Corruption is a Nigerian. So are Hope, Dishonesty and Yahoo-Yahoo, and I guess this is why I am not a successful Nigerian yet.
A successful Nigerian’s default setting is dishonesty. This is why when your change (by Change, I mean APC, Buhari and campaign scams) is 50 naira and the vendor gives you 70 naira, you take it and move on. Me, I return the extra twenty naira, to which the vendor will say “Wow, thank you”, and then five minutes after I leave, she will start telling her closest neighbor about the ‘mumu’ (by ‘Mumu’, I mean everyone who believed APC when they said Buhari will make Petrol 50 naira) who came to her shop and returned the change she mistakenly gave him. Then they will laugh over the matter and go on to worry about the fact that fuel is now 200 naira on the black market.
A successful Nigerian will buy a pair of shoes for 2,000 naira and then when I walk into his shop to purchase it, will swear it is 8,000 naira. I will bargain, of course, because the only way I am buying at that amount is if the shoes are the same ones worn by Dasuki that gave him the boldness to share billions from the nation’s coffers, like they were his personal inheritance. But since the shoes are not, I will bargain. Then he will swear that the cost price is 5,000 naira, swearing by the Nigerian god, the same god whom armed robbers pray to before going out. He will swear by his mother, and I will believe him and buy it for 5,500 naira. He will look sad and ask if it is just 500 naira that will be his profit, and I will think of the wife and children he probably has at home, and I will give him an extra 500 and go away. Five minutes later, he will walk up to a guy named Chigozie and over two bottles of Hero, Chigozie who is surprised that this man bought him a bottle of Hero and it’s not even his birthday yet, will ask him “Nna, how far?” Then they will laugh about the ‘afo anu’ that bought a shoe worth 2,500 for 6,000, while they fan themselves with newspapers, because PHCN has not given them power for four days straight.
A successful Nigerian, will look at the two pregnant ladies who have a project research work to submit the very next day and are stuck in front of him, and his mind will say: ‘I don hammer’. When they say, “How much will you do it for us?” he will reply, “Eight thousand naira”, and keep a straight face, while they recoil inside themselves and try to think up ways to gather the money. He will not say, “Oya bring 1,000”, because he knows that they charged their husbands 50,000 naira each for the project work, despite knowing that it will cost only about 25,000 naira total.
A successful Nigerian will not connect the 20 naira, the 50 naira and the 2,000 naira he took through dishonest means with the road filled with potholes, which will push his wife into a miscarriage. He won’t see the link between his greedy, dishonest ways and the constant lack of electricity in general hospitals that claim more lives than necessary.
And that is why I am not a Successful Nigerian.
Written by Chika Jones, tweets @chika_jones