No. I will overcome the temptation to lazily and predictably lump those pesky politicians in there. That has been/is being repeatedly and more eloquently done by erudite writers. Instead, I will create a list that includes less dramatic but no less serious things that you people do that is annoying. If you are one of these people, Nigeria will be a better place if you change. In no particular order, here goes:
RT if you don’t watch Game of Thrones people
When I was in secondary school, Van Helsing came out and not having anyone to borrow me the CD, I didn’t get to see the film until five months after its release. By that time, the expectation and anticipation had built up so much that it was almost unbearable. When I finally watched the movie, the hype just could not match the actual thing because I had put the movie on an incredibly high pedestal. It was not a bad movie at all, but I expected too much.Ever since 2004, I have had this distrust for the hype attached to movies, and it seems some of you people are like that also. I am not writing this for you to change your mind about watching/not watching Game of Thrones, nah! Although, with my own circle of friends and my girlfriend, when one of us reads a dope book or sees a dope movie, that person must mention it to the others so that all of us in the group will be able to interestingly make references to lines/characters in those movies and books. It is an esoteric something.
Not to proselytize o, but I love creative people and when an author creates a plot that will threaten to twist your mind and that book is adapted to a long-running series, of course I will want to see it.
Like my scepticism about hyped movies, you are right if you choose to refrain from watching a film. That is your prerogative, even though I feel you could be missing out on a very good piece of entertainment, when objectively examined in and of its own. BUT, please, for the love of all that is good, do NOT brag about not having watched any episode of #GoT. That you are not following a particular trend doesn’t make you special or wiser than those who are. Don’t watch #GoT, but please don’t come and be rubbing that in our faces. Who is your mate?
People who fry fries but won’t let you eat until everything is ready
When did you last hug your mama? Or worse still, your father? I mean, for me, it’s a really tough thing to do – – as we just didn’t have that kind of upbringing. No hugs. Just the perfunctory “you this boy, won’t you eat” you-should-know-I-worry-about-you kinda words and gestures, but never hugs. That ain’t traumatic, but I will tell you what is.
You know when your mama is frying meat/fish/egg/akara/potatoes/yam/plantain and you stroll into the kitchen to pick one or six of these hot, freshly fried things and she uses her perforated spoon to hit the back of your hand before telling you to wait until everything is fried and ready? What is their endgame gangan?
Some will even say it is indiscipline to pick these fries as they are leaving the oil. No, it’s not! It’s just that I have a fleeting appetite that needs to be satisfied immediately I crave food. Okay, let us even joylessly say it is indiscipline. Whenever you do these things to your children, some tough questions arise in their heads:
- “Am I a bastard?”
- “Is this woman my mother like this?”
- “Did they adopt me in this house?”
Surely, if the aim is to feed me, I don’t need to be sat at a dining table for that to happen. Thankfully, I cook too and I’m usually generous with fries even if some are still on fire. Now imagine leaving your mother’s house, getting yours, and having a partner that does the same thing!!!
Dear Nigerian cooks, stop traumatizing your children/spouses by disallowing them from spontaneously accessing fries. It is scientifically proven that denying kids access to fries will twist their psyches until they masochistically espouse Stockholm syndrome and relish, nay, crave more pain. Thus, these kids grow up to support Arsenal.
People who keep you in suspense when narrating gist
As a teenage boy, how do you know you’re in love with a girl? Ask a hundred different guys and you’re likely to get a hundred different responses. So I’m a boy who talks to other boys and a compendium of these conversations have given rise to a hypothesis which says: “the amount of info you’re willing to divulge about your intimate moments with your woman is directly proportional to the intensity of your feelings for her.”
Back when childish kissing-n-telling was the classless norm, if she’s a girl you really like, you’ll be stingy with details when your inner circle asks “how far” but if she’s a girl that is using you for sex alone, you leave nothing to imagination when describing your conquests. You people would probably be eating suya when it is time for one of you to narrate his latest conquest. “So how did it go?”
“Well, after ushering me into the room, she told me to lock the door and…”. At this point, the idiot narrating the story becomes insensitive and reaches for a piece of suya on the table. While waiting for him to resume the story, he proceeds to open his beer, tilt his cup and slowly pour it.
Afterwards, he asks “where did I stop,” before taking a swig from the cup. Usually, it is at this point that you almost wish the beer will go through the wrong orifice and that narrator will just choke to death. Almost.
You slow, dawdling, indolent bastard.
(never had a story to tell)
Look, let me say that before 2009, I never voluntarily uttered a word in English. My English language statements were always in response to questions from teachers. In retrospect, I feel this was borne out of the concern of being laughed at when mistakes happen. Now that I’m no longer 15, I have since recognized that mistake-making is crucial to learning and improving.
The annoying part of this is that I often hear ridiculous statements trying to justify communicational ineptitude (with English) by saying “shebi Oyinbo people too don’t speak my language”. By no means am I advocating that English should take precedence over your local language, but English is Nigeria’s lingua franca as it is. Stop using the English-is-kuku-not-my-langauge line. Just stop it.
Not knowing English is not a sign of patriotism. Strive for self-improvement okay? I hope you find your reason so you can stop calling soft, fizzy drinks “minerals.”
Oldsters who sing praises of the past
Apparently, arguably sef, for a brief epoch in Nigerian history, the land overflowed with milk and honey, but pining for these times again helps no one. We can’t even employ the working principles of 1950 and expect it to work now. There is no sense to doing these rubbish comparisons apart from valiantly trying to manipulate worry and casting aspersions on the future. It is simplistic. It is destructive and ultimately, it is annoying.
Bill Clinton beautifully wrote that the “the future can be better than the past, and each individual has a personal, moral obligation to make it so.” The rot did not start today and it will not end tomorrow. So, instead of singing praises of the past, why not start scheming to ensure the future will no longer be what it used to be ehn?
“I’m bored” people
Upon leaving camp, I saw a beautifully named village on my posting letter and my heart sank when I saw that my village was at least ten kilometers away from a tarred road. My first thought was “ah, despite all the dancing I did for Platoon 7, I still didn’t get posted to a city.” People redeployed and all that, but I met some like-minded people who had the same mind-set with me: “you make shit happen anywhere you are.” I am happy to report that ever since NYSC started in ’73, I must be in the top 50 of people that enjoyed the scheme the most.
On social media, one is wont to seeing status updates or posts declaring “am bored,” or “Abakaliki/Gusau is no fun.” Oh please!! Even if you are in PH/Lagos/New York, fun will not be automatically conveyed to your room by some magic.
Get out. Meet people. Do things. Try these immoral (but not illegal) things if you’re into such things. Do fun, halal stuff otherwise. Just don’t sit in the corner of your room and be yelling “am bored.” Like the Nike maxim says: Just don’t do it.
I said in the beginning this is a semi-serious post, so spouse here does not denote husband/wife. That said, biologically, you know girls physically develop at a faster rate than boys and a sixteen-year-old girl you’ve been talking to as a fourteen-year-old boy will suddenly have her head turned by a seventeen-year-old boy. SMH. This used to be annoying, but as one grows, equanimity falls on you.
If all you have, like myself, is prospect and your spouse meets someone that can immediately offer him more, why get angry! Yorubas will say “gba f’oga e.”
Collect for your boss.
Respect person wey pass you.
I now have inner peace and all that, but for all those who successfully snatch other peoples’ spouses, we have mad respect for you, but boy, do we find y’all annoying.
People who say bad stuff about other people to get sex
Okay. The coolest persons in this life:
- Goalkeepers who eat chewing gum
- Women who wear sneakers
- Uncles that buy you beer and take you to the club as a 15-year-old
- People who drive with one hand on the steering wheel
- Intelligent people
- People who speak more than two languages
- Andrea Pirlo
Conversely, I could make a list of uncool people, but I’ll just highlight one category of people in this class. They are persons that malign other people just so they can swoop in like a centaur and claim the man/woman after their constant badmouthing has caused a rift.
It is against the bro/sis code. It is crass. It is a classless and obtuse thing to do. I hold the opinion that one person’s demerit isn’t necessarily your own merit. Where is the subtlety? Just play your own game without resorting to shamelessly slighting the other party. Be tactful. Be elegant. Praise your opponent even! Reverse psychology is a thing. Understand it and use it.
I’m a Man-United fan, but I think Iwobi is better than Martial
As a scientist, you’ve gotta have a little bone of atheism in you in order to be able to follow (and believe) Darwin’s theory of evolutionism. Geologists will have us believe (with good explanations, mind you) that the entire solar system was formed about six billion years ago when a spinning disc-shaped hot cloud of interstellar gases (and dust) in our part of the galaxy developed a very hot epicentre which resulted in a series of thermonuclear reactions that provided the proto-Sun’s energy through hydrogen fusion. Further turbulence of the solar nebula led to the condensation of these gases, and invariably led to the birth of the planets; as they are.
Apart from being the most cumbersome paragraph I have ever written, it, at least, raises the ‘Evolution vs Creationism’ debate. However, one thing that can never be debated is the enormity of the earth and the sheer volume of its constituents; human beings especially. There are more than seven billion of us on this thing, and while our degrees of relevance vary, we like to think that #AllLivesMatter and everyone has a voice.
That said, even the spokesperson of a group could not possibly convey the sentiment of majority of a class of people, let alone, the view of every member of that demographic. So, this number 8 is dedicated to the people who use what they are as a prefix to what they want to say. So while you say “I’m a United fan but…” before declaring Iwobi is better than Martial might make your statement seem unbiased, it does NOT make your opinion correct. Bro, you don’t speak on behalf of Man-United fans and your views don’t represent the consensus of United fans.
Say your stuff without any unnecessary preamble and get your annoying self out of our faces.
You did not sweep this place
Have you ever been on the precipice of contemplating murder? As a kid, I used to, and I will tell you about it. Of all house chores, washing plates is my favourite by some distance; as I find it therapeutic. My least, of course, was sweeping in the presence of an adult. You might sweep a place with a wider surface area than the Pacific and one adult will just cast a cursory glance and see that one speck of dirt and while pointing one useless finger at that spot, will say: “you did not sweep this place.”
It is a funny old world and this has probably instilled the hatred of not doing a thorough job in me as I have grown older. Saying you-did-not-sweep-this-place ranks just below you-are-not likely-to-make-it-in-life in the list of things not to say to people. Just find a subtler way of putting it. Like, take off your shoes, walk to that spot, pretend to be chatting on WhatsApp, use your leg to do a fluid movement, clear your throat and we will take a cue and come back to sweep that spot. Whatever you do, do NOT say “you did not sweep this place.”
I recently typed to a dear friend; “a good morning?” and I got a nondescript “good morning”. I launched into a Gandalf-style lecture about good mornings. When some of us say words, we actually, intentionally used those words. When I ask ‘how are you’, it’s a question, not a greeting. I ask, fully expecting an honest appraisal of how you are. Cold? Enervated? Happy? Horny? To some of us, ‘fine’ is only the second worst way you can answer the how inquest.
The worst response of the average Nigerian to any ‘how’ question, is, of course, #WeThankGod.
How was your test?
How was the interview?
How is the gonorrhea treatment going?
Shey you are making sales?
Shey profit is biting market?
All these questions, and more, will likely prompt a #WeThankGod response from an average Nigerian. Is there a distinct lack of effort in our attitudes towards answering questions? Has the country so frustrated us that we now see the art of making conversations as a waste of time. Is it to hide how much sales/money you’re making? See ehn. We all thank God, but when I ask you something, tell me something. Don’t thank God. Are you mad?