Category Archives: nigeria

MONEY IS KILLING NIGERIANS

I credit Henry David Thoreau for the critical structure of this essay

MONEY IS KILLING NIGERIANS

I do not think that I will be alone in saying that I am quite enamored by the concept of money. Whether it’s the printed pieces of paper that seem to dictate the daily lives of the people, or the bank account numbers that seemingly determine self-worth, it is a system of value that nobody really chooses but everyone agrees on.

A “poor” man is seen as a person who does not have money in “adequate” amounts; and this adequacy is defined by how he compares with his peers. In an attempt to garner more money the “poor” man must undertake a series of risky, monotonous or otherwise soul-crushing tasks; tasks which are rarely natural to the human condition in order to survive. Tasks that only result in more tasks, making him/her even more subservient to the circumstances that they had tried to escape in the process.

Ever since the discovery of oil, “urbanization” and subsequent westernization, Nigerians have developed a warped sense of money. Instead of money being a tool to develop and improve life, foster trade and innovation, instead it has become a goal to be attained; and because of this, money that is meant to simplify life has been made to compound it.

The “poor” man that grows his own food and makes his own shelter is now a villager, a relic of an old age and not worthy of any respect. If he cannot escape his circumstance he is seen as spiritually deficient. As he cannot put his experiences to paper he is deemed an illiterate. But the “rich” man is wise. The “rich” man who attains foreign appliances which he cannot produce nor maintain, the “rich” man who has lost all semblance of bodily fitness, who actively spends on products designed to destroy his body and soul.

Money has become a god in itself, and its ways are mysterious indeed. In its poetic beauty it is no respecter of persons. It may choose to bless the short or the tall, the book-smart or the street-smart, the fit or the unfit, the hardworking or the lazy. Money can bless a generation and curse another within the same family. It can strengthen a tribe or it can destroy it. It can motivate a nation or it can demoralize it.

Pray tell, the use of acquiring a multi-million naira vehicle, if there are no roads for it to ply? It would seem that the nation has imported its stock of appliances in excess that there is not enough electricity generated to utilize them… We are an island of consumers. There is little incentive to produce anything of value; even the humble toothpick is imported from overseas, as well as the noble straw. I still find it hard to place where the lack of support for local business stems from. Is it out of hatred for our fellow man? Or the fear that he might rise above us? Could it stem from a lack of trust in his abilities or his intentions? We seem to crave foreign intervention for issues we could handle perfectly ourselves. We seek to “escape” to foreign lands with less natural resources and harsher climates than our own for some semblance of sanity. We go where we are not needed nor wanted to find what we destroyed.

We rejected coins because notes were easier to handle (which is the most logical conclusion from that debacle). When the people don’t like something, they don’t like something. We chose inflation instead. And yet the notes we clung on to we crumple and deface on a daily basis. Where a coin could have lasted a decade, a note can only last a year.

I find it ironic that the learned politician, who fearfully stashes away large sums of money in his sewage pit, cutting it off from circulation and ventilation, thereby driving down its value both literally and economically, is more respected than the internet fraudster; the G man who through ingenuity and skill, plays on the greed of his victims and injects foreign currency into the economy.

Our priorities are long lost.

But why do I write all this? Let it be known, humble reader, that this is no call to pacifism; for there is nothing more dangerous to the human condition. After all, this is the realm of power, and the violent take it by force and whatnot. But if this is our true nature and this is how things are meant to be… why then do the people complain. I do tire of the incessant complaining. The “poor” man complains vehemently about his condition as does the “rich” man. If there is one thing that will unify the nation it is lamentation and apportioning blame to anyone other than ourselves. Gathered around a newspaper stand the herd argue bitterly over the many transgressions of the shepherd, blaming him for all their ills. At political gatherings the shepherd berates the herd for not toiling hard enough in the sun, as he fears for his security and seeks protection with the wolves.

Best not to further dampen your spirits by entertaining fantasies of what could have been. Best to adapt and overcome. Celebrate the scavenger and learn his ways. Give us Barabbas and keep your Messiahs. We refuse to yield.

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THE MESSIAH COMPLEX

If you are new to the drama and glamour that is the Nigerian Election just wait till 2019. Oh boy! are you in for a treat. The campaign jingles will be catchy and memorable, The Promises to serve will be grandiose and verbose, People will get arrested, others freed, the Media and Social Media houses will experience a content frenzy. The excitement of the FIFA World cup pales in comparison to the quest for leadership in this Nation. And yet, after the high that the process gives, all we are left with is the crushing disappointment of reality. This is due in part to what I call…

 

THE MESSIAH COMPLEX

 

For some time now the Nigerian people have been fond of searching for “The One”. The Political Saviour who will arrive and completely change the country’s fortunes overnight. The Religious sensibilities of the people will reach a peak every four years. It would seem that every Electoral candidate comes with the promise of performing miracles.

Goodluck-Jonathan

 

I had no shoes” said President Goodluck Jonathan in the battle for 2011. It was a tale of Legend, a young boy whose lack of footwear could not hold him back from pursuing an education. We were intrigued to learn his secret. Four years of the most gruesome allegations of misappropriation later, a new warrior unsheathed his blade…

 

Muhammadu-Buhari-speech

 

“I am going to kill corruption” said President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. We jumped at the opportunity. Finally, a man who killed vices with his bare hands. The change we needed became the change we never expected. The youths were reported to the colonial masters. “They want everything free”. It was an unkind critique of the human condition.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

 

I eagerly anticipate the Miracles that will the claimed by the next set of aspirants, where every campaign banner will be photoshopped to the last hair, with quotes that illustrate a heaven within the reach of the people. If we have learnt one thing from our 58 years of independence, it is that the old ways do not work. Why then, would we continue to use them?

It would seem that the nation is aging in reverse. Personally, I would expect a leader to be the best representative of the people. If I had wanted someone to represent me, I would look for the strongest, the most intelligent, the most well spoken. A leader to me, is not a miracle worker, but one that inspires hope and gives a sense of direction. It is why we Africans idolize the Nelson Mandelas and Martin Luther Kings.

But maybe that’s just me. There is no escaping the conundrum. One must lead for others to follow, otherwise we all ply the roads with no direction. Would you rather drive your car into a ditch knowingly or unknowingly? My major gripe with the Nigerian people is that in the wake of religious and ethic disunity,
we have been so busy searching for answers that we forgot to ask questions. The only solution is inquiry. This time around,

 

ASK QUESTIONS

 

Ask for debates, Ask for town hall meetings, Ask for manifestos. Your candidate, who is he? Who is she? Where are they from? What have they done? What do they wish to do? What qualifies them for public service? How can they help the nation?

Ask and ask again, otherwise your voters card is just a tool for your slavery. For another four years at least.

 

P/S More fun awaits. Check out my Amazon page for books, comics and lots more content. Thanks for reading.

ORIJIN STORIES

Sometimes I feel like the origin stories of my favorite actors and musicians are made up fairy tales. In fact, sometimes I feel like Wikipedia profiles are absolute crap. I’ll explain.

Take someone like D’Banj for instance– African Music Megastar, Cultural Icon, Gifted Entertainer and World Class Fela Impersonator.

dbanj

Now, according to his internet biography, D’Banj once worked as a security guard in the UK before he became a musician.

Assuming this were to be true, could you just imagine the mannerisms and hilarisms of D’Banj being a security guard? Exactly what kind of organization would hire such a skinny fellow to stand guard at the gate?  Do security uniforms come in sleeveless shirts and bootcut trouser varieties?

Pulse-D-banj-as-Fela

…and how come not a single customer of said institution has ever stepped forward to testify to the fact that D’banj once welcomed them in through the doors. It would seem like a pretty memorable event to have D’Banj usher you into the building..

Customer enters

Security man: “Oshe!! Welcome-to-Customer-Care-Services-UK-Limited-PLC-Im-D’Banj… or-Ski-Banj-like-my-Jamaican-friends-call-me-and-BEFORE-you-enter-the-building-please-permit-me-to-inspect-that-BIG-BIG-BIG-BOOTY”

Customer: ‘Can I go in with my bag?’

Security man: “FIILE!! Don’t touch it. Leave it! We will take-care-of-it for you.”

Customer: ‘Will it be safe?’

Security man: “No long tin. No long tin.”

Customer: ‘Can you direct me to the receptionist’s desk?’

Security man: “Just move that booty to the left of the corridor and you will meet one mamalette with a green blouse. Just ask her “WHY ME OH!” She will direct you to a babylette on the second floor. She will tell you the koko.”

You know what? On second thought—I think he would make an excellent security guard.

Now, DON JAZZY’s origin story is totally unbelievable, not to mention unacceptable.

Don-Jazzy

The story is that he used to sell akara when he was a toddler, but I don’t see how that can be true… he would be giving away akara for free like it was water—

–I mean have you seen this guy’s twitter account? The guy is too generous. He practically gives away a new car every week.

The only way I could really see Don Jazzy as an akara seller was if a customer vexed the guy and got him angry for some reason. Like imagine if a  customer tried to steal some akara from him and he caught them…

Customer: “Is it because of one akara I tried to take from you that you’re frowning like this? This small akara?”

Akara seller: ‘Egbon Customer, If you want the akara, come and take it.’
don jazzy fallout

Are there any origin stories of your favorite celebrities that you think are absolute balderdash? Feel free to comment below…

 

P/S Don’t forget to check out my Amazon page for books, comics and lots more content. Thanks for reading.