Preamble; this was written yesterday before the all new expose’ on the Linda Ikeji/Aye dee chat. Colour me cynical but i think that that is a load of crap. So the thrust of this still holds.
First published (in part. Read) in Sabinews here. Couldn’t get all the words in there.
So here we go.
I already know Nigerians are mad. Where do I begin? Mad people. Savages. Isn’t it they who took to the streets a while back and said they were protesting against removal of subsidy, only for us to discover that it was a street party. Some say Fashola was trying to upstage Calabar carnival. Oya, they protested, when they asked them what they wanted, there was such a Boko Haramish mumbling and mumbo jumboing that those asking just threw their hands up and said when you can articulate your demands, come back.
Several months later, nothing. Same old, and yet silence. They take to social media and air their grievances. Some of the ones that speak loudest and most eloquently start to get a following, and before you know it, we have a new kind of animal called twitter overlord. Then they organize awards and award themselves and their friends. Then they hold conferences.
Does anything change? Any improvement? Haha. Rather, we birth another species. The ones called apologists but in newfangled lingo, Voltrons.
They tell you how new a country Nigeria is, compared to, say, America. Only 54 years old, they exclaim.
They tell you how blessed you are to come from the most populous black nation of the world
They tell you how beautiful it is to be African, archaic and debasing customs et al
They tell you how much God loves Nigeria and the beautiful plans he is still drawing, he and his team, because a thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone
They tell you how great it is that a shoeless school principal rose to become the president of the Nation, and caught completely unprepared, God will gird his loins and guide him on how to guide this great nation. So we go from shoeless to clueless.
So, don’t hate. A new-ish catchphrase.
We look on.
They tell us how lucky we are that natural disasters do not befall us. We wouldn’t know the first thing to do with Tsunamis and earthquakes. It must be because God loves us and we love him back, never mind our fellow Nigerian; it must be because we lynch and plan to put our homosexuals behind bars; it must be because of the 10 richest pastors in the world, like 6 are Nigerian – we are a people who give to God,, never mind our neighbours; it must be because we are the happiest people in the world. It might be just because.
What it could never be is that things work when we make them work, and when we don’t, they don’t.
So nothing changes; we hold the status quo. Foreign researches tell us our economy is growing at an astronomical rate, we see improvement on paper and hear it on the news. Our GDP is rebased (I still don’t know what that means) and yes yes, we are doing well.
Meanwhile, we are powering our generators and fixing our cars weekly from the effect of bad roads, taking our education and health needs abroad. We are solving our problems and …
All is well.
But boredom is a bad thing and we are bored. Bored with being so happy and trouble-free. So planes crash and buildings collapse and mob justice becomes as common as Ijebu garri in Lagos. Homosexuals, and their friends and family who refuse to report them get thrown in jail – civil rights are abused, women are violated, children are raped. The police are worse crooks than the average man, and the average man is a crook, period. It is normal. So we either ignore or carry out justice any way we know how. We create our own disasters because god forbid we wake up every day and there is no work for the social media activists, no issues to complain about. Why, we would be out of followers, issues, causes, a fate worse than death.
So we are warned about possible flooding months in advance. We let it come, rip into our shores, take a few of us, destroy lives and homes. Farmlands get swept up, food prices – and everything correspondingly increases. It gives us something to do. We set up shelters where women get raped. Poverty is a friend, misery keeps us in the frontlines. We don’t care what for, so long as we tune into CNN and Al jazeera and see Nigeria, we are relevant.
It also gives us another reason to go to the world, cap in hand, a grant here, a loan there, a favour here, a debt there. Needy, we are needy but better needy than bored. Keep us entertained; keep the cameras rolling. We cannot abide contemplation; we dare not allow idle moments when we must think, ponder and reconsider. We must fill our lives with activity, activity, activity. We cannot allow silence.
God forbid that we look too deep. It is too depressing. The survivors give thanks to God. We will look ever upwards, to God. He loves us. He will help us. Right now he is… not sure what he is doing right now. Helping someone find parking space somewhere. Helping a housewife get the right condiments for her soup. Helping a prostitute get a well-paying John. Helping a college student pass the tests he didn’t prepare for because he was in church. God is busy can’t you see? And deaf. A little slow, autistic maybe. Push him, pray louder, shout, scream. Repeat the same thing. He will hear us. Appeal to his sense of responsibility, ask his Mother Mary to ask him for us.
And since the message from the pulpit is getting increasingly urgent – God is losing it with our tight-fistedness, we throw money at him to leave us alone. Just do it or shut up, we are waiting. In the mean time, we could help God along by embezzling and then giving testimony for his grace. And if he is rather slow in your case, it is your fault, give more. God owns everything but he would rather you gave your blood. Some would call it evil. But for most, it gives them a sense of purpose, relevance. And hope. So our pastors get richer, and the flock get poorer.
And because life expectancy is so low, and our expectations of each other are so high, we purchase. Phones. Cars. Jets. We are the world’s consumer. Create? No. We applaud consumers and boo inventors. Creators.
So God gave us Linda Ikeji.
To entertain us, to make us mad both with titillating stories and envy.
But we like to pull people down, one of our own. So, we spawned her, this beautiful girl, but how dare she think to rise so high above us? We decide to target her when we hear that she does not create content or give proper credit. That she is in fact a common thief. But this is not about this grave offence for which she was warned repeatedly. This is all about the following;
-she is a woman
-she is so damn fine
-she is single and all the men want her
-she is a role model of some kind to young women
-she is a success story like shoeless to clueless above
-she has a lot of followers and is widely read
-she is invited to tush places to speak and has an oh-so-glam lifestyle with vacations and whatnot
-she gives the retards of the Nigerian blogosphere a place to show themselves
-she does philanthropy here and there
-we respect her hustle (even when it’s ripping people off)
-she is soooooo nice and respectful
-she bought a car worth N24 million, and had the audacity to gush about it. Daddy gave her permission.
All things we have never seen or heard of before.
So, who the fuck does she think she is? This Linda Ikeji. Why shouldn’t she soil her pretty hands writing, and give you, a nobody credit for your work. Why should she steal with impunity? Why should she run a multi-million naira business from her bedroom without paying taxes (I pay taxes from even the little I earn from my writing – ask Mnet Multichoice – our scripts are taxed, our workshop/conference fees are taxed!).
But like we have apologized for all the wrong that has been done (us), we apologize on her behalf.
Is she not fine? Is everyone else not doing it? Why shouldn’t she?
Un(fortunately), google is not a Nigerian, sorry. So they tear down her ass. She limps back up with some dot Mobi.dot com whatever.
It becomes about haterz.
She will learn from this and come back bigger and better.
Pearl, you too????????
We deserve Linda Ikeji.
We recover from the kinds of things that people would never recover from in saner climes. As we moved away from subsidy frauds to embezzlement/stealing which is not really corruption, to #bringbackourgirls, to COZA to all the pastorpreneurs, to the gay bill, TB Joshua, towards GEJ most likely coming back in 2015 after the awful disgrace of #bringbackGEJ, I say we #bringbackourLindaIkeji.
In a sane country, Linda Ikeji would be the dumped wife who despised her inlaws and husband’s friends, and brought younger men into the home – the person they point at and say, ‘don’t end up like that’ a person who never stands a chance again, a cautionary tale. Not here. Like I said, we are mad.
So, she’s what we deserve. I will carry placard.