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THE JOURNAL: In The Case Of The Ice Bucket Challenge

Dear Diary,

I very recently joined Instagram. (Yay me! If you happen to already be there, do follow @waltergem and I’ll follow right back). So once my account was up and running, in a typical newbie fashion, I started following all my favourite celebrities. And you know who the first one was? You don’t even need half a guess – Genevieve Nnaji! Immediately after following her, I navigated my way to her media, scouring and ogling her pictures, liking and commenting like a child who’d just been given an ice cream cone, and told to gobble it all up in seconds otherwise the cone would be taken away from him.

Anyway, so I happened upon one of her instagram videos, one where her partaking of the Ice Bucket Challenge was videoed. You know about the Ice Bucket Challenge, don’t you? It’s sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head to promote awareness of the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. It recently went viral throughout the social media. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

Okay, that’s enough background gist. Back to Genevieve. So I was watching her own video, watched as she started introducing what she was about to do, and mid-speech, a pair of hands behind her lifted the bowl of cold water stationed behind her and upended it over her head. The chilly content cascaded over Ms. Nnaji and she leaped to her feet, shrieking like a banshee. “I. Was. Not. Ready!!!” she screeched.

Oh puhleeze! *exaggerated eye-roll* All these celebrities and their over-pampered ajebotaism sef. If ice water thrown over your head is the game-plan for the generation of funds for ALS, then I have drummed up quite a fortune for the charity, aswear! All I need is a video camera and an audience and I’ll show them how it’s done.


In this past week, NEPA (or PHCN, or whatever they call themselves these days) decided that for whatever untold sins my neighbourhood has committed against the republic, they would no longer give us light in the wee hours of the morning. There’d be light all night, but just at the cusp of nighttime, that edge-of-the-cliff moment when dawn is about to start its journey across the sky, just before the annoying alarm shatters the finale of your dreams to smithereens and pull you forcefully from your slumber – right then is when NEPA will strike and take away their amenity.

In that very EARLY MORNING!

That very early morning, after a rainy night!

That very early morning that I have to get ready for work!

That very early morning when a bucketful of icy bathwater is waiting for me!

That is the moment when NEPA strikes, and renders me with no option but to start my day briskly by splashing iced water over my head. Before you ask, ‘Don’t you have stove to boil the water?’ you just have to know that I’m a typical bachelor with no kitchen equipment and little idea what to do in the kitchen. The housewarming gift a friend once brought to me which comprised of kitchen things is quietly collecting dust in a corner of my house.

And so for the past week, it’s been cold water baths every goddarn morning. So all these celebrities shrieking under the onslaught of iced water should go to a suitable stadium and take several seats abeg. #Yimu!

In other news, a couple of friends have started a different kind of Ice Bucket Challenge. And this one has nothing to do with ALS, which is not our disease. You know what our disease is? No, not Ebola; it’s Malaria.

This challenge is in support of the Prevention of Malaria in Pregnancy. Let us get the word out there. Get a video camera. Get a pail of cold water. Do the challenge. And nominate your friends. Otherwise, make a donation for the cause of Prevention of Malaria in Pregnancy, so that ITNs and Anti-malarials can be purchased and distributed to pregnant women.

I’ve been nominated. And the twenty-four hour clock has started ticking down on me.

Nigeria has a high mortality rate for Malaria in women and children. So let us do our bit to control it. So spread the word. The hashtag is ‪#‎IceBucketChallengeForMalaria

I am @Walt_Shakes on twitter

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. So you woke me up to tell me to pour ice water over myself. Have you heard of cold water allergies, or freezing, I could die of shock even. I don’t like this game 🙁

  2. Pouring tepid water over themselves and claiming it’s ice water. Waltz,Biko never mind our nigerian celebs with their unending character of imitating the americans.
    Imagining pouring freezing water on my body……….mba nu!the tought alone is scary!

  3. Stalker Alert! I see you’re getting several inches closer to hitching Genny ei?! Sharp guy ‘P’! LMAO!

    Walter, nawa for you o! See description extravaganza in its glorious entirety! Hian! Why not just buy big, massive flasks of very good quality and use those as storage vessels just before ‘lights out’, if you’re too ‘busy’ to put the kettle on, rather than subjecting yourself constantly to cold water baths in this our ‘wintry’ Naija weather! You be strong man o, I swear! #IceBucketChallengeForMalaria ehn?! This our copycat, ‘knock off’ mentality sef, when will originality ever set in and we just do our own thing?! Must we always copy?! Pathetic! *RME*

    Masterfully concocted, enjoyed every bit of it! Bravo! Lol

    • Yemie, please, if one must copy, copy originally, no? The challenge started as a jab at the Nigerian celebs who were dunking cold water for ALS which we do not have Nigerian data for. Malaria is a real killer so why not dunk for it? Let’s get dunking against malaria in pregnancy.

      • Chigurl, am all for fighting against malaria, trust me! What I don’t get is the connection malaria’s got with dunking ice cold water atop my head! But then again, what do I know right?! So long as its for the greater good of humanity, then by all means, all hands must be on deck abi on buckets filled with ice cold water! Let’s get dunking y’all! E go be!

  4. Damned truth:
    “And so for the past week, it’s been cold water baths every goddarn morning. So all these celebrities shrieking under the onslaught of iced water should go to a suitable stadium and take several seats abeg. #Yimu!”

    ‪#‎IceBucketChallengeForMalaria #GBAM

  5. Nor mind them. Like them never baff cold water on a chilly harmattan laden morning with frigidly cold waters.
    By God you do justice to words. Kudos…

  6. I strongly disagree with this post. This morning, I watched a young man take d ice bucket challenge on YouTube. It’s one of the popular posts. At first he started nutty. Then after nominating several other people he went ahead to tell his story. His grandma is suffering from ALS; his mother has ALS; and the young man himself at just 26yrs of age was diagnosed of ALS 6months ago. It’s a good cause. The fact that it’s a white cause makes no difference. Did you not witness several American and British famous people join the “bring back our girls” movement? Please let us not racialize humanity. I am a medical doctor and I can categorically tell you that I have come across a case of ALS in this very country. You can start your own ice bucket challenge for a different cause that you feel more connected to; that’s encouraging but please do not take away from what these people are doing. It’s a cause for the whole of humanity .

    • It wasn’t to take away from what they were doing, doc. And it was a doctor friend who started this one. But like I said, we do not have documented numbers on ALS inNigeria, that is my point. A friend’s mum died of ALS but she is down with this challenge too. Please join us. You know the numbers for malaria better than myself. *wink and smile.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Jeezuz! Do you even have any sense of humour at all?

  7. Walter, thank You for raising awareness for #icebucketchallengeformalaria. Insecticide Treated Nets(ITNs) and antimalarials will be purchased and distributed to pregnant women especially in the rural areas with the proceeds of this challenge. Thanks guys. Let’s get dunking. Don’t forget to tag your friends and use the hash tag. If we can get #Bringbackourgirls to go viral, this is the least we can do to reduce the malaria burden in Nigeria. Thank You.

  8. @chidinma ezike…… Malaria is an endemic Nigerian disease. There are already countless movements kicking out against malaria. ITNs are made available across d country in millions. You talk about not having a recorded case of ALS in Nigeria really? A country that cannot even produce an accurate result for a census? Is your birth recorded anywhere besides your hospital of birth? That’s if the record still exists sef. ALS is a true global challenge. There is no known cure yet! Even with Ebola you have a tiny chance with zmapp.when I tell you that I have had a patient in my paediatric unit with ALS at just 8yrs old. It’s called juvenile onset ALS and even more baffling was the fact that there was no family history. That poor boy died a year later. You starting a movement against malaria is like adding a drop of water to an already mighty ocean. It’s admirable yes but if my $10 will add to the $72million that the ice bucket challenge has raised for d ALS campaign this month alone, I’ll gladly do that just for d sake of that child that did not have to die and that 26yrs old man on YouTube.

    • Doc, please don’t get me wrong. To each his own but if the Kick against malaria cause is a drop in a mighty ocean like you state, how come there is still on going research on its prevention and treatment. Again, Nigeria still shares the highest disease burden of Malaria with 3 other subsaharan African countries. My point, we are not disparaging the challenge for ALS but don’t make it seem as if what we are doing is totally pointless. Come on!! I have never seen an ALS case but I know a friend whose mum died of ALS. I support medical research in that area but my focus is on something else which is more endemic to us here. I empathise with you but if you don’t believe in our cause, no wahala. Don’t just knock our own efforts. People still die of malaria everyday. Heck, I lost a client to malaria!

  9. The purpose of dumping ice on your head is significant because you are required to feel how an ALS sufferer feels by your joints freezing and literally paralysed by the cold water. If we are gonna talk about malaria, doesn’t it make more sense to ask participants to spin around for 3 minutes and feel what it’s like to have malaria and feel dizzy and nauseous??????

    • Kaycee, I understand the whole Ice bucket challenge. People still shiver when fever hits them. It does not take away from what is being done for ALS.

  10. I no go even think am sef *folding arms across chest* warrizdat?

  11. I quite agree with you Walter. It’s not even badass in Lagos; ask how people in Plateau state take morning baths. We take icy baths everyday. I can’t even stand hot baths sef. By the way, buy a bloody stove and kettle, you won’t burn the house boiling water.

  12. My grandmother only took cold baths till the day she died, hehehe.

    All these celebrities sef, they taya me o. What’s the ish in taking cold baths sef?

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