BEING A NIGERIAN

I don't know what you must have heard about my country, Nigeria, but can tell you that some things don't matter. And other time...



I don't know what you must have heard about my country, Nigeria, but can tell you that some things don't matter. And other times, they do matter.

You will go to the popular stall in your neighborhood where they sell hot akamu and delicious akara. The fleshy middle-aged or elderly woman selling it will make to serve your order but in the process of stirring the akamu, unintentionally sprinkle ripples of sweat inside the main bowl from which she would sell to hundreds of customers on that day. You feign or wear a look of disgust and remember how unhygienic it is. Just as you decide to take your leave and save yourself from health complications that might ensue from taking sweat-garnished akamu, you remember that you're in Nigeria. Another buyer even jokes by telling you it is the sweat that sweetens the akamu. You smile again.

Because as a Nigerian, these things don't matter.

You will participate in safe sex campaigns both on field and on social media. You will enlighten the populace on the need to always use condoms during sex to avoid contracting venereal diseases. You will shout and shout and go back home to rest following a job well done. Then you will remember that love interest of yours who's got robust and well-oiled buttocks. You will remember that Mandingo you've been crushing on as well. The time will come for the two of you to interrelate behind closed doors. Then you will remember that skin-to-skin is sweeter. You will suddenly become oblivious to your safe sex advocacy. You will chook it inside like that. You will receive the parcel like that. You will remind yourself that life is short and good things must be enjoyed before one dies.

Because as a Nigerian, these things don't matter.

You will go on a rant about the importance of minding one's business and staying out of trouble. But a day will come when you will find yourself in the middle of a tense situation involving warring parties. These parties will come wielding dangerous weapons. Suddenly, you will remember that these are scenes you see on TV and in movies. You will remember that these scenes don't happen all the time and it's important you witness it yourself once and for all. You will rather watch everything play out before your eyes. You will disregard the possibility of being hit by a stray bullet or deadly weapon. Heck! You will even discountenance the likelihood of being mistaken for one of the perpetrators. You will feed your eyes.

Because as a Nigerian, these things don't matter.

You will find yourself strolling on a random street with nothing but God's sunshine to guide your path. Suddenly, people will begin to run in different directions while screaming incomprehensible words in the air. The normal you has read widely on the importance of identifying the source of public panic before making a fight or flight decision but at that very moment, the knowledge will disappear. For your own good, you will take to your heels and run as fast as your legs can take you. You will factor in the possibility of demons roaming the streets in search of a conduit. You will even start to think there's an assassin on the loose. It occurs to you that though life is short, you just can't afford to die like a fowl. So, you will run like a mad dog in search of solace.

Because as a Nigerian, some things actually matter.

You are the type that values lyrical content in contemporary music. You despise the idea of singing along to trashy lyrics sung by Nigerian artistes. You're all about the punch lines and what not. But as soon as it gets to that point where trashy lyrical content involves laying claims to success, such as "tatty billion for the akanti oo", you hum it. Then comes the second chance to listen to that same part and this time around, you say it aloud because you don't want to take risks. There could be an angel passing and you wouldn't want to be caught staying silent. You don't want the angel to assume you don't need money. So, you sing it for the Angel to hear very well and relay your message to God.

Because as a Nigerian, some things actually matter.

As Nigerians, we often find ourselves imbibing habits that defy our individual norms. This we do, in order to satisfy our innate desires and convictions. Nigerians don't like taking chances with fate. We go for it and damn the consequences anyway.

Because as Nigerians, these things don't matter. And sometimes, they do matter.

Damzy



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