By Adewale Kupoluyi
In this part of the world, social engagements are usually organised to bring people together for fellowship, entertainment and celebration. A party, which is a form of social gettogether, aff ords people an opportunity to relax under convivial atmosphere, where they can eat, drink, dance, exchange pleasantries and network. Going by what parties should ordinarily be, a cursory look at the way and manner parties are held in many parts of the country today, has shown that there is really not much to be excited about attending parties. Th e main reasons why I don’t like going to parties can basically be broken down into three.
First, is my introvert nature that restricts my social interactions. Most introverts that I know usually feel comfortable when they are alone or when they are in the midst of few persons that would not infringe on their privacy. For instance, I can count the number of parties that I have attended in the last 30 years! Secondly, I don’t like going to parties because I see many injustice pervading the whole arena.
It is a contrast of two worlds, of merry-making inside the party venue, while right outside, there is clear manifestation of suff ering and abject poverty. It is interesting to note that the musician invited to play at parties hardly remembers the poor man’s name but keeps over-fl ogging those of the affl uence. Th is typifi es what is obtainable in the larger society, whereby there is a wide gulf and discrimination between the rich and the poor, the educated elite and the illiterates, the White and Black races, religious intolerance, ethnic confl agration and gender imbalance, among others.
At parties, people are served or are attended to, based on the expensive costumes they put on, the model of vehicles they use and the intimidating aura of people they move with. No one attends to ‘ordinary’ people, forgetting that most of the invitees to social engagements usually come from the same hosts. Why discriminate against people because they are incapable or are unable to dress gorgeously like others?
Th ough, it is good to dress well and neatly and this should be appreciated, too. Th is attitude of neglecting some people while focusing more attention to a selected few is symptomatic of a terribly-discriminatory society that I feel sick about whenever I see this. It is at parties that people would be struggling for food and drinks. I’ve never seen any party that people are served in any logical sequence or pattern. It is haphazardly done to the extent that some people are served up to three or four times while other invitees are neglected and isolated.
Many people come to parties and leave without being attended to, making them to feel inferior and less important. Th is makes me feel terrible and sad. Th irdly, noise at parties is something else. I have not experienced any party whereby the sound system and audio are not deafening. Going to parties is usually an opportunity to practically refl ect upon the level of hunger in our nation.
Party allows many beggars and scavengers that are mainly school children, boys and girls alongside adults, oftentimes, nursing mothers with their children, to beg for alms, food and other things just to eke out a living. When I attend parties and see these people, I feel so sad that many of my fellow countrymen and women that live their lives as scavengers in a nation that is blessed with abundant, rich and enormous natural and human resources.
When are we going to come out of this sorry state? Th e high rate of unemployment in the land often rears its ugly head whenever a party is taking place. From the mammoth crowd of road-side photographers, praise-singers, to pick-pockets, clowns, touts, ‘area’ boys and to mint and ‘money-changers’, what I see on the faces of the people is a clear manifestation of frustration, hunger, stress and despair.
Th e pitiable conditions of these fellow citizens often steal in me, the joy, glamour and excitement of parties. But what I don’t know is whether such feelings are peculiar to me alone or whether others are equally bothered about the turn of events and are saddened with the plight of others. At times, I used to be troubled that for how long would I continue to feel irritated, unhappy and disturbed by what I see at parties.
I also ask myself: is it because I detest engaging in socials that has prevented me from fi nding myself on the other side of life, where I can forget about the less privileged and eat, drink, wine, dance, laugh and forget my own depression. Th e more I try to do this, the more diffi cult it becomes for me to do. Maybe I’ll start attending parties when the observed concerns are addressed?
Rather than making myself unhappy, I have seen the wisdom in worrying less by avoiding going to social functions, where I would not be seeing my fellow brothers and sisters constantly eating crumbs at parties, and cannot do anything to change the situation. Too bad!