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Memes: How Nigerians Make Humor Out Of Serious Situations



Memes in Nigeria are found nearly everywhere on social media and sometimes newspapers. It can be puzzling considering how humour is made from serious matters, from videos, texts and pictures which go viral. In this article, Yira-Eeba Bekee takes a look at some of these memes.

When an incident happens, it seems almost everyone has got an angle to it. This is creatively carved in a way that when you watch them, these very issue(s) you are supposed to feel bad about or even cry over now gets you laughing.

While some have frowned at such frivolity over serious matters, others have argued that it eases tension and makes life bearable because at this point, you forget your personal problems after viewing or reading one of these parodies that suits your definition of “funny” or “interesting”.

Recently, it was reported that a mysterious snake swallowed N36 million from the Jamb Office Vault at Markurdi, Benue state. A day after this was reported, memes about this went viral. And after that day, more kept emerging. Some of the memes that have been generated on this topic include that of a young man who wants to practice his new profession, ‘that of being a snake that swallows money.’ His mother sees him and tries casting and binding but when he explains how lucrative the job was, how one is to keep whatever he swallows and how a snake recently swallowed N36 million, his mother started thinking toward that direction and at the end of the day joined him in practicing how to become a snake, saying that in fact, they are a snake family!

Others say that they have gone to their respective banks to drop kola nuts around the premises so that snakes do not penetrate and tamper with their savings. Youth Corps members too are not left out as they are concerned about their allowances. Some say that they have also gone to their respective banks to drop kola nuts around the premises as they do not want to hear stories about the little allowance they are managing getting swallowed by a snake. Some are now saying that animals are now dangerous in this country.

Rats chased Mr. President, snake swallowed N36 million, a monkey swallowing 70 million as well and now my neighbour’s dog is looking at me somehow.

Apart from these texts and video narrated, other railleries take a quizzical form. Some of these are as follows; strange snake swallows N36 million in jamb office;

1A. calculate how long it will take a snake to swallow N36 million if the bank notes are in the following denominations, (a)N100, (b)N200 and (c)N500. (50 marks).

1B. Using the APC formula, tabulate, (a) the chances of the snake’s survival and (b) the probability of the snake’s regurgitation of the amount. (50 marks).

This are all supposed JAMB questions. Can anyone solve this, if yes, can you share the answer please. I’m sure the mathematicians reading this will help us out.

This is yet another jamb question;

Q1. Animals that eat money are called (a) carnivores, (b) omnivores, (c) monivores, (d) herbivores.

Q2. What is the natural habitat for naira-eating snakes? (a) Aquatic (b) jamb head quarters (c) terrestrial (d) forest.

Q3. The process by which a snake swallows money is called (a) phagocytosis (b) engulfing (c)pinocytosis (d) embezzlement.

I’m sure this particular JAMB question is a bonus for all Nigerians seating for this “banteric JAMB”. What do you think?

Someone has also alluded to the book animal farm, saying that Nigeria is indeed an animal farm, making reference to the rat, the cow, the snake and so on.

Another event that caused so much hilarious comments from Nigerians is the incident of rats chasing the president from office. This happened when the president returned home after three months medical leave in London. Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the Executive Governor of Nigeria on media and publicity said that following the three months disuse, rodents have caused a lot of damage to the furniture and air conditioning units therefore, the president’s office required renovation after the extensive damage.

Here are some of the humorous comments Nigerians have made following this; “They won’t let this man be, first it was protesters that chased him out of the UK. On getting back to Nigeria rats now chased him out of the office. Even animals have joined the protest”.

What other event do you recall caused uproar among Nigerians? Well, while you are thinking of others, let me remind you of this particular one, the missing budget. It was once reported that the nation’s budget presented by the president, was missing. In a follow-up move, senate president Bukola Saraki visited the presidential villa to seek audience with the president and after the closed door meeting, he could neither confirm nor deny the story of the missing budget. Here are some of the comments that were generated.

“All you abroadians that came to Nigeria for the holidays, kindly check your luggage to see if you ‘mistakenly’ stole the missing budget”. “Haha, na both hard and soft copy dey miss. Abeg na hard copy abi na the soft copy wey dey miss? Abi na system”. “If you bought suya in the past few days, please check the papers. It could be the missing budget”.

“I’m in the studio now working on a song from my upcoming album…I feel like taking a break to do a freestyle titled Missing Budget”.

“Bring back our budget before Lai Mohammed says the missing budget is responsible for fuel hike and dollar/Naira exchange rate”.

“I think this missing budget should be the object of the next Gulder Ultimate Search. What think ye?”

During this period of the missing budget, I heard someone ask that “when they say our budget is missing, what exactly is missing, is it the paper on which we drafted the budget, the soft copy of the drafted budget or the cash meant for the execution of the budget?”

Nigerians all over the world are regarded as innovative and an interesting set of people and no dull moment, and some have noted that with these memes going viral, by now the rate of heart attack and hypertension must have reduced to some degree.

It is good to ease the tension by having a good laugh for laughter they say is good medicine but be careful not to laugh for no reason for it is also said that anyone who laughs for no reason needs medicine.





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