My fellow people, we just celebrated the 57th anniversary of Nigeria as a nation few days ago and I thought all bitter feelings would be gone with the celebration, at least the unnecessary ones.
Please what bites us and makes us angry for no reason exactly? I just don’t understand why my fellow people get mad for no reason most times. Simple questions turn into insult, a mistake turns into fights even some gestures and your opinions at times, if you are not careful with the way you put them out, can land you into trouble with a Nigerian.
There was a day I boarded a taxi, when the taxi man stopped so I could enter, I repeated where I was going again so that he wouldn’t say he heard I said Taiwo instead of Tanke, so I told him where I was going twice and the man flared up ‘Did I say I am deaf of I didn’t hear you when you hailed me? Enter if you will enter jare‘
When I have entered how I would enter, he began to hiss and insult someone under his breath, he jerked the wheel roughly and looked for the slightest reason to insult other road users, whenever he is held up in traffic he’d blare his horn with a certain kind of zest, the type that is coated with malice and insult the policeman for not passing them on time, under his breath of course. I endured all his antics until I got to where I would drop.
‘Baba owa ooo please stop here’ I spoke enough for everyone to hear. He ignored me and kept moving. ‘Baba owa se!’
‘Are you stupid? Am I deaf? Look at this rude girl o, am I your father’s mate? Where did you think you come from? I’d slap you’ he rambled.
‘Hmmm’, I searched for 50 naira notes in my bag and couldn’t find any then I decided to give him 100 naira instead. He pocketed it and was about to move.
‘Baba! My change now’ I banged his car in the process and that was my undoing.
‘Are you mad? Are you foolish? Are you stupid? Do you want me to deal with you? Why do you want to spoil my car because of 50 naira? I will slap this girl fah’ he had already came out of his car to insult me because I was on the other side. I stood defiant but at alert in case he has one paro, ogbonge medicine that can scatter destiny, he can strike me with. The other passengers pleaded with him and calmed him down, he searched through the dirty bundle of notes in his pocket and gave me a faded 50 naira note.
‘Ha, baba they won’t collect this money from me fah‘ I made to return it, he zoomed off before I could stretch back my hand and then made the waka sign with his left hand at me. I tottered between annoyance and hurt. What did I do to warrant such treatment from him? The bystanders all comforted me and told me he is just frustrated, really? Who isn’t?
I wonder why frustration is what everybody blame their bad attitude and unnecessary anger on. So the pepper seller, the meat seller, the bread seller, the cashier, the secretary are all frustrated? In this our Nigeria?
You even have to be careful when you haggle with pepper sellers or meat sellers in Ilorin. If you make the mistake of haggling the way they do not want you to, they’d insult your destiny from genesis to revelation and upload your life history which you’ve never heard before to everyone around. If they tell you the meat or pepper is 100 naira or 1000, you better haggle and ask if you could pay 80 naira or 950 or you ask them to bring it like that without haggling, or you try to walk away after they give you a price but they’d call you back.
‘E wa, come and price it now and I called a price for you and you are going’ They will tell you jovially.
‘I don’t know if you’d like the amount I want to pay ni o’ you will tell them eager to avoid trouble.
‘Haba, my friend, my friend it is aje kogba now. If I’m not satisfied I will let you know.’ They will tell you still smiling.
‘Tell me last last last last’
‘Last last last last last last is 500 naira. How much do you want to pay? They’d bring out a black nylon at this point and look at you eagerly. ‘Ehn, you can’t take 250?’ you’d say
‘It’s like you want to be unfortunate in life? Kuku carry my whole goods and throw it away so that I’d be rendered penniless, useless human being with unfortunate footprints, see mouth like 250, 250 ko, 100 naira ni, mtcheeeeeeew’ they’d hiss and you’d have no choice than to carry yourself from their stall. And if you wonder what could have warranted the insults the people around are quick tell you it is frustration.
Is it frustration that has turned us into beings whom are best avoided? Frustration has turned us into hostile people who fellow people are scared to move close to lest they tick them off? This is why someone said on Twitter that the reason everyone in Nigeria add please to a statement is because everyone in Nigeria is vexing, so you gotta add the please to make them ‘cam dan’ first. They all say it is partly due to the recession too but there are still pleasant mannered people who are broke and do not have a saucy attitude. I think some angers stem from unhealthy mental health too however mental issues are avoided and never spoken about. Who wants to be seen as mad in Nigeria? Even when you try explaining that it doesn’t mean they are mad but it means they need to see someone, they’d still argue they don’t have to see anybody. That reminds me of the conversation I had with an older relative who happens to be my friend too, yes you heard right, friend. We are talking that day and I drew her attention to the way she stands up for no reason and sits outside to sulk, the way she gets happy this minute and raving the next.
‘Maybe you should have a mental checkup Aunty’ I said with my most polite voice.
‘Better leave me alone, I am fine o’ she said
‘No you are not, you should see a trained psychiatrist…’ the word psychiatrist became my undoing.
This aunty reported me to everyone in the family and told them I insulted her and said she is mad and needs to see a psychiatrist, that came after she had insulted me and angrily collected the phone pouch she got for me. I only looked on as everybody kept calling to admonish me, please what have I said wrong?
My fellow people, it is high time we dropped our anger, it is high time we stopped blaming recession for the way we treat people, trust me if everyone takes up that attitude, it would be hard to live in this country. Let’s look at the brighter side of life and stop allowing our financial status to make us treat people with hostility. I personally believe we also need mental check ups from time to time too.
Dear Nigerian reading this, can you tell me why you are angry?