I was recently asked what’s the best thing about having so many repatriates settling back home was and I must have paused for what seemed an eternity as I tried desperately to think of a handful of positives about the various shades of personalities which exists within the over-exposed and over-connected social circle(s)
These social circles could be compared to ITV’s The Only Way is Essex but with more ‘akoba adaba’. Everything here is narcissism, narcissism and more narcissism. We take ourselves too seriously yet none of us have managed to change the world with our 3rd Class UK degrees. With our collective velocity of arrogance you’d think we were all destined to be future features in the pages of Fortune Magazine.
I was at an owambe three weeks ago and everything seemed so planned and throughout – nope, I’m not talking about the centrepieces – I’m talking about the social dynamics of the tables – there was the ‘boys-in-government’ table, the glossy magazine regulars table, the B.O.S.S ladies (soon to be a religion) table, and of course, the ‘I-wasn’t-invited but I’m here in the colours of the day’ a.k.a.mo gbo, mo branch table.
Why all this nonsense? I hear you ask…..well it’s because everyone who has ever ‘returned-from-the-abroad’ is fabulous; in short, our life is one big HBO upcoming series “How to Blag your way through life as a privileged adult in the Lagos Metropolis”.
We worship each other especially the ones that have perfected the art of creating the illusion with his/her Land Rover which is on a leasing plan if we may add, the talk of sitting on the Virgin Upper Class Lounge and of course, frequent ‘business related’ inspirational status updates on BBM.
We talk ‘deals’ round the clock – even in church; we’ve adopted ‘buying bottles’ as a religion although the manager of Caliente is calling 3 times a week for the settlement of last weekend’s debauchery.
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you, the generation of non-rent paying, non-job/responsibility-holding ‘movers and shakers’. They eat, sleep, and sh*t like the rest but when it comes to manners they can’t seem to rise above themselves.
This is high school without the House Master.
On that rainy morning when my A Level (Scottish Highers) results dropped into the corridors of our home, I not only celebrated the sh*ttiness of the grades but the end to the ‘backpack’ state of mind. Finally (well at least I thought), it was bye bye to friendships based on parents’ assets and association.
….Then I moved to Lagos and I realised that the start of my working career and life as a Lagos local mirrored the first day in high school.
What struck me and continue to puzzle is this whole business of meeting people one day and then acting like you’ve never walked the same planet the next.
The Lagos social circle has turned been civil and courteous into a big deal. I have heard stories and been the occasional victim of an acquaintance walking past me without the decency to say hello but I was really slapped with the insult stick at an event a few days ago. A one-time close family friend saw me, our eyes met; he walked towards me only to stop a few metres away. At first I wasn’t sure what was happening then I realised he was trying to start a conversation with the person I was talking to, after getting the person’s attention, there was a brief converse then handshakes and he then proceeds to walk in between the two of us without uttering a word to me.
I must confess the first thing I did was to check if I had mud on my face or if I had dog faeces on my shoes that no one had told me about. I now laughed inside for a good minute before equating that act as another chapter in this book of Lagos repatriates and their lifetime of bad behaviour. We are so lost that we can’t greet each other anymore in public for the fear that our social ranking is in jeopardy.
What the hell is wrong with this generation? Have we become so self indulgent that basic manners no longer apply? What is this business of not greeting someone you know until they greet you? Or refuse to acknowledge them in public for the fear that people might see you speaking to someone who is ‘not-on-the-level’?
We really need to check ourselves.
This week’s Friday Track is “...Ooh na na, what’s my name, Ooh na na, what’s my name…”, you’ve all probably heard the Rihanna & Drake record, but whether you spat on it or hop to it, it would be a crime for it not to be a Friday Track.