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Babafunke Bobo: Let’s Drop The Naija ‘Sharp Guy/Lady’ Mentality in 2016



dreamstime_l_29673375There are some Nigerians who pride themselves in what I would simply term ‘Bad Behavior’; and most times this display is done in public. Not to worry, I will share with you some first/ second hand experiences that I had the ‘pleasure’ of viewing in the not too distant past. While most of these actions are downright annoying when experienced firsthand, they can actually be quite humorous in hindsight.

Typical across the human race and apparently very pronounced in majority of Nigerians is the selfish gene. Nigerians! We want what we want, and trust me, this is definitely not a bad thing. We just shouldn’t look out for ourselves while leaving others to feel cheated.

Here are some instances that have occurred over the last month or so:

The ‘Sharp’ Family
So we are all seating at the VIP section of an event…VIP o. And then the usher comes around distributing pamphlets at the top of the row. The method of distribution adopted was – pass on to the end of the row. Take note of this method…very important for grasping the point of this gist. So Sharp Family was seating at the top of the row and they kept passing the pamphlets…down, down the pamphlets went and each person got theirs including the family at the top of the row. Pretty simple and neat, it worked out well, no issues.

Usher comes back with bottles of water – the process goes on again, works seamlessly, no rush, no hassles.

And then the Usher comes back again, with what looked like an almost empty ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag…guess what was in there…finger foods (popularly called ‘small chops’). And I’m sure you know that method of distribution was not going to work. Mba o! The Sharp Family decided it was time to reverse the process. We take ours first, and pass the rest down. Well, fair enough, I mean, they were probably hungry and you know ‘Naija’ ushers…now you see them, now you don’t. The finger food packs finished at the person who sat next to the family. Good for them, No? Yes. The snag was, this was not your usual ‘Naija’ usher. This was a competent one. She came back, with guess what? Hot ‘Small Chops’. And you know what the Sharp Family did…they started to stylishly switch their cold small chops with the hot ones and passed down the cold ones to the rest of us. So much for VIP.

The ‘Sharp’ Neighbour
So two business owners who occupied the same office complex kept targeting the same parking spot; let’s call it SPOT 1. Business Owner 1 moved into the complex first and thought…it’s first come, first serve. Business Owner 2 was of the opinion that it was theirs since the spot was closer to their office – which was on the ground floor. It didn’t matter that Business Owner 1 had to climb four floors to their office. So it became a cat and mouse game, whoever got in early enough parked in SPOT 1.
Business Owner 2 kicked off work earlier in the day so they had an advantage. So unofficially, the SPOT 1 became Business Owner 2s’ spot. One day, months later, they are informed by the Facility Manager that there would be construction works to install carport canopies. When installation was completed, it turned out SPOT 1 wasn’t quite shielded from the elements by the canopies. And I can bet you know what Business Owner 2 did….SPOT 2 became their everyday spot. It no longer mattered that their office was on the ground floor and closer to SPOT 1.

The ‘Sharp’ Shopper
The rowdiness at The Palms Shopping Mall during the Christmas season is unrivalled. Coincidentally, like the last example, this also has to do with parking spots. I’m sure you know the story. I don’t even have to tell it…but indulge me. Signaling and waiting patiently on the right side for a car to pull out, this lady just zooms into the spot from the left side. Luckily, a car pulls out from another spot just about the same time. So we park the car and head over to the ‘Sharp’ Shopper’s car. ‘Hello, that wasn’t nice; you met us waiting to park in that spot’. Trust Nigerians to feign ignorance when caught in the act – ‘What? Where? Oh…I just saw the car there, didn’t realize you were waiting’. Hmmmm…it’s true. Her friend was nice enough to apologize and then we went along our merry way.

How can I end the article without having a Petrol station case? The ‘Sharp’ Guy trying to fill his fuel tank….I won’t even bother…you know every…

Also quite amusing is the reaction of the culprits after said act…CLASSIC: they either ‘bone up’ their faces like ‘don’t mess with me’ or have this confused look like ‘did I do something wrong?’ or start smiling like ‘you got me…oya abeg now’

I must confess I probably have been guilty of something similar somewhere in my past; I want to believe I don’t do such any longer…Hmmm. Anyway, the message to us all is….if you are one of those always feeling ‘sharp’, all ye ‘very bad sharp’ guys/ ladies out there, just ermmm….stoppp eeettttt…

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Babs is a career woman living in Lagos. In the little time not sucked up by work, family is priority and everything else gets squeezed in. From time to time she makes notes on her thoughts, observations and that other ‘voice of wisdom’ that sounds in her head.


  1. Honeycrown

    January 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful article. It got me so emotional that I can’t even express myself. Maybe I’ll come back and say more about the ones I’ve experienced but I just want to thank you for speaking truth!!!
    People need to STOP all this petty juvenile poverty eyesore nauseating bad behavior!!! The most annoying part is that the repeat offenders of these behaviors are people you always expect better from and in places you least expect bad behavior! Let’s make a conscious effort to be good. That light will shine on our families, loved ones and society and gradually on Nigeria. Forget our leaders and bad economy. Let’s start with ourselves!!!!! The End. ?? but seriously though
    PS – And to Nigerians who reside abroad, you’re not excluded. STOP stealing baby onesies, shawl, wraps, diapers from the hospital after you give birth. And to those who return to Nigeria with their babies stop flaunting those wraps you took from the hospital as if you bought it. If you can afford to pay your hospital bill (that’s if they paid – another topic) you should be able to afford those items. Please STOP it too!

    • Dr. N

      January 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      O! Na thief dem dey thief d onesies? I thought d hospitals gave them out. Kai!

    • Honeycrown

      January 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      There are these hospital onesies and wraps that are distinctive. Especially the wraps; they have green and pink stripes (in the states/hospitals I’m familiar with) then you see people parading their babies in it months after discharge on airplane, social media etc. For those that cannot afford wraps, the hospital can provide …..

    • Abroadee

      January 13, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Haba, in the UK, NO ONE goes to the hospital without their babybag. The onesies and wraps are taken in by the mother so this is a new issue that U seem to hammer on for me. What U should have highlighted is that people who leave Nigeria and go and give birth abroad without being residents there should stop feeling this is a SHARP MOVE. It is similar to selling off your children into modern slavery since it is for citizenship. It is different IF THE PARENT(S) resides there though…IMO…

    • D

      January 14, 2016 at 5:59 am

      ‘Selling off your children into modern slavery’? Yikes… would love to know why you feel this way….

  2. Milli

    January 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Great article!!!! I hope many people read this and change.

  3. Que

    January 12, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    hahahahahahahaa @ stop eeeettttt!!!

  4. Benbella

    January 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I once saw my friend off to Gatwick airport, to departure section of the then Virgin Nigeria, and did a double take : the queue there was as long and as rowdy as the final scenes from the movie Titanic where hordes of people were scrambling on top of themselves to board huge ocean-liners. Except that unlike Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, the characters in that classic movie, there was no love lost between travellers.

    What was even more surprising was that a reservation agent would tell someone to go and re-pack because their luggage was over-weight, and the person would refuse to step aside from the line, to let other travelers be attended to in the interim. That person would want to bend over there at the front of the queue, to re-arrange their luggage.

    One particular woman had the equivalent of Next, British Home Stores, Woolworths, Obalende Suya, Poundland, Primark and Peacock in her luggage. There was no way she could check that luggage in without paying for excess luggage. It was massive! The zip had broken and she had tied the bag shut to prevent it from spilling out.

    When the person behind her protested that she should move out to the side so that he could be attended to and checked in, she hissed in Alatika lingo ‘Abeg, abeg, no talk to me o! Wetin consign you. See you head like tortoise wey wear cap!!”

    Why do we Nigerians like acting like smart-asses for the most ridiculous things?

    • Queen Spicey

      January 13, 2016 at 9:56 am

      LMAO @See your head like tortoise wey wear cap.

    • femfem

      January 14, 2016 at 4:34 am

      ???. You are cray. I can just imagine the scene

  5. Dr. N

    January 12, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Please slow down when joining a major lane dear Nigerians. A man nearly hit my car today n he was still gesticulating wildly like he was right. To my delight, a lady in the other lane stopped and shouted at him. That was when the other occupants of the car started to apologize.
    Sharp guy till death, mtcheew! Bcos no be me go kill fowl wey dey find soup pot. Lol

    • nene

      January 13, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      nigerians do not respect trafficator. they speed the mount u traffic ate. like wtf

  6. D

    January 12, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Classic case of i sharp pass my neighbour. Smh. Well written. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And the comments…lol…. So where are he original sharp guys Na? Please show forth and explain thine selves

  7. Downtown

    January 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Just watch even the guilty bellanaija-rians act innocent like most of us have not been guilty of this very act either home or abroad.

  8. Nammy

    January 12, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Well said, but how do we curb or totally remove this habit?

  9. Robin Hood

    January 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    You all seem to have omitted the “sharp” mentality in almost all Nigerian relationships. Where a girl dates a guy based on what she can get from the guy and not what she feels for him. Or a guy dating girl need on what he can get or exploit from her instead of what he feels for her. In essence a brazen pay as you go mentality in Nigerian relationships

    • dupsy

      January 12, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      My dear,

      That is why in the typical Nigerian average marital relationship or even dating relationship people dont have love or know what the meaning of true love is. It is like in Nigeria, when you see someone who is loving, forgiving, giving, kind and good in a relationship people will tell him or her that is a mumu! Nigerians and this sharp mentality is what is destroying the fabric of our country. Even in our worship of God, He has to prove Himself to be God in our lives by what He gives us ( it had better be quality). We are very self centred and only look for our individual interests and not of the other person. Oyibo too are selfish but one thing I have noticed about them is that they are kind when they see others in need and when they like you as in you are in a relationship with them, they are very open and not scheming as in what can I get from this person so that if this relationship ends, I would have something to show for it ( Naija attitude). We really need to learn what true love means and act in the interest of not just ourselves but others

  10. Tee2daBee

    January 12, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks for this article. It really speaks to the poverty mentality we are battling with in Nigeria. ‘It may finish before my turn so let me scrabble for it now’. This mentality is a very selfish and retarded way of thinking I must say. I have been a victim of the sharp shopper and it was ohhhh so annoying. In a nutshell just stop eeeeettttt if you are a culprit. I must have also done it before in my past life but I’m a changed person and I know better now.

    • Ty

      January 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

      the same damn attitude of our leaders… let me grab all I can while I can… knowing fully well that the Nigerian system does not work and they and their family will suffer once they are out of office… so as sharp daddies and mummies, they steal, embezzle public funds and stack so much money for themselves and their future generation… #GodSaveNigeria

  11. zeebaby

    January 13, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Why my mother insisted I develop Naija sharpyyy mentality: I went. For a church picnic at Takwa bay few years ago. We were all ladies, mostly d choristers. U know how getting a boat out of those beach islands can be especially if it’s not properly prebooked abi?Anyways, we finally hustled a boat and I was d designated life jacket sharer (those tinz neva go round in Nig). Kind old me naturally kept sharing n passing it round, until it was d last jacket… my fellow born again sister started dragging it o. Last last sha, I took that long risky boat ride on the ocean without a jacket and was very pissed. I gisted my Naija mama, and naturally she panicked, pulled my ears and taught me always save my arse first! Well, I am a naturally helper/ giver, so I still haven’t learnt to be. “Sharp”. Basically, this character trait is caused by a poverty/ lack mindset because things r rarely done right and resources are scarce or not distributed evenly.

  12. Oba McMeffy

    January 13, 2016 at 6:32 am

    @Robinhood it’s the same “juvenile poverty eyesore nauseating bad behavior” (that @Honeycrown made mention of earlier) that is affecting folks in relationships dz days(especially the younger ones). When majority of ppl come across someone nice and well mannered,all they’d be scheming on is how to take advantage of you! I believe it has to do with d values incorporated into folks tru social agents…(I mean family). Funny enuf d ones with d sharp guy/gal mentality are always d clueless ones!

  13. Dottie

    January 13, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Well said Funke

  14. vee

    January 13, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I’m an honest Nigerian, and honestly speaking any Nigerian without the ‘sharp’ mentality is simply dull. yeah.. I know a lot you will jump on my case. But take miss lifejacket distributor ffor example. She didn’t have a stipulated life jacket aaannnnnd still went ahead to board the boat. if it had capsized midstream.. she would have most likely been the only casualty. So warramisayin? Sharpness is Nigeria is not a choice, it is simply survival instinct. you want to tell me to wait 7hrs in a lagos fuel queue when I can side enter, flash my smile (plus 200bucks) and get my business done pronto. If e pain you too much do ya own. You chose to wait in line, no problem I will just drive by the queue and eyaaaah for you appropriately. Even the international community know Nigerians are a different breed. this hustle to become more cultured… more accepting ko le ye mi at all at all. As long as its not hurting anybody.. I mean hurting ooo like bad bad. if it helps you get things done quicker… by all means sharply get it done. As for me… I will still jump fuel queue… drive wa wa wa in hold up or follow the siren people, smile at you at the atm… if you gree, I go enter your front… and other sundry actions…Till BuBu decides to take it to the streets.

    • na wa

      January 14, 2016 at 10:12 am

      You should be ashamed of yourself for what you just typed up there. Like wtf you have the nerve to be defending this kind of behaviour? Na real wa. In a new year when people are thinking of how to let go of negative and wrong attitudes

  15. Tkum

    January 13, 2016 at 10:44 am

    gbammmmm!!! very clueless and myopic

  16. D

    January 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

    It’s this kind of attitude that sees Nigerians staying on queues, adhering to speed limits, waiting for pedestrians at a crossing etc outside the country but once they enter Nigerian airspace, they revert to their ‘true” selves. Oga/madam Vee, be the change you want to see and don’t keep waiting for ‘BuBu” or anyone else.

    • D

      January 14, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Well said. So sad to see that we abide by the right standards in other countries but refuse to do it in our own. And then we complain about Nigeria… we all need to do the right thing if we want our country to move forward.

  17. nike

    January 13, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Lekki etag lane ‘shaunters’….be warned o…


    January 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    m so guilty of d first point ……owanbe things, person gat sharp o,party jollof .hmm………..lwkmd……..but this attitude is really affecting a lot of things in niaja……….even in relationships……like getting a babe who knows a guy is in a serious relationship and decided to v a fling with him, and trust some naija guys no dey dull but in the cause of it got pregnant ,so water don pass garri.she will be feeling smart and in the end so called sharpness , will be regret ……also like the queuing in the bank thing annoying.may God remove poverty thinking from an average nigerian….

  19. Ovie

    January 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Lmao. You are so spot on. I personally believe people should be called out on their “sharpness”. I always do that. I remember once at the Palms when one girl took a parking spot I had been waiting for and gave the classic answer ” I didn’t know you were waiting”. I shouted and created a scene so bad that she won’t ever think of doing that again. She even wondered if it was just because of parking space I had to embarrass her. Same thing I do to those who try to jump the line at the tollgate. I believe if we all decide in 2016 to call them out, people will think twice before acting “sharp”. You

  20. Cindy

    January 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I hate sharp drivers in my life. They are the most disgusting. If you are too nice on the road, you are a learner. If you are not, women are too stubborn. I remember an occurrence recently around my house. The junction joins about 5-6 roads. I was going to cross to the other side to join the bridge and it is only common sense to slow down. In fact, I switched on my double pointer to let vehicles coming behind me know that I was going straight and not turning left or right. That is how this olodo man in his jeep decided I was to slow in approaching the junction. He overtook me and was unable to clear properly, that was how he scratched me. He came down and accused me for swerving to the left. My brother had to start defending me o. Took think he had the nerve to accuse me of something that was clearly his fault just because I looked like a 16 year old behind the wheel. I don’t blame him sha, may God be the judge.

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