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Cisi Eze: Nigerians Are Shamelessly Hypocritical



Were there a world tournament for hypocrisy, Nigeria would lift the trophy. Through the years, we have brewed hypocrisy and drank of it; and like arsenic, it is causing us a slow death.

Please, here is the definition of hypocrisy: It is “the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in the general sense, pretence, sham.

Hypocrisy is when you have an issue with “indecent sturvs” on BBNaija, while watching porn and sex-themed Hollywood movies. As it turns out, being judgmental works in tandem with being hypocritical.

Lola Shoneyin tweeted, “Sadly, being an honest Nigerian is a lonely and excruciatingly difficult road to travel. Embrace, defend corruption and you’ll never walk alone.”

How many of us, Nigerians, are sincere? This dishonesty has bled into every social institution in Nigeria – politics, religion, education, marriage. We love lies! How do we explain we are a religious country with a high rate of corruption? How do we explain we run to countries that embrace the values we reject?

(Takes off spectacles and arranges tea cups) Uh-hmm! Cisi is serving subs! A sub is a message indirectly directed at a person. Please, take your sub, sip on it, and think about it.

Let me start with this collective sub. Everyone knows “One Nigeria” is a fraud; however, we still hold on to “One Nigeria”. Why? It is clearly not working for us. Ethno-religiosity has dissolved our bond of “brotherhood”. The more I think about it, I strongly believe a confederate system of government would suit us better. Let each region “take themselves”.

Up next is NYSC. Please, it is redundant. The aim was to “foster one Nigeria”, but most of our parents, who went for service, are still prejudiced towards other tribes. “Don’t bring a Fulani girl to this house!” See? It is pointless. Young Nigerians should stop wasting that one year. Let the government give them all the allowance money. That can help one in setting up a business.

This next sub goes out to those people hurling vituperative words at the government for being corrupt while inflating prices at their places of work. In their mind, they are being smart. Someone gets to work at 0900HRS and writes, “07:30 AM” in the sign-in book. The previous person probably lied. Where is the accountability? But they’ll drag the government for not being accountable.

We know there are no jobs in Nigeria, but we insist on people going to universities when they could go to technical colleges, learn a vocation/craft, and set up their businesses. Still, some of us look down on a person without a B. Sc. Someone would spend six years writing an external exam instead of learning a trade. Someone is literate does not guarantee he/she is educated. Look at people in government – has their “educatedness” solved Nigeria’s problems?

(Adds another tea bag into jug) The tea was getting weak. What of those people that push young people into marriage even when their own marriage is not working? Misery loves company – I understand where they are coming from. Nevertheless, can’t they quit being miserable instead of dragging someone into something that failed them? Not everyone was meant for marriage in the conventional sense. Then, some would say something as weird as, “If it did not work for me, I want it to work for you.” Thank you, Minister of Works. Stop trying to live vicariously through people.

This one is for conventionally married queer people that get all homophobic. It is okay that they are married, as not everyone has the mind, you know, the ode-eshi, to ignore societal pressure. That they get homophobic is what irks me. These people employ different ego-defense mechanisms – denial, sublimation, projection, and over-compensation, among others, to cope with their truth. They think hating people would bend their predilection. They would probably type weird things in the comment section – is it not them again? Haha! Their conscience is always judging them. They always press their phone piem-piem-piem to type homophobic “sturvs” after sending “pics” to bae and watching gay porn. (I don’t understand how we are a homophobic nation while being the third gay-porn watching country in the world.)

Those people that toss their nose in the air at the sight of sex workers, while trading sex for money, are not spared. After having sex with their maga (or magii; plural), their bills are paid, their car’s fuel tank is filled, they get that promotion, among other things, right? Nevertheless, they go on to hate on women that are honest in their dealings. Prostitution, like blue, has many hues. You are a prostitute if you go into romantic relationships with the aim of making money off your “lover”. Check the definition of “prostitution”. Patrons of sex work are not forgotten. Prostitution is sex trade. TRADE means it is between two parties. What do we call the enablers of prostitution? Then, the ones saying, “Prostitution is sinful, it is bad” are there fornicating and committing adultery for free, o. Poor business acumen, truly. It is the same Eternal Fire, after all.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea – Nigerians loathe sincerity.

We lie about ourselves and to reinforce these lies, we get judgmental. We believe judging another person is a salving balm – we judge people to feel better about ourselves. We hold on to certain beliefs and standards in public, but in our hearts, we support opposing beliefs.

It’s about time we discarded ideas that do not serve us as a people, fixed our value system, have laws that support human rights, and punish people that hurt other people and national growth.

Truly, it is high time we became truthful with/to ourselves.

“There is no use in holding on when nothing stays the same.” – Diana Ross’ “It’s My Turn”.

P.S. If you feel shaded, please, find me, and com’ an’ collect my eraser. Seriously, o. I draw portraits for relaxation. Haha! My eraser is so good that it cleans off shade from 8B pencils. The shade here was even HB kinda shade; I was being gentle…

Photo Credit: Atholpady |

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. She feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Western Post NG, Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Her first book, published by Tamarind Hill Press, UK, is titled “Of Women, Edges, and Parks”. Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.


  1. Tru

    February 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    ???? Nice write up! Ain’t no hypocrisy like Naija’s own.
    Wait o; sorry, Ah mean, Ain’t none like NIGERIAN hypocrisy ?(Shebi they will soon make a law areesting people that dare to say “Naija”)

  2. *rme

    February 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    See, I haven’t even read your article, but the title alone made me love you. I couldn’t agree more. And the worst part, is that when you try to tell Nigerians the truth, the way they’ll attack your ehn. Our hypocrisy is terrible.

  3. A Real Nigerian

    February 22, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I love this! This is my kind of article!!

  4. Olu

    February 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Hypocricy is part of our culture and tradition….and that’s the real problem.
    Sorry…I don’t see any solution in sight ….
    Some here ask Jesus to come everyday but they are not ready to die!

  5. Anne

    February 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Hypocrisy is not Nigerian specific. It does exist in this fallen world. Your co worker may smile with you and still back bite you.Jesus delivers from hypocrisy, when you know him, fear of man vanishes. You respect people but not make them your God. Even when He used that word, Jews were present. Of course that word would matter globally eventually.

  6. Adeleke

    February 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Same time of hypocrisy I have been here for the past 13 years when my folks come over to visit.
    They go on and on about Nigeria: No light, bad roads, security is bad, armed robbers, hired killers, danfo drivers, no job, HIV, adultery, fake pastors and miracles and how I am lucky to live in America with the good roads, healthcare, access to basic amenities and general quality of life.

    Then they flip and say there is no place like home, with your degree and experience you will get a good job at Shell (I thought you just said there were no jobs) and I will have gate man, driver, stand by generator etc.

    So basically, kill myself with noise pollution, CO inhalation and the threat of me being kidnapped. Good looking out folks, I aint coming back

    • Ify

      February 22, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Don’t come back for any reason!! We all want to leave sef

    • Dayo

      February 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      @Adeleke, because all those “good” things in the US were built by humans like you and I. With all due respect for each individual’s personal choices, ultimately the state of Nigeria is the cumulative result of the actions ALL Nigerians (not just the ones in govt, albeit they carry the lion share) either by commission or omission.

    • unbeatable

      February 23, 2017 at 5:23 am

      You actually didntmake one singular sense. You aint ashamed to even sprew this rubbish. Comfortably living in a country built from the sweat of humans like you whilst condenming yours. You think if Americans all ran away like your pitiable self there would be America today you can run to?

      Phew! Next biko! STORIES LIKE THIS ONLINE THO:

  7. hadiza

    February 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    ????I love you, author. U are bae

  8. Adeleke

    February 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    my bad I meant ‘Same type of hypocrisy I have been hearing’ damn auto-correct

    • Dr M

      February 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      you are pardoned. auto-correct never stops altering the meaning of your sentence

  9. Armchair Psychologist

    February 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    So let me try some armchair psychology. There are reasons for this;

    – Poverty/Scarcity mentality that breeds competition; if you are able to discredit someone else, you come across as better. Hence, you have 5 Magiis but you have an aura of decency, you can discredit the known runz girl and increase your chances of a hubby.

    – The need to preserve whatever is left of our culture and heritage; so we feel raped and over westernized and criticizing some things that seem ‘western’ makes us feel like we are preserving our culture.

    – Fear; of having your child tell you he/she is gay or openly saying, I want to be a prostitute makes us criticize abeg. At least you do not have to face the inevitable. Na who dem catch be thief. As long as society criticizes these things, even if we do them, we are safe that our kids will portray a semblance of decency.

    – Hypocrisy is Universal; Diplomacy is another word for hypocrisy. All things are lawful but not all things are expedient. See Americans all criticizing the Trumps leaving us wondering who voted him but since it is the in thing, everyone, even those that voted him are forming critics. The need for societal acceptance makes us hyprocritical.

    In the end, na who dem catch be thief oh, every Dog dey chop shit but no be everyone carry am for mouth. Wisdom is profitable to direct.

    • Anne

      February 23, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      @Armchair. Thumbs up. Some people don’t even know the true meaning of hypocrisy. What is so Nigerian about it. Guess you have never worked in coperate America, ignorance in assuming that only Nigerians are hypocrites is the only reason you lose your precious job. Your mouth will be running like water during lunch until you know that your co worker has plans.

  10. Chinma Eke

    February 22, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Lol! I couldn’t help myself, I laughed out loud in the office and all.
    There’s no hypocrisy like Nigerian hypocrisy. We have a corner office on it, own the patent to it…….

  11. ify

    February 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Prostitution, like blue, has many hues- i love this line!

  12. Anne

    February 22, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Bella. I see you clearly. You did not pdisplay my comment on the fact that hypocrisy is not Nigerian specific. It is everywhere. Even your coworkers or you can be hypocritical .

    • Dayo

      February 22, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      @Anne, this! Although it should not detract from our own hypocrisy. But what Nigerians are really champions of is Hyperbole! Thus, everything Nigerian is self-regarded as the extremes of the best or the worst – and rarely anything in-between.

  13. Idomagirl

    February 23, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I’ve always said it that if hypocrisy was an Olympic sport no country would beat Nigeria.
    Hypocrisy and Self-righteousness are identical twins borne from the womb of Hyper-religiousity.

    • Hawt Talk With Tosan

      February 23, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Can I be your sister?

  14. tunmi

    February 23, 2017 at 3:31 am


  15. Damilola

    February 23, 2017 at 10:31 am

    This article says it all, thank you for this. I continually fight with my colleagues in the office daily just to pass this same message in the article across but i get defeated. They accuse Buhari for all the problems we are facing while we are the major cause of our problems. Who will take over Buhari even if he steps down? where is that patrotic Nigerian with good intentions?. Just recently a Truck carrying crates of Malt fell over in Ojota and what happened next was irritating to my sight, See our so called Nigerians stealing crates of Malt in broad day light; open robbery. No one offered to help. Its so sad that we blame everything on our government.

  16. Lailatu

    February 23, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    So every Nigerian shouts Nigerians are hypocrites, so I guess we are all hypocrites, including the writer of this article.

  17. Amara

    February 23, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Yasssssss girl.God bless you for this write up✅✅✅

  18. Hawt Talk With Tosan

    February 23, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    You all who loved this article need to subscribe to my YouTube channel – Hawt Talk With Tosan. I say it as it is!

  19. kwinny

    February 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    who is not hypocritical? Cisi, you???

  20. Ben

    February 28, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Go and write urs. Stop demeaning another person. Rubbish.

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