Psst: I’ve moved. Visit me here http://streetsideconvos.com. Maybe the new blog will be for you. Maybe not.
As you know by now I love my country. However I guess that allows me some leeway to poke fun at some of our issues too.
Today I had to run some errands which found me in an office. Fortunately I had a friend/ ‘aunty’ who used to work there so she connected me with her friend who helped make sure my documents would be safe and get to the right person on time.
The funny thing was that the first thing the uniformed men would ask you at the gate is ‘do you have someone inside’?
If you don’t you are basically at their mercy -they might toss your application about or even ‘lose’ it or ask you for bribes and you will definitely wait for hours. That was the experience of my friend and has been my family’s experience too.
I should also add that the ‘official’ at the entrance of the building who was supposed to be ensuring security told me,
‘Baby you are not going home tonight. You are looking take-away’.
Or something of the sort.
I was a bit taken aback that I think I made an exclamation of some sort and in the course of the conversation I don’t think he remembered to search my bag the second time.
So if the so-called security and armed officials can behave like that, the question is
What’s a good Nigerian girl to do?
Risk losing your file, money and time or let a friend help you follow things up which essentially makes you part of the problem especially for other people who do not ‘have someone inside’?
Which leads me to a funny observation.
Why do Nigerian men describe girls like food? ‘You are looking take-away’. I have heard of other funny ones like ‘I want you to be the mother of my unborn kids’. I heard it is supposed to be romantic but I think it sounds weird. I know ghanaian guys also call girls things like ‘rice’, ‘banana’ and ‘tom-tom’ so maybe its a (west) African thing?
Anyway back to my scenarios.
I was going to a birthday this weekend. My mum asked me to hurry so we would be on time but I was still washing my clothes so I told her not to worry that the party would not have started when we get there. That makes me part of the problem right?
We got to the 2pm party around 4pm and we were one of the first guests.
I guess the right thing to do would be to come by 2pm but the hall might not even have been set up.
I thought those were some paradoxes in Naija that make good food for thought…
So what does a good Nigerian do in those scenarios? Have you ever been described as food? Do you go early to parties?
Is the system the problem or the individuals? After all the system is made up of you and me. Most importantly- how would you go about making things different?
I really want to know so leave me a comment.