A Response to “Nigerian Confraternities: Names, Symbols & Deductions”

In “The Ontology of the African II: Youth” http://grimotnane.com/2014/08/11/the-ontology-of-the-african-ii-the-youth/ I give a summary of confraternities in Nigeria.
The names “Pirate” and “Buccaneer”, synonyms, both come out of the adventure story Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson which the foundations of the both the Pyrates (Seadogs) and Buccaneer Confraternities are derived – nomenclature, symbols, contexts etc. Pirates and buccaneers were originally “armed robbers operating at sea”, in this context, on behalf of King or Queen and country. Those were the days when gold, silver and diamonds were the most precious of things (treasures) on the planet and nations had no qualms stealing such from other countries repatriating them from colonies.

That campus grown university fraternities (UCGF) in Nigeria became epi-criminal or quasi-criminal organisations is more a product of myopia and greed rather than deliberate and conscious design. The pirates and buccaneers who started nobly, attracts mostly, psychopaths, sociopaths, delinquents, experimenters, the insecure etc. Why would a conscientious, law-law abiding, independent-minded individual suffer beatings, extortion and humiliation to join an organisation that is associated drinking blood (a falsehood), violence, mayhem, crime, occult (another falsehood) etc. in the name of fighting the ills of society?
The white flag is a symbol of surrender. The V-sign communicates “fuck you” or “fuck off”, while the reversed V-sign culminates “victory”. Symbols have the power to convey what a thousand words may be incapable of, hence their use in advertising. The Jolly Roger was a symbol of monarch-supported piracy. On the Nigerian campus, it proved to be a runaway success but only because it inspired tremendous fear among students and staff. To this day, Nigeria is still gripped by superstition even among the educated; the Jolly Roger is simultaneously associated with occult, spiritual cults, evil, violence, intimidation. The confraternities suggest elitism, machismo, stoicism, intelligence. The Jolly Roger on a flag and regalia worn by pirates, sailing (parading with song and dance) at midnight (to the early hours), drinking (much alcohol) with the left hand, being aloof with non-members, bearing fear-inspiring nicknames etc. all symbolic, created a very fearful “mystique” which at first shocked the pirates. Still, they came to delight in it to the point of intoxication.
“Rebranding” in this case is “image laundering”. Confraternities have very “dirty images” of which most is not even yet known to the public, and they want to wash them clean. The first step was to adopt respectable sounding identities such as the National Association of Seadogs and the National Association of Sealords. Any brief study of the history of criminal, terror and evil organisations will reveal that they “eventually became charitable organisations” that later got prosecuted for “cases of serious charity fraud and financial indiscipline”. Most importantly, “charity” is a source of funding. Such funding, when received from charitable funders, is “guzzled” by the confraternity’s leadership with little or no charitable work done. Often charity-funders are too embarrassed to admit publicly they bequeathed a “dodgy organisation” money which turned out to be a big mistake, so keep quiet.
The rebranding is “primarily” for charitable funders, not the Nigerian public.


Grimot Nane

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