Alagi Yorro Jallow
Chichidodo is a bird found in some parts of Ghana, the unique thing with this bird is that it hates human excrement with all its soul, but Chichidodo only feeds on maggot. The maggot the bird loves so much grow best in human excrement. The bird spends most of the time next to human excrement making faces and flapping its feathers due to the foul smell but at the same time trying to get the maggots from the same excrement. Ayi Kwei Armah author of the book ‘the beautiful one are not yet born’ has used the behavior of this bird to draw comparison with an upright man working for corrupt government.
Chichidodo can be anyone who hates a vice with a passion, but the person gains directly or indirectly from the same vice. Taking the case of corruption in this country, corruption can be taken as the human excrement and the maggots that grow in it as the proceeds from corruption. The real Chichi dodo in the case of corruption are the people who claim to hate corruption, yet they wouldn’t want it eliminated.
We campaigned against corruption, there were public intellectuals who talked passionately against corruption. They wrote articles with brilliant ideas on how corruption can be eradicated and even gave talks in public forums about the same. Today if Anti- corruption commission is being considered, and in the way, they suggested, the story has changed. They are pouring cold water to the whole exercise with lame excuses that the purge is partisan and politically motivated. These public intellectuals are like chichi dodo bird, they hate corruption, but they still need it.
In social media, there are people who did brilliant posts exposing the corruption and we all joined in giving our little contributions. Today, these same people don’t want to hear anything about the purge on corruption. The mere thought that Adama can even think of fighting corruption gives them migraine, they would want him to prosecute his brother and mother if he wants to be taken seriously. But if they were to be sincere and stopped beating about the bush, they would simply tell Adama to cease the purge.
I am not sure whether we have chichidodo in social media since there are very few maggots that come this way, if any. But maybe the maggots come in form of content. Corruption gives us the content to write juicy posts and this gives us relevance and keeps the story going on. But maybe we are all chichidodo, we eat maggots from the shit and we wouldn’t want to get rid of the shit, the source of the maggots.