Remember when I wrote about how black folks think the white man is a god? How we need to dump that kind of thinking and focus on our own awesomeness because we are awesome?
Well, it seems black folks don’t listen or maybe they don’t read this blog, or maybe they are just too filled with love and adoration for the white man that they care less about black pride or no black pride.
I was face to face with kiss-assery at it best when I was traveling some times back. I was at the park waiting for the bus to fill up when this lean, stringy looking dark brown skin Indian dude drove into the park with his chubby light brown skin brother. Both of them were jabbering away in their language as the bus drivers rush towards their car
” I know him, I know him customer, customer”
The men, old enough to be my daddy pushed each other as they fought for who would carry the Indian dude’s load to their vehicles first. The man who owns the bus I was in won, and then the real hassle began. They lied and told the chubby brother he has to pay extra for nothing, this happened when I was still looking for a place to pee before the bus took off. The lady that was in the bus before I left hissed and mentioned something about black people losing it when it comes to white people.
” He is not even white, he is brown” I said
” But every being that is fairer than black is white to them” she replied.
I smiled because she was right. White, brown, yellow means Oyinbo to us. I took a sit at the back, where I was able to observe everything that goes on where the Indian dude sat. We were stopped more than 5 times by Nigerian soldiers who asked the Indian dude where he came from, and where he was going. The two questions, he couldn’t answer. English? No, Hausa? No. What language then? Indian, Indian, Indian. He repeated to the amusement of the man beside him who strongly believed he is a “China man”. I was ashamed, sad, amused and angry all at the same time. In their bid to suck up to the man, they ended up embarrassing him and making him uncomfortable. The dude had no choice than to play some Punjabi tunes and close his eyes to the misery around him.
Earlier this week, Ubi Franklin, Triple MG boss got a Chinese man arrested, the reason for the arrest was because the Chinese man wanted to stab him with a knife. His offense? He said “see this Chinese man o” when the man refused to attend to him. To his dismay, Ubi learnt the Nigerian police released the Chinese man a day after he got him arrested. Just negodu!
I can’t start to imagine the way the Chinese man might have been treated like an egg that must not break. Even though we Nigerians are hailed all over the world for our generosity, both genuine and fake. We overdo it when it comes to foreigners, we jump on their neck like kids and wordlessly plead to them to take us home, we awe at their skin and wish we could exchange it with ours, we think it is so flawless. Skin that gets ravaged by freckles and some irritating pink and brown spots at times! We love their hair, that explains the relaxer and it is not just women that are affected by this desire to be black with a white man’s hair, men relax their hair too. Because we want to look oyinbo, some lie to themselves that the relaxer is applied to make their hair easier to manage. Yimu.
When some Africans attend to average white folks, the respect they give to them is a luxury wealthy customers can never afford. The average Nigerian sales girl or boy would rather act smug when a rich customer comes around, very few act with courtesy. But let one ruggedly looking European, Chinese or Indian or even light Sudanese come around. The shop will be turned upside down, customer service will be at it best, teeth will show freely and the sales attendant would not mind running to the end of the street to get whatever it is the White, brown, yellow customer needs. We splatter them with the respect they wouldn’t have gotten in their own country, hence, they start acting up.
I could remember how I felt important the first day an Arab man spoke to me. It was just few months after the proprietress of the primary school I attended brought two fat looking Oyinbos who looked as if they left their neck on the plane. The lady has a striking resemblance to Mummy June of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo before she had her surgery. They were huge and they blew us away, I was in primary four. I have read a lot about them, I have seen their movies. How I longed to touch their skin, how I wished they spoke to me. I even imagined them stuffing me into their suitcases on their way back to the “abroad”. Such foolish! So imagine my sense of pride when the Arab man in the most congested English I have ever heard in my life asked how much the mangoes were? Which mangoes? I turned and saw an old woman in mismatched Ankara fanning the flies away from her mangoes. Huge mangoes. I helped him negotiate and the Miserly, stingy, cute but proud, long face curly hair, nose screwed up Arab man didn’t say thank you as he left with 10 huge mangoes for 50 naira!!!
It is irritatingly sweet when little kids run after white men or women, Indian men, Chinese, Japanese on the street and shout “Oyinbo, Oyinbo” after them. But it is foolishness at it peak when adults do the same, it is only someone with an itching brain that would speak gibberish to people of other race in a bid to warm up to them. It is not by force is it? How would we feel if the white folks make monkey sounds when they see us? Excuse my bad they offer us bananas already.
Dear Africans, Nigerians et al. Please stop sucking up to people with lighter skin at your own and fellow Africans detriment. It is annoying and unpatriotic!