I remember as a child, I was in awe of my late paternal grandmother, my tata. You see, we would be sitting in her front yard, threshing millet or winnowing millet or doing other post-harvest handling activity, and on occasion a spiral wind would blow over. And my grandmother would rush to cover “the eye” of the wind with a basket.
After, should would tell me that there was now a snake under the basket, I should not touch it and should let it be covered. Even though I never ever saw the snake, I believed her and did not touch the basket. Even now as an adult, when I see a spiral wind, I am reminded of those moments with my late grandmother.
Why am I nostalgic about spiral wind, you may ask. Well, according to a person that I hold in high esteem and who was at the burial of the late Jacob Oulanyah, the famous wind, now regarded as the spirit of the late Oulanyah, was simply a spiral wind that is a common phenomenon in the region.
He told me that what was caught on camera, in fact, was not “the eye” of the wind; it was not its epi-centre, but it was rather the periphery. Apparently, “the eye” of the spiral wind at the burial passed in the middle of the tent were the late’s parents were seated and it ripped the tent that was behind it – it tore it up and broke it up.
The people who got injured, including men in uniform, were those who were standing outside and behind of the tent. Over 30 people were injured and some had to be rushed to hospital. So, was it, as some media outlets reported it, “the angry ghost of Oulanya” or was it simply a spiral wind or was it both – “the angry ghost of Oulanya” manifesting in form of a spiral wind?