A crying little boy whose diplomacy in the face of strokes of the cane from his mom got social media users in Nigeria laughing and empathizing in equal measure all week long, will now meet with Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“Mummy, are you videoing me? What are you doing,” the boy, dressed in a blue T-Shirt and white shorts began, through a cascade of palpable tears and emotion.
With his mom barking that he should stretch out his hands for a few lashes of the whip, he buys himself some more time by pleading his case with a few witty questions and quips to boot.
“Mummy, I just want to ask you a few questions for once. Can I ask you questions please?”
As the camera rolls, he launches into the impassioned “calm down” plea that has now broken the internet.
“Mummy calm down. Don’t be angry. I am just telling you to be calming down. I want you to be calming down, so you can now rest small..small. You must rest. You must rest a little. Just rest like this (he walks up to the chair and simulates by sitting). I am sorry,” he says.
With his mom insisting that he still has to be flogged for his misdemeanor, the little boy sticks two index fingers in the air and says: “This is my last chance...my last chance in the world.”
The footage has elicited plenty of reaction, memes and laughter from Twitter users in Africa’s most populous country.
Lagos’ number one citizen, Sanwo-Olu, jumped on the trend, Wednesday, saying he’s been inspired by it all.
Sanwo-Olu wants a chat with this kid who has become an example of how to plead your case under pressure.
“I saw a video of a charming young boy online asking his mom to ‘calm down’ as she was set to punish him for a misdemeanour. I was moved by his sobriety, which reflected in his promise of “last chance”, when confronted with the fact that he is a regular offender,” the governor shared on his twitter page.
“The exchange was indeed funny, but it depicted the efforts parents put in moulding children into responsible adults. I want to assume that his mom indeed calmed down because the appeal was moving enough to make anyone change their mind.
"Interestingly, the video inspired this special message to the good people of Lagos State because of the deeper meaning it conveys.
“Fellow Lagosians, we need to ‘calm down’ as we enjoy the coming holiday and festivity.
“It is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s heart of sacrifice and faith in Allah. We need to emulate and demonstrate his sense of self- restraint at this time the world is combating the scourge of #COVID19.
“We need to be moderate in our celebration and observe prescribed protocols towards defeating the deadly coronavirus. The world needs the responsibility and commitment of its people to oust coronavirus.
“I urge every Lagosian to ‘calm down’ and not get carried away. Like the rest of the world, we are still in the middle of a pandemic and need to remain extremely careful to keep the gains of the sacrifices we have all made in the past months. Let’s calm down!
“As an aside, I would like to meet the young boy since we both now have exclusive rights to the phrasal verb ‘calm down’,” the governor added.
‘Calm down’ and 'this is my last chance in the world' have since replaced ‘Honourable Minister, Issokay..issokay,’ in Nigeria’s social media lexicon this holiday week.