Opinion: TIME’S UP FOR OLD PEOPLE
By Victoria Olaitan Oladipo/ Image Credit: Google Images
As an active twitter user, I’m directly tapped into trending topics. The most memorable (in somewhat recent times) to draw my attention was about a Youth who had asked the Nigerian Nobel prize Winner, Professor Wole Soyinka to get up, and move to the aisle seat, relinquishing his airplane window seat which the young man had booked on the commercial flight.
You can read the thread here:
Nigerian billionaire politician, Tonye Cole , shares his flight experience about a young man who 'disrespected' professor Wole Soyinka by asking for his allotted seat which the prof sat on. pic.twitter.com/JZjfG7Xxx0
— The Viral Trendz (@TheViralTrendz) June 24, 2019
It sparked debates, memes and the regular gaffing all over social media. The prominent narrator Tonye Cole describing the young man as irresponsible because of his ‘baseball caps and tattooed biceps’.
You can read the funniest tweets about it here:
prolly how the convo went
Guy: Sorry, that's my seat (not really asking him to move)
Wole Soyinka: oh sorry, I….
Tonye Cole/others: Don't you have respect? Go and look for another seat.
G: it's my seat, I paid for it
TC/O: don't u have elders?
WS: it's fine, I'll move
— mopol (@tweetMOPOL) June 24, 2019
Wole Soyinka never refused to get up.
Wole Soyinka never insisted to sit there.
Infact Wole is the kind of man who would have stood his ground also if same thing happened to him as a young man.
Tonye Cole was just drinking Kolaq Alagbo over another person’s headache.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc 💘 🥳🛂 (@DrOlufunmilayo) June 24, 2019
Tonye Cole: Bro this is Prof. Wole Soyinka you need to look for another Seat
Bearded Guy: pic.twitter.com/2UHwR03LnV
— D WALTER 👑 (@DannyWalter_) June 24, 2019
Tonye Cole; "Do you know that is Wole Soyinka seating on your seat?"
Local man😂; pic.twitter.com/kiisOlP4YH
— Omoniyi Israel (@_omoissy) June 24, 2019
The feedback was interesting on both sides of the debate and I’m on the side of the guy standing for his right.
Short Story: this seating issue caused me to stop following the church bus to our headquarters or to camp. Each time I have to follow it, I have to wake up very early so I’d get a good seat (by the window especially) but no matter how early I get there, a group of Old people who came two hours after I get there always tell all the youths to stand up. One day, I stood up, left the bus and went to board public transport and the narrative that got to my parents was that I’m proud.
In this issue, it was on a plane, not a public bus. The guy obviously booked that seat for a reason and if the Professor wanted a Window seat he should have booked one.
Side note: If I was the guy, lol, I probably wouldn’t have asked the professor to excuse, because of the personality.
The blatant expectation of deference in our community towards the aged shows contempt for rules, laws and norms allows people to get off with irresponsibility disguised as wisdom. Youth must use every tool at their disposal to counter this by standing up for themselves and their rights in all situations because it is already too late.
Tosin Odunfa penned a satire piece on this entire story, which inspired this piece. To the Nigerian youth reading, let no man trample on your rights and to the entitled old generation? Well, time’s up.