don,t worry i am not about to take you back to the days of the talking drum and traveling cowries (yes the cowries traveled great distances and showed the medicine man the future, present and the past) if you believe that you will also believe that a certain special broom can bring or chase rain but i digress right now  let,s talk about gossip..oops did i see you cringe, did you raise your eyebrow and give me the "you can,t be bothered with such mundane and idle chatter when you have better things to do " look ,but if you,re honest with yourself everybody loves a little gossip.

My parents determined to rid me of my non Ibo speaking ways as a child threw me to a secondary school (High School as some would say ) in the East and my dad determined to protect his little and only princess made sure it was an all girls school, there were so many mis calculations in that action for one thing the ladies that went to my school (at least my friends) did not speak a word of Ibo to me through out my six years in that school and the fact that it was an all girls school did not mean that the wolves in my father,s mind (boys) could not have access to the girls there if the girls were interested in fishing them out that of course is for another topic but one of the vices i picked up there was gossip, let me tell you, you pack a group of young girls together for 24 hours in a day ,seven days in a week, with no access to TV, radio and what not we are going to look for something else to keep our minds busy and back then when you are through reading all the Romance and adventure books you can lay your hands on there is pretty much nothing else to do but gossip about each other, every other night, every little excuse, every single moment away from our books we gossiped it didn,t matter if half of the rumors we were spreading were true or not it was just something to keep every body entertained. Eventually i realized a couple of things the first thing is bad news spreads faster than good news and the second thing was that words were so powerful that they could make or break a person , Information was really a powerful tool . 

Gossip is described in Wikipedia as being  idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. It is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts and views, but also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and variations into the information transmitted ..really? i bet if you type in the word Gossip in the Google search engine several words will crop up which will include  idle talk, rumor and women and i beg to differ, men always give the impression that gossip  is strictly a female thing like they are above such idle talk ok so if that is the case why is insider trading  considered such a taboo strategy in the  stock exchange tool and while we are on that do you realize that most successful gossip blogs and Tabloid companies are run by men and those businesses are booming, Still not convinced now tell me why Reality TV stars are making big bucks out of clearly doing nothing..because people love to read scandals about beautiful famous people that is a fact of life, now we see celebrities hook up with other famous celebrities as a way of furthering their various careers or maybe just even their celebrity , then we become fascinated with them, we want to know everything about them from where they vacationed to, to where they first kissed and some bloody websites even detail what these celebrities just ate for lunch or whatever who cares...apparently millions of people do if not these Tabloid magazines would be out of circulation by now, as a matter of fact not only are they thriving most respected newspapers now have a section dedicated to yes...celebrity gossip .

In today,s world everyone likes a good gossip , it,s all over the place, the infamous wikileaks cables that keep on being released had everyone including several Heads of states, Government and powerful people on edge and most people not in government could not help laughing at some of the information released, for instance who did not think it funny that In 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy gave everyone else iPods for Christmas, but U.S. diplomats received candles and that Threats and aid offers were  equally ineffective in forcing Vladimir Putin to put a shirt on during diplomatic negotiations, The strong man liked to show off his biceps , who would not wish to be a fly in the wall to hear what President Obama and other world leaders thought of our beloved President,s first inaugural Ball as our beautiful first lady Dame Patience Jonathan and her husband danced awkwardly in a way i am sure they were not used to,or who apart from economists and staunch readers of the Financial Times had been intimately aware of Dominique Strauss-Kahn until the rape saga, The truth is in a world where everything appears  to be stage managed we want to see a more realistic picture of human beings, we are sick with our surroundings so we always find it interesting to peek into the lives of seemingly perfect and sucessful people with their imperfections reminding us that they are also human with problems just like us.Wheteher it be Tiger Woods and his army of blonde mistresses or the whole ridiculous in my opinion Illuminati theories and it,s links to successful Music Artistes or let,s not forget our own Charly Boy and Denrele ...erm incident we never seem to run out of gossip to share.

This insatiable appetitite of Man to poke their noses in other people,s lives can also have it,s dark side , Princess Diana,s death is a case in point, the paparazzi hounded that beautiful woman,s life so much that it,s a miracle she did not run mad before the tragedy that befell her, it is alleged that it was due to her driver,s attempt to escape from the hounding Paparazzi that she met her death, even as she lay in the crushed vehicle photographers were still clicking away sickeningly no doubt counting the money they would make from these pictures uncaring that her two young sons lives had just been changed forever and let,s not forget Britney Spears with her mental illness saga the red wig anyone...what i have learnt is that Information will always be some sort of powerful tool sometimes in the hands of the wrong people it could be used to bring down instead of uplift, Twitter has become the fastest growing social networking platform in the world and that,s because it,s so easy to spread information, on twitter we,ve seen nude pictures,  fake death announcements, celebrity Twitter  fights, high profile announcements e.t.c  , Marriages and homes have been destroyed because of gossip, Careers have gone down the drain and people have lost their jobs and diplomatic ties have been strained because of gossip ,so before we type those 140 characters or open our sweet mouths let,s  remind ourselves that although it seems like  we have come a long way from spreading information with the talking drum, let,s just remember that  just as the messenger who beat the talking drum  had to be extremely careful to time every movement of his hands ensync with surface of the drum  so that the sounds emanating from the instrument would not be interpreted wrongly and then  consequently pass a wrong message to the people ,we need to be careful what we do with information . Let,s all try to do some little fact checking before we spread information we are unsure of because it,s a very tough call to retrieve information that has already been sent out believe me i know.

P.S : For all y,all that still  think you are too good to participate in aimless gossip , if you are on Twitter and your,e not a celebrity or some kind of high profile individual  who has some claim to fame and (i don,t mean you Perez Hilton ) with over 200 followers then believe me honey you,re a gossip period.