These Nigerians In My Office Sef

Who are the kinds of characters that make up a typical Nigerian office? I have drawn up a list, and I must remind you that all the incidents reported below really happened, but the names of the characters have been doctored a bit. I guarantee that everyone who has worked a 9 to 5 would be familiar with at least one of the types of characters below. Enjoy….

  1. THE FORM ACTIVITY CHARACTER: This person loves to act as if he (or she) is carrying all the workload in the office or as if he is always super-busy to have time for his mere mortal co-workers. He normally moves at a 1000 miles per hour, making photocopies, punishing the keyboard by typing very loudly and talking loud on the phone to clients. Even a simple personal task like getting water from the water dispenser is done with much ceremony, like he is Moses about to part the Red Sea.

Yep this character loves to “form activity” but actually lacks any substance or depth to his persona. He usually gets found out at meetings where suggestions or reports are required. This is the type of dude to show up fully suited up with a big yellow tie which stops on his midriff on TGIF Dress-down day. He did get the memo/email to dress down, but his own akproko is too much.

I once worked with a Form Activist for a start-up firm somewhere in Lagos (won’t tell where). One day a higher-up was making his rounds in our department, as he was supervising some people working on a major project for a big Abuja investment firm. Mr. Form Activity was not involved in the project, but he was sitting in the corner typing away on his computer, making loud noises like it was an old Olivetti typewriter from the 80s and not a Dell PC. He was also flipping paper stacks and acting like he was drafting a new constitution for Nigeria or compiling a dictionary for Hon. Obiahiagbon. The co-workers in the office were looking at him like, what the hell is dude up to. Apart from the few guys working on the Abuja project, it was not a particularly busy day. Mr. Form Activity was acting up because the higher-up who was top director was around, and he wanted to look like an effico employee.

The director didn’t even seem to notice the effico guy as he was standing behind two of the guys working on the project, dictating what they should type and edit in the report they were preparing. They then tried to print the 1000 page report but the printer connected to the PC they were working on was jamming.

The director then uploaded the report onto the company database, and then without warning walked over to Form Activist’s desk so he could print from that computer which was connected to another printer.

Form Activist’s PC was switched off.

It could have been worse. He could have been nabbed playing Solitaire.

 

2.     JEZEBEL FEMALE WORKER: Woe betides you if this brutal female is your boss or supervisor. The female co-worker from hell is a staple of every office environment. If she is a spinster, her work becomes her life and she is impossible to work with. But wait it gets worse: if she is in a relationship, she brings all her marital baggage to the office. On the day her hubby slaps her, she comes into office and slaps every one with impossible tasks.

I once had a female Jezebel boss. All the workers were scared shitless of her. She  addressed a meeting where she announced to 20 anxious male lawyers and 2 cowering female ones: “Some of you are not pulling you weight in this organization. I have initiated Operation Shelltox. I will weed you out like I am pulling jigger (a nasty parasitic insect) from a villager’s foot. Everybody gulped – including the hard-workers. Banks were also laying off, you see.

I later realized that Jezebel boss’s husband was mighty frightened of her. He was a very meek looking geeky dude. The guy looked like he only went near her physically whenever it was time to procreate. He was a software engineer or so. He swung by the office sometimes to bring her things she had requested or to help with minor IT issues with the company servers.

There was a day he had come into the office and was working on a mainframe computer some desks away from me. We were the only ones in that section of the office as most of my co-workers were at clients or in the other section. The Jezebel Boss was in her office which was on the 2nd floor in the other side.

Then the telephone situated near the boss’s hubby started ringing. He refused to answer it. It rang like 7-8 more times, but dude ignored it. Then my own office line rang so I picked the phone up: “It is Esco. Who is this?”

It was Boss Jezebel on the line. She inquired without greeting “Esco is this how you greet clients when you answer the phone. Okay remind me to get at you later for this. Is Mr. Jezebel there?”

I replied in the affirmative. She then barked “Then tell him to pick up the bloody phone!” I placed the handset on the receiver.

Then suddenly the other phone started ringing again.

I looked at the hubby sitting next to it. He glanced at me with beads of perspiration and terror in his eyes. I had to break the bad news to him: “Kind Sir, it is your wife calling. She says you should pick up.”

Dude looked like I had just asked him to swallow a spoon of Worm medicine.

He picked the receiver with his hands jerking like he was about to disarm a Boko Haram bomb. This message will self-distruct….

3.  THE SOCIAL OLOFOFO: In every Naija office is some prick who treats office life as the epicenter of his/her social existence. This olofofo organizes the TGIF small chops and rice, or helps buy and distribute aso ebi material for any co-worker’s weddings or ceremonies. This olofofo even attends every single event from condolence visits to bereaved colleagues to house-warnings and naming ceremonies.

Fair enough, but what used to irk me is that the olofofo feels hurt if anyone was not on the same page with him. I know a dude who used to wait in the office after he had finished his tasks for the day “to soak in the environment and socialize with people from other departments.” Err, sorry that’s why it is called a 9 to 5. Left to me, it should be 7 to 3 because I would rather arrive early and leave early, but it is what it is. By the way GEJ is there any chance that you could sort this out. Maybe I should move to Spain.

My cousin who was a banker nearly got into it with a social olofofo who was always suggesting inconvenient Saturday “team-bonding” events. Seriously, no I am not waking up early again on Saturday morning, driving down Third Mainland to attend some bloody team work retreat about Better Customer Service and Marketing at Badagry Beach of all places. I need my Saturdays to do other things with my life. I don’t want you in my Saturday too.

Social olofofo looked visibly hurt: You have betrayed the circle of trust. And I have already ordered and deposited money for the small chops and paid for the canopies….

 4. THE OFFICE SUCK-UP: This one is always trying to curry favors with management, and will throw anyone under the bus to get a quick rise. They are a bit like the Form Activists except that they are more calculating and dangerous, and have a bit of a method to their madness. And their madness dey plenty.

They may usually snitch on their co-workers to higher-ups. But what gets my goat is that how they “seek perch.”

There was an instance where the Boss had just returned from an official trip to England and brought candy for the ladies and some really smart ties for the chaps. The office suck-up was a girl called Dupe, and she was really on a roll that day. She pranced around looking at everyone’s gifts, and remarking about how the Boss had very good taste, and how he must have spent a fortune. She even said she would not eat her candy as she was touched by the Boss’s kind gesture. Men, if that girl suddenly contracted Lassa Fever that day, she would have tried to touch the Boss’s garment to get healed. Na so her suck-up reach.

The Boss was now joking about his trip, and about the crooked Customs chaps at MMIA asking for egunje and things of that nature. He then said something.

Dupe suddenly burst out laughing loudly, and baring all her gnashers and rubbing her belly. If there was a raffia mat on the ground, she would have even rolled on the floor with laughter sef.

Everyone looked at her like she had kolo-ed or something.  The boss also had a confused look on his face too. Later on, the boss’s secretary came to get him, as he had a meeting.

When the boss was out of earshot, she drew me aside and asked me “What was the last thing he said. I really could not hear the joke.”

I replied “It was no joke at all. He said he lost his wallet with about 700 pounds in it, and he suspects he left it on the aircraft when he disembarked at Murtala Airport.”

Eh? Kilo wi?

5.  THE IT MAESTRO:

You had better be on the IT Maestro’s good side. Depending on where you work (State or Local Governments and “One Man Offices” do not count) the IT Maestro can hook you up with all the new tech stuff like wireless keyboards or a shiny slim PC monitor, or a printer which actually works and does not print smudged ink like Tie and Dye cloth.

If he hates your guts, you may end up with the fat old white computer with the dead pixels. Or a UPS system that works like NEPA. IT Guys have some kind of power in most offices, but they seem more power-drunk in Nigerian offices. Trust us, we like to exert authority whenever we are given lofty positions.

Before Blackberry phones became pure water in Nigeria, I know an IT guy who hooked up a female intern lawyer with access to the office server so that her work emails got pushed to her private phone. This was a privilege only the firm’s Partners enjoyed. I don’t know how she paid back that favor, but she always wore some saucy “push-up” bras to work. I am just saying o. Push me, I push you.

These IT guys always seem to work on a different time-zone from anyone. Late into the office, early out. In some companies, they are allowed to dress down, and their favorite garb are polo shirt, jeans, geeky glasses and a knapsack. They also like oily food.

Don’t let the Steve Urkel get-up fool you. These dudes are more vicious than Bola Koof.

A friend called Remi who was once competing for the affection of a sexy girl named Segi with an IT dude. They took their war to another level, but IT girl went “no-holds barred” when he discovered that Remi had taken Segi for dinner and movies at Silverbird the Saturday before.

The IT guy decided to play his ace-card. Remi was due to give a presentation on Private Equity Law in Nigeria to a bunch of Chinese clients in the office boardroom. Two of the firm partners were also going to be present along with interested workers of the firm, and these clients were a very lucrative account for the firm.

Remi had worked on the PowerPoint presentation for the best of one month, and had finally completed the slides the evening before. He set up the projection apparatus, and then the clients and firm partners came in and took their seats. Okay, educate us…

Err, when Remi tried to locate the files with the slides, they were nowhere to be found. He started to sweat profusely, and the partners looked on embarrassed as he fidgeted with the projector. As Remi struggled in front of everyone, sweating buckets, he looked up and saw IT guy seated at the back. He was not even supposed to be here.

IT guy gave him a knowing wink. Like, I don winch you today.

Remi avoided Segi like Boko Haram States after that.

*Please leave your comments and experiences. What kind of characters have you worked with? I need at least 30 comments o or it will be 30 more months before another article. Haha! You know I love you.

Happy New Year!

Flashing lights....

Happy New Year y’all! Glad we all made it to 2012! Your tracks could have been stopped in any other year, but you are in 2012! To God be the Glory!

Its funny how we take it for granted sometimes that we are in a New Year. The year 2012 itself sounds so futuristic, like a year one would have seen in one of those Sci-Fi movies to denote some cutting edge future where man became half-machine, cars were flying saucers and a robot wiped your ass for you after taking a dump in the toilet. A futuristic world where energy was produced from some kind of atomic water, solving all the world’s energy needs, so PHCN was but a bad memory. A future where people bought shuttle tickets to visit Mars, Venus and other planets, so taking pictures of your trip to Jand and Yankee and posting them on Facebook was as laughable and ordinary as it is now of posting a photo of you posing because you crossed Lagos’s border into another state.

A year where fuel subsidy would be like a bad joke, because fossil fuel was obsolete and petroleum was only used to make pomade, okwuma  and KY Jelly. 2012 would be so far ahead that toll-gates would be damn near impossible. We would be using rockets and jets to propel ourselves on inter-galactic highways in the air, and air is free, right? And it needs no maintenance or any long-term concessions to build. Eat your heart out LCC; I am fast and free.

2000 used to seem that futuristic when I was a kid growing up in the 80s. In fact people like Prince 2000, the Nigerian entertainment anchor who added the year to his name, did so to make it look like he was so ahead of his time. He was – but that was because he also wore sequined shine shine jackets with huge shoulder pads, sported a juiced up Jeri Curl perm with enough oil to fry akara for a small village, and hype the crowd by encouraging it to strike him (Hit Me! Hit Me! Hit Me!). Prince would be kicking himself now, whenever he looks at his name.

And who can remember that 80s movie whose poster featured an army commando carrying the hugest gun ever seen? The movie was supposed to best its competitors Rambo and Commando in the action movies genre. To make sure it did that, it was also given a futuristic, out of this world name: Equalizer 2000.

So we are now in 2012, I am in the mood for merry making, because I made it “back to the future.”

So how were your Christmas and New Year celebrations? Was Santa good to you? If you don’t believe in Santa, what about your sugar daddy? Was he good to you? Even if Santa wasn’t good to you,  at least Boko Haram wasn’t bad to you. That is worthy of praise to the Most High.

There lies the problem with Nigerians sometimes. We either over-count our blessings, focusing on the mundane, ahead of what should really matter; or we do not count them at all. A few days after Xmas, I was chatting with a friend of mine via BB, and I asked him how his Xmas had gone, and he replied “Terrible.”

So I inquired further “Terrible? What happened? You didn’t eat jollof rice, fried chicken and drink minerals at your folks place? Or you didn’t receive a hampa (hamper) from one of your clients? What made it terrible?”

He really couldn’t explain.

I said “ You are alive, and you can piss unassisted – that has to count for something.”

As my pastor used to say (don’t worry, I am not one to quote pastors as the sole authorities on wisdom),  it is a privilege and not a right that when you sleep, you wake up the next morning. Urinating without a dialysis is a blessing, not a right. Being able to walk and talk is not promised to anyone. These are blessings from God. And you don’t know what you have till it’s gone.

Any spirit of non-enjoyment disturbing or hampering (not Xmas  gift hamper o) your joy, I countermand and rescind it (or them) forthwith. Say Amen!

During a class, a teacher of mine some years back opined  that most Nigerians go around grumbling: I want millions and billions in the bank. I want a gigantic house with 20 en suite rooms in Old Ikoyi.  I want the phone numbers of all the top models, fresh girls and red carpet fashionistas in Lagos and Abuja, so that they could visit me for booty calls and ride me all night. I also desire all the LV and Channel bags I can carry in the crux of my elbow, and enough Brazilian weave to put She-Ra to shame. I desire 4 smart phones so that I could be on all the networks – Airtel, Glo, Etisalat and MTN, and never have to switch sim-cards between one phone when any network starts its connection ogbanje. Why was my dad a sucker, who didn’t leave an inheritance for me?

The teacher continued: “Try being sick and you will notice that health is more important than wealth, and your only pre-occupation would be how to get better. All those paper-making plans would pale in comparison.”

With that, the teacher suddenly looked up, and caught a late-comer student trying to sneak into the class from one of the back doors. He exclaimed “Get out of my class, you big fool! In fact what is your name? Ajayi Bembem? Okay you have minus 20 marks from your total to pass this course.”

By the way, that was my Philosophy lecturer.

In 2012, pay a visit to any Nigerian hospital, especially the ones in less high-brow areas. You would eat your heart out, after you have cried it out. That bridge you drive over, barely stopping except in traffic, you need to pay a visit to shanties under it, and see how poorly some people live in this unequal country. Sometime one needs to see how it is on the other side, so that you can get some perspective and be thankful for this New Year.

2012 is a new beginning, and gives us 2012 reasons to pursue our dreams 2012 per cent. So help us, God.

Happy New Year, my fellow Woah-Nigerians.

 

Say goodbye to the brainwashed/
Say goodbye to the young kids who are not smart/
Say hello to the one world…/
Say hello to the sky, something’s out there watching you and I/
..I might be old fashioned, stuck in my ways/
But nothing make me more happier than seeing today/

Nas (New World, 1999)

Na small small

At last..

No lie, sometimes when I am by my lonesome, I like to observe the environment around me, and try to come up to answers to the whats and whys. I have seen a fair bit in my short existence on this earth, and there are times I have thought that I have a life one could write a book on. But who doesn’t?

I have seen my family robbed by AK-47 toting armed robbers on Sagamu-Ore express way, making a trip during the Xmas holidays – they took cash, jewelry, boxes of gear but spared our lives and my trusty Sony CD-changer. We still stopped over at Iyayi Station Benin City for refreshment and treats.

I have been in parts of Nigeria where poverty and despair were complete, etched on the faces of the children, the elderly and the old at heart. I have been on a road in an Abuja municipality, and seen a drunken bus driver lose control of his vehicle on a wet rainy surface, skid, and fall into a ditch, the bus on its roof, and tires still spinning upwards. I and my friend who had been driving behind pulled up, and rushed to help. The conductor was sitting dazed by the side of the ditch, while the driver was still attempting to push the bus upright without a care for his injuries. We had to insist that he sit still, because he was still in shock, and was more worried about what he would tell the owner of the bus. And the bus ironically had an inscription on it “The downfall of a man is not the end of his life.”

I have seen my best friend Paul start with marijuana and then get hooked on more dangerous substances until he became a complete druggie, now a permanent guest at Yaba, and an uncomfortable subject for his father when quizzed by amebo friends:

“Paul my son? Oh, he is his 3rd year at Medilag studying medicine.”

“That’s strange, my daughter is also in year 3 at Medilag and says she has never seen him.”

“That is because he is doing the part-time program”

“I never knew medicine programs in Nigeria had part-time”

“Well, they do now. Let’s head out for a beer, jare”

I have seen cancer ravage a loved one, until he was pissing blood, and passed on in a dingy hospital with NEPA issues. He died in the dark.

This is the only country on God’s green earth where someone would ask you for a favour or a tip, with scant disregard for your own comfort or considerations. They want what they want NOW. I have told you the story of how a toilet attendant at a loo in the Silverbird Galleria was close-marking me for a tip when I was taking a leak at the urinal. And I was like “Dude, give me a break or get bathed with a jet of my finest golden premium brine”

The attendant was undeterred nonetheless ‘Bros, anything for me?” Water nor get enemy.

On the other side, I have seen the wonderful parts of Nigerian life. Like the Lekki breeze on my face, as I drive with the windows down on traffic-less weekend evenings. The opportunity cost of driving with the windows down are wicked anopheles mosquitoes and bugs flying in and chewing my limbs, hawkers pushing their wares in my face and the odd pick-pocket/chain snatcher, but in this state I am happy. I would also have stuck out my arm, to cup the air as I speed on, but for dare-devil okada riders.

Seeing the inherent good-natured part of some ordinary Nigerians is a sweet sight for sour eyes. By-standers are always ready to offer you directions if you ask for help, although they usually get ‘left’ and ‘right’ mixed up. “You go take right for the next junction, come fire go straight then turn left, then dey go. You go see another right turn, but no take am oh or you go lost. Take left instead” And the guy giving the directions was pointing right as he said left.

So I asked, ‘Oh you mean left, and not right, right?” The bystander looked at me like I was mad or something “Oga, abi you no sabi road? So you nor know ya left from ya right, na wa for you o.” And I scratched my head, as he started all over again. At least I am not paying for Sat Nav.

It is still amusing though, how you can plant a seed or an idea in this country, and if it is watered the right way, you can build or grow something tougher than leather. You go, Nigeria!

All that I have seen and heard have meant something. Different aspects of human behavior amuse me to no end; but no species of humans on this earth can compare to Nigerians. That is why this blog was conceived in the first place - we may never have walked on the moon, but see how gracefully Nigerians prance the earth. I wanted to talk about the beautiful and weird things Nigerians were doing when the critical cameras of the world were switched off on us. Things that made others go ‘Woah! That is epic”

Amidst all the complications of Nigerian life, it is the little things that amuse us. What amuses you?

Some questions go unanswered, that’s what I’m afraid of/
Sometimes I can’t show, but I know what I’m made of/

DMX (Coming From, 1998)

The Pounded Yam And Pure Water Awards (6)

E sweet o

CORRECT!!

  • By now I am sure you know that I am a huge ‘longer-throat’.  One of my favourite things is good mood food. I have phases where I start having cravings for a particular thing and at that point, I buy and eat it to death then leave it alone totally forever. There was a time I used to stop by Mr. Biggs at Mobil Filling Station Lekki (3rd Round-about) for sausage roll, remove and toss away the cheap pastry and eat the meat filling.

Then I really liked the Chicken Kebab from TFC, so I would cop that, chew the meat and pick my teeth with the skewer stick.  Recycling at its best – nothing is wasted, you see. I also really liked UTC Marble Cake, which I have made many hawkers run marathons in go-slow for. Only for them to catch up, and sigh ‘Oga, change no dey o’ as I offered them a crisp 1000 naira bill as payment for 2 cakes. Now I can’t stand these cakes.

Now, my new thing is Jack In The Box’s “Grilled Breakfast Sandwich” which is number 23 on their breakfast menu (only available in the US, sorry). Two syllables for how it tastes – Correct! I even boost it further by garnishing the inside with a healthy dose of Heinz ketch-up. Some amebos would ask what does this have to do with a blog on Nigerian life, which should promote Nigerian food only? Well we also have bread, eggs, ham and cheese in Nigeria – please stop acting like say na only suffer-head dey our country. You could ask me for the recipe or you could take a trip to Pride of Eden…Heavenly Foods at Ikota Shopping Complex. Tell them there that Esco sent you for a hook up. First ten people to get there, get a free fortune cookie. With a message inside.

  • All the fathers in the house. Happy belated Father’s Day. You do not have to be an actual biological father to earn my congrats. If you are responsible for someone, are a big uncle, school father, political godfather or an area father, this greeting goes out to you as well. 3 gbosas for you all. I owe you pizza from Papa John’s.

How fatherhood has changed from the days of my youth. Back then, children were divided into different categories – those who called their fathers ‘Daddy’, those who called their fathers ‘Papa’ and those who called them ‘Sir’. Fathers who demanded to be called ‘sir’ were the ones who had a special sofa or couch called ‘senior chair’ in the living room where the kids, wives and visitors were prohibited from sitting in. These kinds of fathers did not sit around and joke with their children or wives, and were the first to be served breakfast or any meal. They were also perpetually decked out in a white singlet, and a ‘wrapper’ with the hugest knot.

The ‘Papas’ were almost in their 60s when their children were born. As a result the kids usually lied to outsiders that Papa was actually their grandfather. Then there are the ‘daddies’ and ‘popsies’ and ‘dads’

Whether you are a Papa, Daddy or Sir, happy father’s day to you all.

  • Finally, a thought for the disasters (man-made and natural) that occurred recently in Abuja and Lagos. GEJ, different parts of Naija have been ravaged by fire (Abuja) and water (Lagos) in the space of one week. What is going on?

 My heart goes out to the families of the victims of the recent Abuja bomb blast. May God give you strength and courage during this difficult time, and to the deceased – Rest in Peace. I will speak on this again sometime soon.

Water nor get enemy...or friend

My sympathy also goes to those affected by the recent major floods in Victoria Island and parts of Lekki. The rich also cry. Unless you live under Olumo Rock, you must have heard or read about the popular story about the couple who smooched on a road while there were serious riots going on in Vancouver, Canada. Well, Naija has bested that by a country mile (no pun intended). The resilience of  Nigerians was evidenced by the above picture which was circulated via Blackberry messenger of a chap surfing on a piece of wood/door on large pool of water. Get your Cameron Diaz on, bro.

 

Up Yours

YIMU YIMU

  • People who say ‘sturves’ or ‘stuffs’. I really can’t stand that word, and by the way it is a huge grammatical shell. Or people who use the term ‘working class’ to describe professional workers in Nigeria (but that is a story for another day)
  • Naija traders who charge in dollars for mediocre goods or services. I know this lass who used to stop by offices in the Victoria Island and Ikoyi area to sell formal clothes and accessories to bankers and other professionals, from the trunk of her Toyota. Her business card read stylist/clothier/ make-over professional. Okay fair enough. She used to pop into my office during lunch time to call out some of my work colleagues who were usual customers of hers, but I never really paid her any mind.

Then one day, I was walking back to the office after lunch, and passed her by her open car boot, trying to sell some articles to a work-mate of mine. She intercepted me, and insisted that I take a look at stuff she had for sale. I decided to take a look just to be polite.

I really shouldn’t have: Marks and Spencer’s pants (underwear not trousers o!) for $100?! A polyester trouser suit for $300? I thought M&S was a British store chain – why the conversion to dollars from pounds? Well, Ghana-Must-Go bags are charged in naira, here. Ok bad joke.

And some gullible people get carried away once they see a dollar price; they believe that the goods must be premium or genuine or are really imported from Jand/Yankee. Take this yimu yimu.

  • Those Nigerian doctors who never tell you what the problem/ailment is. It seems that their own version of the Hippocratic Oath extends to the patients themselves. They always use one coded medical term to bamboozle you into thinking you are done for. Instead of saying you have malaria, the doctor informs you that you have an acute attack of plasmodic protozoa, or says something like “this is a concentrated case of chronic dermatitis”. Chei, doctor, biko nu, I have not built a house yet o!

And one patient was like “Doctor Nwubiko, seriously, what is wrong with me? Am I going to die?”

The doctor just smiled sheepishly as he gave a light-hearted dismissive explanation: “You will be alright though; it is just that…..”

The patient wasn’t finding this funny. He started remembering all the symptoms he had been having from the past few days and even since the day he was born and started imagining the worst: “Just that what?”

“Just that…” the doctor’s voice trailed off as his eyes and concentration were distracted by Nurse Ngozi’s massive gluteus maximus (bakassi).

 Ignoring the patient, Doctor Death said “Nurse Ngozi, I hope you know that you are on night duty today…”

And he was grinning mischievously like he had just sniffed helium laughing gas from a dentist’s chair. Maybe he had…

Even when they are prescribing drugs for you, some of them hardly look  at your face or even act like you are there. They press the buzzer or use the intercom to summon Nurse Ngozi, who they give instructions “Administer 50 milligrams of iodine sulphate via his gluteus Maximus stat!”  In case you didn’t know, it means that the nurse should chook your nyash with iodine – immediately. I prefer injections though.

Heaven forbid that you are assigned to Matron Temperance rather than cute curvy Nurse Ngozi. Some older nurses do not give a damn if you are sick. They more or less ‘stab’ you with the syringe when giving you injections, and pump in the medicine. Oh, and if you vomit, you will clean it up by yourself, even if you have a terminal disease.

Why do some Naija docs like playing 419 with people’s health? Whatever happened to plain-speak? Some of them look at you through their thick frame glasses, like they are turning up their nose at you, since they are great paragons of knowledge while you barely managed to graduate with a major in Yoruba Education at your state university.

I have a mind to start acting like they do in those Nollywood movies where a character receives bad news from the doctor that the patient (a loved one) didn’t make it. The character would usually feign some kind of mock horror, look to the skies in disbelief and then start beating on the doc like ‘Doctor, it is a lie. Don’t tell me that Wazobia has died. Do something doctor – Wazobia cannot die. Ah doctor, you must be telling lies, please yarn another story, Wazobia cannot be dead’ All this while grabbing the dokinta’s lab coat hysterically and almost strangling him with his stethoscope. I usually cheer on at this point.

By the way, why are the doctors in Nollywood movies so cold, unsympathetic and unapologetic? They blurt out bad news like the obituary section of a newspaper, without even considering the mental state of the recipient. In one Nollywood movie, the doctor announced to the waiting relatives ‘Both your only son and husband have kicked the bucket…by the way the bursar says you are still owing the dispensary”

Nigerian doctors you know I love you. A doctor’s reward is in heaven. At least our government seems to think so..

Fly With Me

Shokongbelete o!

I did a bit of travelling last December, trying to connect America through England from Nigeria. I got to Murtala Mohammed International on time, but met the longest queue ever, and a busy departure area. It seemed that every person and their dog in Lagos had decided to travel on that particular day.

KLM ‘s line looked like an after-work queue for the BRT bus in CMS; British Airways too resembled a gas station queue during one of NUPENG and PENGASSAN’s off days. Lufthansa did not fare better. I did not even check for Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Nigerian or whatever it is called nowadays.

I got my luggage weighed and failed the test, like any true Nigeria, In our dear country, it seems to be a huge taboo to travel light internationally. Even if you plan to, people just would not let you. Please could you help me deliver chin-chin and ground-nuts for Sister Chop-chop in Kentish Town. Please she will come and meet you at Kentish-Town Tube station on Wednesday. Well, will you pay for my Zone 1-4 Travelcard? Na wa for you o.

Abeg, carry this bale of jacquard lace for Auntie Chinyere in New Jersey. She wants to wear it for her daughter’s graduation ceremony from University of Chicago.

Esco, please no vex. Make you take this Nigerian movie DVDs and CDs for me. My bros go come collect am for your hand, I don give am your number.

In my case, I was carrying a bit of all of the above and more. My mistake was letting some people know I was flying out briefly. One of them had made a late night trip to my house at 11 pm to give me items to help him ferry to long lost relative in Yankee. When I explained to him that his relative lives in Utah which is miles away from anywhere, he refused to take no for an answer. Yankee na Yankee naa! Even if I was going to Rhode Island, he wanted me to take the items and mail them, all 20 pounds of them, to Utah via UPS. At.my.own.expense.of course.

I paid for excess luggage reluctantly as I calculated the number of things I would have to forgo with the $80 charge – fast food, clothes, video games, music. I was not smiling when I got to the Immigration officers who unzip and physically search your boxes.

One of them saw me and his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Pulling the latex gloves on his grubby finger taut, he smoothed the creases on my box, and unzipped it with much speed like someone busting for a pee.

‘Good travel day sir’ he and the others chorused in unison. I thought to myself, good travel day?!

I ignored their verbose greetings, and replied with a grunt like Okoronkwo in ‘Things Fall Apart.’

One of them caressed the neatly packed items in my box, and his greedy eyes fired up as he saw 5 plastic bottles of chin chin and groundnuts. Licking his cracked lips he inquired ‘Why you de travel with all these foodstuffs? So na only you go chop all these items? You de carry chin chin and gra-nut go America? Why na? Food already boku for America.’

I replied curtly ‘ It is for my cousin who has not been in Nigeria for years. He likes Nigerian confectionery.’

The word must have confused him, as he waved me away.

I did not crack a smile when one asked me for a ‘parting fee’. I would have rather given him a parting shot, if I could.

Please I know I have broached this subject before, but why are the airport immigration top brass in Nigeria usually thick set with huge pot-bellies. Wetin full am? Someone once remarked that na egunje money full the belle so. Another person added that that explains why Fashola is trim. Then why isn’t  the slender Buhari our new president then? And maybe it is true, because ill-gotten or easily made money is always spent on thrifty things. I means the immigration man is not likely to use the bribe money to plaster or paint the parlour of the private house he is erecting. It is more likely to end up paying for big stout at a beer parlour.

And the extortion bid did not stop after I had passed the first batch of immigration. In fact, extortion in Nigerian airports begins from the moment your car drops you at the drop off point.  Forex merchants try to convince you to buy CFA even though you are going to Dubai. The trolley-guy tries to coerce you by snatching at your luggage, into renting a 2 wheeled contraption called an airport trolley, which is not free! And if you oblige him, you discover that he is also a part-travel agent. He can move you to the top of the check-in queue, or help you repack your heavy luggage to reduce the weight.

The chaps who man the X-ray machines are the most persuasive extortionists I have ever met, more tenacious than those sea shell and ornament sellers at Alfa beach; these X-ray guys should be political campaign fund-raisers. I cringe for womenfolk when I think about the immigration officers in charge of the X-ray cameras and who views the images. If you are a voluptuous female, then it is happy days.

Then I got to the final officers at the post before the waiting area. These people look through your hand luggage. I was carrying a laptop bag, and once the inspecting officer saw me he smiled. I knew what that meant – he wanted mula.

‘Anything for us sir, we are loyal’ he saluted.

‘Nah mate, sorry. I spent all the naira I had on excess luggage’ I explained

‘Bring any change you have; I am loyal’ he insisted.

‘Ok o, but you would not like it o’ I warned.

‘Make you surprise me’ he dared, closing his eyes.

I reached into my pocket, and out came the only change I had in naira. It was the crummiest, most tattered looking and cello-taped  10 naira you could imagine.

I attempted to squeeze it into his hands discreetly, but as soon as his eyes caught a whiff of the red coloured notes, he suspected that I had given him the ‘wrongest’ denomination.

And he withdrew his hand like I was a leper trying to make contact. ‘Ah! 10 naira, na him you wan take tip me? And you talk say na abroad you de travel. Abeg carry go jor; save journey.’

Na wa o. So this chap is the last line of hospitality between our dear nation and another country? And he is doing security!

These chaps are so focussed on getting tips that I would be surprised if they did their jobs properly.

I can just imagine Mutallab or any other stupid terrorist wanna-be being searched by one of these money hungry security agents.

The agent would open the chap’s bags and say ‘ What are these brown candle sticks with peanut powder inside? You de go celebrate birthday for abroad? Abi NEPA de take light for oyibo land?’

The threat would reply uneasily ‘ No, it is just dynamite. I, em…’

Not listening, the agent would interrupt ‘Leave that thing abeg. Anything for the boys…’

With a sick smile, the bomber would reply ‘Yes, how much do you want…’

Stay tuned next week for part 2 of ‘Fly With Me’. Besides do please share your own experiences in Nigerian or foreign airports.

I don’t land at an airport/

I call it the clearport/

Jay Z (Excuse Me Miss, 2002)

* picture courtesy of http://www.emnnews.com

Girls We Love and Hate

Sometime last year, I had an airport run to pick up my aunt from MM2 Ikeja, where she was flying in from Abuja. To beat Lekki traffic, I raced to the airport with hours to spare, and learnt that the flight had been delayed by over 2 hours due to the foggy weather. The airport was chaos defined, with travellers, stranded passengers, ticket touts, skimpy dressed air hostesses and the smell of fufu from Mr. Bigg’s African Kitchen all sharing the same space. The airport AC was blowing hot steam. I decided to split.

To while away time, I decided to drive around the Ikeja area for a bit. I then remembered that I had a friend who lived off Opebi Road. I gave her a ring and she told me to come over, because she was home.

I got to her place, and as soon as she opened the door, my heart missed a beat. In her small living room were 6 night-gown wearing girls, some eating, all gathered around the TV watching a movie. It was like they were having a pyjama slumber party or one of those Ann Summers girl meets. All that was missing were the cuffs and whips, sorry kobokos.

The last time I was around this many women in night wear, I was a 6-year-old who had accompanied my folks to go see my sister on visiting day at her boarding school. My sister, the ever proud elder sibling, had smuggled me into her dormitory to show me off to her friends, as she was putting the provisions we had brought her away. When I entered that Queens College dorm, even at my young age, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. Females of every shape, color and persuasion in a crammed space. They all came to say hi, rubbing my cheek, and pecking me as they remarked on how cute I was.  I like cougars, eh?

 Here in present time, the girls nodded as they acknowledge my presence politely before they turned back to the screen. They were watching the Funke Akindele movie “Ladies Men”. They were laughing out loud and passing comments about the film, while criticizing and dissecting the male psyche.

Basically, the movie was a story about how there are different types of men. – the mummy’s boy, the player, the lady beater, the workaholic and the ‘mugu’. The story of the movie revolved around different  female characters’ relationships with men each of whom had the above quality and how that had impacted their relationships.

One of the chicks in my friend’s house (her name was Ese) looked like one of those love battled-scarred females who has had heartbreak trauma from men in her past. She kept on sucking her teeth, anytime any of the male characters in the movie messed up. She kept going on and on about how all men were dogs, especially Nigerian ones. I didn’t mind her saying that, but she kept on looking at me at the same time. As the movie progressed, I noticed that Ese’s aggression had transferred to all the other girls, as they started really cursing out men in general and ex-boyfriends who had wronged them in the past. Suddenly I felt all eyes on me – like small chops on a wedding reception table.

When confronted with hostile situations like that, I did what I do best; I remain as cool as fan, and my mind begins to wonder.

Utilizing the classifications mentioned in the movie, I began to think about the types of girls we have in Nigeria.

  1. The Mummy’s Girl: This type of female divulges everything to her mum, including the words you used when you ‘toasted’ her. In fact her mother has knowledge of the fact that you used a lame line from a Katy Perry lyric when chatting up her daughter for the first time. Baby you are a firework. I means who says that?

Ma has probably read most of your BB messages to your girl, including those ones in which you included those girly smileys J. She has even seen your camp BB profile picture, and is following  (monitoring) you on Facebook under a covert name. Your girlfriend also told her mum how you were a cheap skate on your first date taking her to ‘before 12 noon’ movie on a weekday at Genesis Deluxe Cinema to save the pennies. You didn’t even get popcorn for yourself.

Her mum may also know the size of your agbunna, and have a copy of your birth certificate and passport – as insurance. I can bet that your girl’s favourite movie is Sly Stallone’s “Stop Or My Mum Will Shoot”

My friend dated a chick like this, and he nearly went crazy after a few weeks. The girl confessed to him that she had asked her ma’s permission before she agreed to go steady with him. The mum once called my friend out of the blue, to give him an unsolicited hint as to what Valentine Day’s present to get her daughter.  Thank you Ma, but with all due respect there is no way I am getting your daughter “a mother and daughter” ring set.

I have had a little experience with a Miss Mum’s pet many moons ago. I had been getting prank-calls on my house-line, and whenever I picked up the phone, the person – a female, snickered and dropped. There was this chick I suspected was doing it because we had decided to cool things off some days back. So I called her, and asked her if it were her. Her tone of voice and manner of denial convinced me that it was.

For one, her ‘anger’ seemed to be more than the ‘crime’ I had accused her of. She started laying into me seriously, asking me if I thought that she was so desperate as to be calling my house and hanging up. She started raising her voice, and so her mum who was sitted in the same room as her, asked her what the matter was.

She said “Mummy  come and see this boy  who is feeling special with himself. See me see wahala o. He is accusing me of calling his house and dropping the phone, like I don’t have better things to do.”

I was like ####?

I overheard the mum hiss, and get up as she came to phone, and cursed me out in perfect Edo language: Kevwe apkolovo sakpoba……idiot!!.

All I could get in was “ Mama, o gini biko?”

 Moral of the story: beware of lasses with Patience Ozokwo type of mothers.

  1. Workaholic chick – Ah, nothing do this working girl. This one is a career girl who clocks in crazy hours including weekend shifts. In Naija, this type of babes are usually bankers, doctors or private business owners.

A working girl is great; a workaholic one may be a bonus. Unless she is a marketer – then be afraid; be very afraid. Generally, there are few jobs in Nigeria. As far as her office is not Adeyemo Alajika pavement at ungodly hours, you should support any overtime she does.

Career women though, if they get their work-life balance right, are top of the food chain. Babes get your Dora Akinluyi on.


  1. Player- Yes there are women players, and guess what – what a man can do, a woman may do better. Nigerian chaps have egos and every chap will swear on a cutlass that he will cut any cheating girl loose immediately he finds out. Story! Some of these ‘poisonous’ girls, as my pal calls them, are so slick that you would only find out when they themselves are ready to dump you like a pure water sachet.

Bros, you would be there flexing like an oko iyawo, but your position in her life may actually be “assistant boyfriend”. Don’t be mad though; your own even better, as she also has several other males with varying titles on her food chain – deputy boyfriend, mugu, marriage plan B, Aristotle (aristo).

These girls are takers – they will take your time and resources, and take you on a ride.

 N.B: Chop and clean mouth. Sing along with me *there are many fish in the sea*

    

4.    Abusive ladies – A more common breed than you think, seeing that most people believe that Naija men are built like tanks and would win any physical fight. Good argument, only that being an abusive lady has nothing to do with physical strength.

These lasses physically and emotionally manipulate and devastate their partners. Who can remember that relationship between Apeno and Chief Jegede Shokoya in the 80s popular TV comedy “New Masquerade”. Jegede was scared shitless of his wife. He also spent many sleepless nights on the couch.

An abusive lady can deny you sex, food, a warm bed, rest of mind, and some can actually beat the crap out of you. Who can remember Serakus the really short Nigerian comedian who was married to a Lady Goliath?

I know this chap who used to date a wildfire chick called Uche. Uche was like that chick in “Why Did I Get Married.” Times 100. The funny thing was that she was a lekpa, but she had rage embedded in her veins.  She was paranoid about her fella cheating on her, and showed up to his office and apartment at impromptu times. If she came to his flat and she suspected that he was in and refusing to open the door to let her in, her mind went on a fantasy spin. Once she kicked in the door, and ran from room to room looking for the ‘girl’. No one was in – not even her boyfriend. She called a carpenter pronto.

Another time, she knocked and he did not hear because he was passed out on his couch, so she smashed his car side mirrors and headlights with her Birkin bag. It did much damage; the bag contained make-up, a Harry Potter novel, a huge dictionary, 3 phones, keys, and some other heavy material.

These types of women are difficult to decipher. When you break up with them, your  clueless family members wonder why you sent a wife material away. In fact, your siblings may say you were just tripping as all they can see outwardly is a “model citizen”

In fact chicks like this are nice to all your friends and family while you are dating. Two days after the wedding, they are trying to force you and your mum into the washing machine and press “fast spin”

N.B: Avoid unless someone in your village is a dibia or babalawo, and you want to send business his way frequently.

Also memorize the road to Yaba Hospital; you will visit there often.

 

  1. Mugu – These are feeble ladies who do everything their boyfriend tells them without protesting. Girls like this usually fall out with or do not keep in touch with their close friends once they get into a relationship.

 All this ‘ride or die’ babe want is love and attention from their chaps, and they will do absolutely anything. In the hands of the wrong man, a mugu girl can be a dangerous weapon. She soon gets transformed into a cook/washerman/sex machine/house-keeper/bank/messenger/obi oma.

Of course there are your average “girl next door” type of lasses, who do not necessarily fall under any of the above categories but it seems they may be an endangered species.

Which type of female are you; and if you are a lad, tell us about your experiences with any of the above.

Got a project chick, that plays her part/
And if it goes down y’all that’s my heart/
Baby girl so thorough she been with me from the start/

Jay Z (Girls, Girls, Girls 2001)

Nigeria at 50 through the eyes of a concerned Nigerian

 

Look, we ask ourselves these questions when the answer is staring us in the face. Politicians don’t want any change! They are very much against it. I was thinking about our nationalist icons who at very young ages had that fire not just of patriotism but also the spirit of Nationalism.  

I have seen messages where people have called others who question what the nation should be jubilant about, unpatriotic. Should we be blindly patriotic or should we celebrate mediocrity? The resources that we abundantly possess can take us to the next level; it can guarantee the future of generations unborn. But, no! Our leadership has failed us on every front – roads, electricity, security, water, jobs, education, health etc.  

I will not spoil the moods of those celebrating, but they should not call others who care, who can reflect unpatriotic. These “unpatriotic” people think not of today but tomorrow; generations who won’t have the little luxuries we have today which makes us sit in our comfort zones and think it is all peachy.  

Yes, we are still united as a country and that is so because we as citizens have chosen to be one.  

However, the need to do more is of necessity – the need to demand a change.  

The very definition of a government by the people, of the people and by the people should reflect in the actions of our government towards its citizens.  

We demand basic good socio-economic infrastructures as the barest minimum. We can afford it! We should have it! We demand jobs for our graduates, policies that will ensure non graduates have a source of livelihood, proper utilization of our resources…. It is not too much to ask that we have trained teachers at all levels, schools and universities running all through the academic year, nurses and doctors in hospitals, kids in school.  

Is that too much to ask of a nation at 50?  

   

When will I finally get to rest? Through this suppression/  

they punish the person that’s asking questions/  

And those that possess, steal from the ones without possessions/  

The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons/  

Don’t settle for less – even the genius asks questions/  

Be grateful for blessings/  

Don’t ever change, keep your essence/  

The power is in the people and politics we address/  

Always do your best, don’t let the pressure make you panic/  

And when you get stranded/  

And things don’t go the way you planned it/  

Dreaming of riches, in a position of making a difference/  

Politicians and hypocrites, they don’t wanna listen/  

 Tupac (Me against the world, 1995)

The Brand-Wagon Effect

Forget its population, Lagos is really a small place. Scratch that, Lagos is the smallest place on earth.
It never fails to amaze, the manner in which the latest fads fast gather discipleship in a city as culturally and socially diverse as Eko. These fads or current fascinations then spread to the twin cities of Abuja and Port-Harcourt. Everyone ends up wearing the same kind of clothes, having similar interests, using the same slangs and figures of speech, and making the same lifestyle choices as a result.

This snow-ball effect of infectious tastes creates a propensity for some people to jump on the lifestyle bandwagon, sorry, brand wagons.

The world is a global village, yes, but then Lagos must be a hamlet. But I digress…

Early this week, I wanted to buy a smart button-up to wear with a suit for a wedding I have this weekend. I ducked into Ikota Shopping Complex, in Ajah but got so miffed that I had to give up. Every shirt shop I went to stocked the same brand of shirts for men, baring a few Italian knock-off brands like Ogini. No I don’t want a TM Lewin or Hawes & Curtis shirt, free me jor….

Let’s conduct a mini experiment – gather all the 23 -37 year olds living in the following parts of Lagos: Lekki, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Ajah, Surulere, Magodo, Ikeja, Maryland, Yaba, Ebute-Metta, Apapa, Akoka, Ogudu and Gbagada. Sorry if I didn’t mention your area; every experiment needs a control.

Now, take 2 invisible hoops – a blue one and a pink one. The blue one is for guys and the pink one for the ladies.
If you toss the blue hoop randomly into the crowd, so that it only catches a fella, I can bet my bottom dollar that the following will be his demographic: He lives in Lekki-Ajah by way of somewhere on the Mainland. He drives a Toyota Corolla (the model that all the banks and financial institutions have bought so much that Toyota has made enough profits not to give a rat’s ass about a possible ban or lawsuits in the USA from the brake issues). If he didn’t buy the Corolla brand new and pay installmentally, he would have bought a Honda ‘Baby Boy’ Accord from a used car lot.
Demographic dude also supports Arsenal, and started doing so once it became fashionable to be a Premier League footie fan. He also has an Arsenal sticker on his car rear bumper. My guess would be that the sticker says Gunners for Life!

Demographic dude has a Blackberry Bold on MTN’s network and a beat-up Nokia as a second phone. He works for one of the banks on the Island, and tells anyone who cares to listen that he is thinking of leaving to start his own business. There is also a huge chance that Demo dude also went to LASU or UNILAG, and if he schooled abroad, London Metropolitan University or University of Hertfordshire.
He also wears T.M Lewin or Hawes & Curtis shirts to work. He orders or buys the TM Lewin shirts from the TM Lewin flagship store on the ground floor of Brent Cross Shopping Centre in North West London. By the way, he flies with Virgin Atlantic almost always, and when he travels, almost always to London, he never misses Next’s clearance sales. He also traverses London’s Oxford Street for bargains.
His vocabulary includes sentences like “That’s the P” or “Omo, I de hustle” (even though he has a 9-5 bank job that gives him time for precious little else).

Demographic man also has a couple of big horse Polo by Ralph Lauren polo shirts with the numbers on the sleeves, which he wears on weekends or when hanging with his boys at the sports bar to watch Arsenal games where Bendtener always fails to score. He used to wear Hackett shirts at one point, but that would be social suicide now.
He has started sprouting a small pot-belly these days. He doesn’t care, he is a big boy. In addition, he sports a low crew cut fade, and Rick Ross type sideburns (Oliver De Coque patented that look eons ago though).
The red hoop will rein in a full-figured brown-skinned girl who absolutely loves to eat out and shop for clothes.

‘Demographina’ would be obsessed with Brazilian (or Peruvian) hair, which she no doubt will blackmail some sex-starved mugu to purchase for her if she cannot afford it herself. She is no taller than 5”9. She usually wields a Blackberry Curve on Glo’s network (N1500 per week is easier) which she harasses furiously when she is at an event where nobody ‘sends’ her enough.
Her uniform of choice would include True Religion skinny jeans, tank tops or a tee, flats or gladiators, not to forget a huge handbag (of Ghana-Must-Go proportions) which she has perfected how to carry in the cavity of her elbow.
She drives one of the following – a Kia Picanto or Rio, Honda City or a Hyundai Accent, and wears sunglasses when she drives (she bought them especially for the car). She works as a marketer in either a bank, insurance firm or a firm that sells some kind of equipment which cannot sell itself or its utility to its target market. On Sundays, she attends House on the Rock or This Present House where she fervently prays that she will meet her future husband – a tall, dark and handsome fella who has a Lekki apartment and a smart SUV, and would fork out for her trips to Dubai.
She snarls at her local vendor if he doesn’t have her Sunday ThisDay Style newspaper, and snarls at herself if she doesn’t appear in the magazine itself. But alas I digresseth too much…

Of course there are always exceptions, certain people dress differently and have dissimilar interests which invariably leads to accusations of being weird. Chaps like Derenle the presenter are examples of extreme cases; Prince 2000 of Sunday Rendezvous fame (the Nigerian 1980s dance show a la Soul Train) dressed like no other. These are the examples at the other end of the spectrum.

In the US, there are special, special cases like Lady Gaga but alas I digress again…

In Nigeria however, it seems if you decide to break the norm even slightly, people mistaken it as a sign that you lack generally or are not in the know. A female friend of mine for example would rather wear her natural hair but she has had fashionistas ogle her consistently about why she hasn’t gotten the latest Brazilian weave worn by “Bo Bo Biz Girls.” Socially, Naija’s ethos seems to be either put up or shut up.

This word of mouth advertisement, which prompts us to conform or risk feeling left out was the marketing machine that made the movie Jenifa a Nollywood blockbuster. In Nigeria, the band and brand wagon effects drive up sales of brands like Blackberry, Toyota, Ed Hardy, True Religion, Ralph Lauren, Hackett, TM Lewin and the popularity of premiership clubs of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool. Nigeria must be a franchisor’s dream; and a goldmine for any aggressive brands.

It is no wonder that KFC is making a killing here. Fair play to them, but word of mouth and social interest alone must have driven sales and patronage through the roof in the first couple of days of its business launch.
A friend of mine opines that if Apple were to set up shop in Nigeria, and offer the full range of its services including a Naija friendly I-Tunes online store, they would best what Research in Motion has achieved so far with the ‘BB’. I once went to Sanusi Fafunwa Street VI, to look for a cord for my MP3 player. The traders there got confused anytime I mentioned “MP3 player”; what they knew was Apple Ipod, even though the cord I needed was for a Sony MP3 Walkman!

In Nigeria, Lagos to be exact, some people are obsessed with wearing vogue clothes as everyone else, going to the most fashionable church (usually for the suave pastor, sea of eligible singles, or for signs and wonders)and owning the most socially acceptable brand (even if it is not the best brand).
My friend joked once that the only product that we in Naija would use without insisting on a particular brand or name is pure-water.

 

“Sometimes I find myself wearing the same stuff for days/ Not caring about what they gonna think or say”
Prodigy “Family’ (2000)