I’m in Nigeria for work for a few weeks. I arrived a few days ago, and initially I had intended to do a blog post about how my blogging would be next to nothing due to lack of internet, settling in and so on. But as it happens, in my short time of being here I have encountered or heard of enough WTF moments that I’m compelled to share, this need is compounded by the fact that I have no friends in Nigeria, so instead of calling up X,Y, Z: I’ll divulge here.
Ok. As everyone knows the whole world is looking and talking about Nigeria, and sadly it’s not good press. In fact, in the days leading up to my flight to Lagos, I can’t count the amount of negative feedback I got when I told people I was going home for a while for work. And all the while, even though I would never describe myself as patriotic by any means, I defended My Country. By that, of course I don’t mean the actions of Boko Haram, but the country at large. However, the following events have me thinking at the moment, What the Beep Beep ?*%$$ is wrong with this country?!!
The first episode took place in the airport. On a side note, if you want to see Nigerians at their very worst, take a seat in a Nigerian airport, get some popcorn and enjoy the show! So I’m in the airport, having just arrived into Lagos and I’m waiting for my luggage. All of a sudden, I feel a great whack against my leg. The woman next to me had hit me whilst trying to carry a suitcase of the conveyor belt and onto the ground. Did she apologise for shoving me over? Of course not, but I decided to brush it off, as who knows it may have been an accident. As the minutes went by my legs got some serious whacking action, as she tried to pull numerous suitcases of the conveyor belt. By the fourth hard push, I looked at her pointedly and said, Ow. At that point, she gives me a stupid smile and apologises. And all I can think is, Why the hell do you need to take 5 suitcases of the conveyor belt to see if they are yours? Don’t you know what your bloody suitcase looks like?! Then the Piece de Resistance comes: a suitcase goes past with a hole in it, the hole had a white plastic bag poking out. This woman drags the suitcase to the ground, begins to fiddle around with the plastic bag, tears the opening of the hole in the suitcase wider, reaches into the plastic bag and begins to rummage around. After a few seconds, she puts the suitcase back on the belt. Can you believe it? I can’t remember seeing such a blatant disregard for right and wrong, personal property and so many other things all wrapped up in one. In fact at that moment I truly understood what the American comedian Chris Rock said when he explained that there are black people and then there are niggas, and goes on to explain the difference. If you havn’t watched that skit, I recommend you do, its funny and true as hell.
The next WTF moments sadly happened to my Mama and all in one day. With the first she got a text alert in the morning stating that her bank account had reached nil points. This threw my Ma in a panic as she had been to the bank the day before and had left with money in her account. Upon reaching the bank and talking to the manager, she finds out that the bank teller she had dealt with had made two transactions out of her account. One with her permission, and the other, not so much!! Yes my dear, it happened. Does the manager assure my mother that disciplinary action will be taken against the bank teller, i.e. fired? No. Instead my ma is giving a form to fill to revert the cash back into her account. That’s it.
Then my Ma goes to a phone company to put credit on her phone. She is served by a man and told by him that she will have credit within the next 30 minutes. After 3 hours, my Ma’s phone remains credit-free, so she goes back to the company to complain. At that point, she is told the man who served has gone home for the day and so she can’t get her money back. Btw, its about 3pm. My Ma then tells them she wants her money back from ‘xxx’ company and not the man personally, so it should make no difference whether he is there or not. When the phone staff begin to throw beaucoup de b.s excuses her way, my Ma flips her lid and only at that point her money is refunded to her.
So what is this? We are now at a point where bank tellers can play Tic Tac Toe with your account, phone company workers are using their work place as private piggy banks and when you arrive in a Nigerian airport, you have to fear getting a ripped-open suitcase? The fraud. The corruption. The deceit. From the very bottom, all the way to the top. It’s mind blowing.
But I can’t leave on such a dismal note, sometimes the WTF moments in Nigeria are funny as hell. Today, I was told my dad’s secretary couldn’t come into work to help me do a few administrative tasks. When I asked why, I was told that she is getting married on Sunday and as formalities go; her church is frog marching her to a Family Clinic to ensure she has a pregnancy test. If the results are positive, The Whorishtramp will not be allowed to get wed.
I almost fell of my chair laughing…
Ahhh Nigeria, I love you and I hate you.