4/9/12: The pressures of lagos life

Slowly but surely I am starting to understand why Nigerians behave the way we do. Although I still believe that some of our behaviour is backward and unnecessarily aggressive there is often some logical motivation behind it. I mean maybe it is better than the random stabbings that happen to random people in the UK? Often it’s due to the mounting frustration of a life where even the basic amenities aren’t consistently working or provided for by the government. Driving in Nigeria is something that I could never do; firstly, the roads are so ridiculously impossible to manoeuvre that I’m certain any car that I drove would get stuck in a ditch within a day. Don’t even get me started on the time my friends and I almost died when our car got stuck in a big ditch in lekki when it was raining, and Lekki’s supposed to be one of the upper class areas, KMT. Secondly, I’m sure you are all too familiar with the failure of the government to provide clean running water for all, tarmac roads, high quality education and consistent electricity for the people. Oh, and not to forget that no financial benefits are available for those seeking a job, the elderly, disabled or even the parentless. The problems that arise as a result of these issues are so many that I don’t even need to explain why this results in a general attitude of bitterness and nonchalance amongst the people.

I’m sorry to say but this country STINKS! I’m guessing no thanks to the open sewer system. I mean, if you ask a random male naija graduate what he studied at uni, 80% of them would proudly state ‘engineering’. Yet the country has nothing 2 show 4 it! Why can’t they engineer a better sewage system? Preferably one that isn’t openly exposed, so little children who are innocently playing nearby don’t skip a step too far and topple into pools of foul-smelling, urine, shit and a concoction of other unfathomable things, contracting diseases that could end their short little lives. When I got typhoid I literally thought I was going to die; could hardly walk, eat or sleep and all I could think about was how I would be leaving this world without seeing my beloved friends and family that I love so much. Would you believe that there was a time that I collapsed naked in the bathtub whilst being chaperoned by my younger cousin, screaming, crying and drooling because I just couldn’t take feeling so low. This is what Naija does to you peeps, takes you to the edge of sanity and back. Even to this day my right bum cheek is paralysed from the multiple shots I got in my ass, they were supposed to combat the typhoid but let’s hope they didn’t give me hepatitis instead. Anything is possible in Naij, especially since the dude that did my blood test seemed utterly unconcerned by the significance of maintaining a sterilized environment in the hospital, seeing as his dusty feet rested happily on the work surface where the samples lay.

But I guess Naija isn’t that bad when you’re surrounded by some cool peeps. I have never enjoyed the company of my family as much as I have in Naij. My aunt from the UK recently visited and the woman CRACKS ME UP! People call me Oyinbo but she is an Oyinbo extremist. The way she squirms at every little thing. Her rendition of her visit to Church had me peeing myself. Firstly she described how she had to queue next to a creepy crawly infested STANKULATING sewer which reeked so strongly she swears wisps of green smoke were emanating from it. So after the gas chamber she entered the church, eagerly followed by the green fog. After half an hour of witnessing the eccentric shrieks and dance moves of her fellow worshippers, and dubiously tolerating the incomprehensible vocals that they sang, she grew uncomfortable and started suspecting foul play. She explained that no one and nothing can be trusted in Nigeria. Even in church you need to be careful; their so called hymns could be incantations to conjure witches and all sorts of unspeakable creatures, and not to mention that the offering which should be used to glorify god and uplift the church is likely going towards the pastors new Rolls-Royce.

Some may call me skeptical but I’m just being real. This is what Naija has done to me. You cant trust anyone. Now that I work in corporate communications I read a lot of articles, and one that seems to have stuck in my head is the story of the little boy being sold by his aunt (his father’s sister) to some random men for rituals. What makes It worse is how this woman deceptively joined the search party to look for the boy along with many other worried relatives whilst knowing all the while that she had sold him! tut-tut. Oh, and let me not forget the story of the young women who innocently entered a bus at a bus stop to find that the driver drove them into an unknown bush and attempted to behead them for ritual purposes. I mean WTF!! It’s bad enough knowing that this country is full of psychos, and admittedly England along with many other countries has its fair share of mental patients, however the motivations behind the evil deeds are what really scare me. The fact that people are willing to stoop sooo low to use other people’s bodies or blood as sacrifices to these unknown evil spirits, scares the heck out of me. That is something that I never want to come across in my life, and unfortunately it’s a reflection of how desperate the Naija citizens have become to having wealth and power. Unbelievably it seems like so many people in Naij have a few stories about their encounters with pure evil, whether human or supernatural, and to be honest that is not something I can come across and still have my wits about me. All I can say is that the pressures of Lagos are enough to drive an individual insane or dead. God help us all!

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