blog lovers, allow me plead my astrological inclination this time round to elucidate
my hiatus and erratic on-off behavior from the blog. I'm a Gemini which
entails, sometimes, a level of unfathomable procrastination not to mention a
full diary because in my seemingly quiet nature, i'm quite the social birdie
(Ok, info. not good for the employer so lets move on from that. PS..I'm
learning to use 'big' words. everything here is big..from the children, to the
homes, to the pests!!)
Although I have not been posting, I have been writing and this post may contain
an aggregate of thoughts I accumulated from whence I boarded my flight to
today, Sep. 28th (Four weeks later). In short, long-ish post which I may
have to serialize.
been in Lagos (Nigeria) since the start of September attending a leadership
training course. Tidbits and lessons from the course have been (..,and will
continue to be..) shared on my Facebook
page to give me enough space to share and
rant about my Lagosian experience(s)/observations.
is not my first time in Lagos but it certainly is the longest I've been here
and away from home at that.
a different society here. They are
outrageously courageous. Outgoing, too.
There are different breeds of them.
The middle-aged man in a kaunda
suit. This one is more often than not locally educated. In the eras when
'Nigerian education' was, well, education. Not in these times needing and
begging for reforms every second hour. He's more often than not married or
widowed. His kids are foreign schooled. He doesn’t trust the local
systems..They are 'aje-pako'. He has standards set for his kids. They can either
choose to study law, medicine or engineering. Careers worth mentioning in
public. Marketing, Literature and Librarian studies are for mama Ada's children
in the village. The UK and USA are favored destinations for this education.
As regards marriage(s), the
kids must marry to form a merger with a worthy family. Diplomat’s daughter
marries acclaimed professors son. Politicians spawn marries into a business
empire. They cannot marry the farmers spawn(Unless off course the farmer is the
'ranch type'..and there are not too many ranches in this neck of the woods).
They have high uncompromisable standards for their kids.
There's the self composed suit
wearing type with a resume from Nairobi to Timbuktu. He has 6 degrees from
different universities across the globe. He doesn't say much but
frowns at any faltered pronunciation. Gives the side eye when you pay no regard
to the starters on the table and choose to start with the main course. He
cringes when you don't notice that your cabernet sauvignon has been served in a
flute champagne glass instead of bordeaux glass. His women must have a resume
to accompany their fine looks. His public displays of fine breeding are almost
impressive. Well, at least until you interact with him and realize that Mama
Ada's kids in the village are better off. He is more often than not only able
to attract the breed that his dear 'Mommy' would not condone in her house. He
likes this girls but the ‘training’ he has amassed over the years on what life
should be does not allow him to express it. I, especially, do not like this
one. Saving face and keeping up appearances are the order of the day.
Then there’s the 'local' one
who is comfortable in both the 'kaunda' suit, a 'suit suit' as well as the
agbada. This one has attended local schools. Magna cum laude in all facets of
his educational life. Very determined chap. He has a few certificates from
nearby south Africa but feels like he has traversed the globe and the masses
should listen to his advice. His on/off bi-annual trips have him revered in his
'local circles'. He is a director of a company (his own) whose turnover he
cannot calculate for the life of him. He is out to make millions so that he and
Babaoluwa’s sons can be at per. How he makes it does not matter. The numbers
crunched at the end of the day are his main focus.
The older gentleman whom I love
to admire..This one is foreign schooled. Retired or probably serving in a
committee needing in his advice. A few grandkids. His kids are not stifled as
to whom they should marry. He knows where he is coming from. He values
potential more than anything else. Somebody valued his..he is giving back to
society by valuing those who have shown effort that is as worthy.
He was schooled in the era when
Nigeria still bore values and respect to Mother Nature and culture was not
regarded archaic. He has earned his refined state but does not bother to
overstate it. He respectfully exerts his authority without having to use
perambulating, excruciating, surreptitiously and resuscitation in the same
sentence. He has it together. He guides younger spawn regardless of its
parentage or heritage. There's an aura to him that begs your ear whenever he's
in your presence.
find that there is a minority who actually manage to let go and live life ignoring
the norm that is the pretentious and exorbitant nature that SOMETIMES defines
is a lot of bashing of systems in Lagos. Electricity, Education,
Infrastructure, Marriage…the list goes on. Surely, all of these systems
cannot be defunct. Some of the most skilled professionals and
entrepreneurs I've interacted with are from this end. If the local
system(s), say for example education, was that bad, these people would be
nonexistent. I agree, some do need fixing, like electricity. The noise of a
generator in a small house is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy(well,
apart from the taxi drivers who have decoded my foreign accent to mean I have
systems on the ground, I must say, have made for a hardy breed of people who can
pretty much survive ANYWHERE in the world.
Exeunt the men, come in their
women..stay tuned for the next post J