Sunday, March 15, 2009

What is real?

Now it has been a little while . It is Lagos quite a demanding mistress, she wants you running around as if she is the only thing that matters in your life. She call and text at all hours demanding money for this, cash for that and attention for the next thing. Her expectations are far beyond her role and capacity even your wife is not remotely that demanding. Lagos is aggressive but full of adventure with ideas above her station . Yes it is Lagos officially the worst place to work according to ORC for Expats. So pray why the heck do they come ? They sit in the upper class section bitching about the country get whisked through the formalities at the airport, get guided through traffic in the face of millions looking for a way at of no way. How is it the Government in Britain is saying British jobs for British people and yet it is exporting its social misfits to lord it over here in Nigeria. This takes all kinds of forms. I was in the Gym on Ozumba drive after all the Bankers and power hustlers had left, something happened that brings to sharp focus this issue. Let me tell the story.

My gym instructor is a regular Nigerian brother on the hustle but kind of laid back with it. We had a session with loose weights and I was rocking Verve remix on the Ipod (as you do) and oblivious to the drama of the Indian woman who claimed she had called him and he had not responded ( the Instructor). She then proceeds to bawl him out without any restrain or respect. I did not notice initially but luckily another fellow steps to the plate to challenge her response. I got in on the act and this woman had obviously expected support in treating this young man like a sub-human. Not surprisingly the first man to step to the plate was a Returnee like me then everyone did the ritual disembowelment of different elements of this behaviour some going as far as racial and national stereotypes of different expatriates and how they treat Nigerians. I had to step to them as well because without them setting this standard of abusive behaviour with their domestic workers, drivers et al, no one will find it acceptable to come to Nigeria and do such.

For those of us who have had to go into the West to make fame and fortune very few of us were welcome in any way. No one gave us accommodation (rarely) , cars and schools for our children. I had to start from the bottom and build up. Been homeless, driven taxis, been a bouncer all after being a Barrister and practicised a little. On the other hand taxi drivers from South East london are met at the airport and whisked through any formalities and provided condos et al.

Now that stinks. Why will they not misbehave.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oga mi

Welcome back I have missed your perspectives on the world we live in.
Your story confirms the bigger point we need to treat each other with respect and dignity and hopefully our guests will do likewise.