Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I originally drafted this post on 9/6/2006 but never posted it.

I've just watched a one hour video with excerpts of interviews from Maaman Vatsa's widow and sons. Its just so sad. One of the things that make my blood boil is our denial as a people. My father and I had a heated argument about contemporary Nigerian culture a few weeks ago. According to him, one has to be careful, because western values are eroding our society, and lie at the root of our problems as a nation. I just could not hear that calmly. Western people have public structures in place, universal education, enough food, regular electricity and clean water for all their people. I don't care what they are doing wrong, I'd like to have a part in it!

We in Nigeria on the other hand are God-fearing - the number of Public places of worship is unbelievable- yet we cannot provide education, portable water, constant electricity,etc, etc, yet we have the audacity to sit on a moral high horse about other people's values. We have such a huge LOG in our eyes, so big that we are 3/4 blind, yet we claim to see the gnat in other people's eyes.

We claim to be godly, but obviously we do not adhere to the saying "cleanliness is next to godliness", as the amount of rubbish on our roads can attest to. We are such egoists that caring for number one is uppermost in our minds. We get slighted at the slightest hint of disrespect. "Don't you know I'm so and so". People are content to live in their mansions surrounded by stark suffering. We wallow in our ability to throw crumbs under the table to our fellow Nigerians. We claim that we are decent and regularly express outrage at the morals of westerners, yet anyone who has ever been to female halls of residence at a Nigerian University knows that our exclamations are a case of pot calling the kettle black. At least, the Europeans mostly do it for love, or desire. What do you say about a nation of people who worship the god of their bellies. What about using every means possible to extort money from fellow human beings. We are not the poorest nation on earth so we cannot claim that we are the way we are because we are poor. And a lot of our people are well educated, but the education seems only to make them worse.

Many times I despair for our nation. Every nation has its ups and downs, but how do you retrive a people whose morals and ideals have been corroded away by selfishness and greed? Is there still a chance to pull us back from the edge of the precipice or have we already fallen over?

Nobody can convince me this was how our cultures were. Just a little glimpse back into my relationship with people who have since passed impresses upon my mind that it was not always this way.
We have become a people with no ability to "cut our coat according to our cloth" not as individuals, not as a nation. We are a nation of suffering people, yet at the slightest opportunity, we carry out orgies of spending, regardless of where we get the money from.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


- You come in, they continue staring at the tv screen or sometimes even at you, without saying a word. "D, how are you", you ask? He smiles back, answers "fine" if you are lucky, and promptly ignores you, absorbed in whatever it was he was doing before you came in.

- Their uncle comes in, and says hi to the adults but "overlooks" N and Y. He ignores them because he is sick of having to always greet them first, old enough to be their father as he is.

D is a 10 year old son of Nigerian parents, born and bred in the U.k.

N and Y are Austrian, in their early teens.

One thing I cannot stand is bad manners.
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