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Why Are Nigerians Like This?

The Nigerian Experience. We’ve all attempted, at some point in our colorful lives, to fully define what this phrase means to each of us, how it shapes our decision making, how it defines our perception and reaction to everyday situations, and above all, how it uniquely qualifies our experience in this dear parchment of land we call home. That’s all I’ve done here really. Now, walk with me through a few of those moments that make you exclaim every now and then “Why are Nigerians like this?”.

When you drive…

Imagine driving your car on a cool Sunday evening (best day to drive around Lagos really), negotiating a roundabout somewhere in the metropolis… don’t be caught thinking that vehicles approaching will give way to traffic at the roundabout. They rarely will. It’s left to you to know when to stop, inch forward, stop, jerk forward, give way and then move ahead.

At other times you’re driving behind a commercial bus or taxi on the highway… you’re a good and smart driver so you maintain a safe distance… a bus stop is just a few seconds ahead of you. To your utmost shock, the commercial vehicle driver does not ease off the highway into the bus lane… he stops right there in front of your car, while you watch the conductor jump out, hollering at potential commuters. You make the mistake of honking as expected… the conductor throws you a glance that implies to you that you must be crazy for expecting them to pull over in the bus lane … which is actually the right thing!

“If I’m not compelled or forced, I won’t obey rules!”

Ah! The other very typical scenario… it’s a hot afternoon and you’re just trying to drive down for lunch. You have been tailing this car for a few minutes and notice the driver starts to slow down and his indicator comes on, telling you he’s about to make a left turn. So, likewise, you hit the brakes and slow down, to allow him make his turn before you move on. But wait… the car behind you will have none of that… as far as that dude is concerned, you are slow and daft… no be so we dey drive for here, he thinks. So yea, he swerves out to your right and overtakes you and the left turning vehicle… not forgetting to give you that “Yo! You stupid?” look. The worst part? He’s probably a chauffeur and his ‘oga’ is seated behind giving him thumbs up because oga is late for a business meeting with a bank MD!

If doing it right will take longer, do not wait! Who waiting ‘epp?

Swerve your way till you get ‘there’! The end justifies the means!

 

 

When you’re trying to chill…

It’s Thursday night and Ade just got off work super stressed. So he choose to drive to the cinema to see a movie… something cool and calm… he really just wanted to relax. He gets to the mall and the car park is filled to the brim, so he drives out to park outside by some company building. Ade is barely done parking and some guy in a security uniform walks up to his side, taps on the window… “oga, no parking here sir”! Ade opens the door, attempting to alight and then asks him what the issue is. He replies “no parking here sir. It’s not allowed”.  But you see… Ade is a ‘sharp guy’ and so he smiles and looks the security guard straight in the eye, and with a mastery of Pidgin English, he says “cool dahn! I go sort you!” The guard retreats while grinning ear to ear… then wait for it… he salutes Ade!

Money first… every other thing follows!

 

 

At the bank….

Jude misplaced his debit card and needed to do some urgent transactions. So he hopped out at lunch time aiming to dash in and out of the bank. After all, all he needed was a replacement debit card. To his surprise, he met a queue, some sitting, others standing, waiting in turn to be attended to by two customer service personnel who did not look excited about life in any way. Jude joins the queue. After about ten minutes of waiting, he notices a sleek range rover drive up close to the bank entrance, a young man steps out, clad in his sparkling white fitted traditional attire, his leather slippers all shiny brown, sunglasses on ‘fleek’, and wrist chains flashing in the bright sun. He walks in, approaches the customer service section, sweeps his gaze across the line of customers waiting and then beckons to the bank staff. One immediately stands up to greet him “welcome sir, please come this way sir”. Jude almost fainted. He had been there all these minutes, yet this ‘big boy walks in and gets premium service, not needing to join the queue!

“Queues are for mere men! Big boys don’t line up!”

 

Those annoying questions…

It’s another Monday morning and Fola just got to work. She’s still tired from the weekend but the bills have to be paid. So she parks her car at the office designated spot, does a brief ‘facebeat’ session, picks her bags and walks into the office building, hoping to avoid any trouble makers or work horses. She barely takes a seat at her desk when one of those office madams (who must always talk) stops in front of her. “How was the night?” she asks! Fola smiles in return but says nothing… but madam won’t stop. “You look stressed. Didn’t you sleep well?” Not waiting for a response, she continues “You need to take it easy o! All you these single girls… always attending parties abi… you better go and marry!” At that moment, Fola’s manager calls her phone. She was too glad to take the call.

“Your problem… is our problem! Your business is everyone’s business”

 

Every now and then, there’s the warm, welcoming Nigerian nature that meets you from the least expected, like having a road traffic officer assist you when your car breaks down in the middle of the highway, without asking for a dime! Or the occasional driver that stops at a zebra crossing for you and other pedestrians to walk across! It’s all part of the Nigerian experience. What are your experiences?

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Discussion

8 thoughts on “Why Are Nigerians Like This?

  1. Ahhhh! Please don’t let me begin oh! I started driving fully in January and I can’t begin to list the incomprehensible things and people (pedestrians included) I encounter every single day. I only pray that I am in no way making the same mistakes or doing these same things that I complain about.

    Just yesterday, one woman while driving simply braked and stopped right there in her lane right on the road. . . to buy tiger nuts from a guy who was selling in a wheel barrow. And she was displaying this lawlessness in front of her children who were in the car.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Pearl Ijeoma Allison | June 18, 2017, 4:47 pm
  2. One other ‘interesting’ behavior I’ve observed is people throwing stuff out their car windows whilst in traffic! Very mind boggling; and when you question them they ask you if they are meant to litter their car!!

    It seems perpetration of the (bad) behavior is on the decline though (especially in Lagos and probably because of govt. efforts at creating and enforcing a semblance of order and discipline), but once in a while we see people who cause us to ask “why are Nigerians like this?”

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Kayode T | June 19, 2017, 7:41 am
  3. On my own part, I’ve noticed that in Nigeria(especially Lagos) there are many other road users besides the usual suspects: Pedestrians and drivers. One day, while using in Uber , we bumped into traffic on Ahmadu Bello. It had just rained so I assumed the streets were flooded as usual but on getting to the heart of the cause of traffic , we saw sprawled on the tar a cart pusher ; he just sat down there, staring blankly into space with an expressionless face. Everyone was throwing insults at him, his cart (which by the way was filled with junk, so much that it looked quite heavy) had blocked the not-so-flooded part of the road. I felt sorry for him though, the look on his face suggested that he was tired. He didn’t care what the world thought of him at that moment .

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Victor | June 19, 2017, 1:43 pm
  4. Good read. I have one…
    So this nice Saturday evening Segun and his friends looking all dapper enroute that wedding reception the whole town has been waiting for. As  you would have it at event centers in Lagos there’s never enough parking space. The boys were driving around looking for a slot and miraculously they found a spot really close to the entrance. As a sharp Lagos boy, Segun pulls up into the spot in a second (literally). However, such slots are owned by the touts on the day.  Before Segun could adjust his steering wheel Mutiu (as they would come to know him) hits the side fenders with a bang shouting with one of the deepest voices they’ve ever heard “parking na one thaisan” that parking there would cost a thousand naira.
    As sharp Lagos boys and Yoruba demons, Segun and friends didn’t even flinch they step out of their car looking dapper and one of the friends looks mutiu straight in eye and says “you no de look face” after conversing for about 30 seconds Mutiu realises these are sharp Lagos boys and immediately changes his approach, sharing his name and offering to secure the car till the demons arrive.

    “Lagos only the sharp survive”

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Ope | June 19, 2017, 4:51 pm
  5. Born this way 😂😂😂 we are rule breakers

    Like

    Posted by Trissie | July 12, 2017, 11:25 am

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