How to handle “democracy day” as an apolitical Nigerian(like me)

From the post title, you may have thought I’d give you alternatives to choices of entertainment on this public holiday. Not so, I’m afraid. I’m just gonna tell a sad truth.

A great portion of Nigerian Millenials are apolitical. We’re not to be blamed though, seeing as those who run the country we were born into have given us little reason to be impressed with them. That would mean that I subscribe to Chinua Achebe’s school of thought that believes that the problem with Nigeria lies in her leadership.

May 29th was a holiday meant to mark the peaceful transition to civilian rule after decades of military rule and all the crises associated with the time. The thing is, we simply moved from being ruled by the military to being ruled by retired military men. Of about two decades of civilian rule, almost twelve years have seen a government of retired military men. This isn’t the real problem. After all, the pureblood civilian rulers didn’t do much for us either.

The problem is that we complain of the leadership when one thing is obvious:

A leader was once a follower.

If we truly want change, we ought to be the change we want to see. That probably sounds like a well worn cliché seeing as many factors in this very peculiar country make it difficult to be completely honest and upright in one’s dealings, including leadership. I just know that while we await a national messiah, we can begin by doing the right thing whatever situation we find ourselves in: making money the right way; writing and passing examinations the right way; carrying put our responsibilities without expecting extra financial gain; seeing money as means to an end, not a way of manipulating our fellow man into doing our wish; and tolerating our neighbor regardless of tribe or creed. One day, an ordinary Nigerian like you and I will ascend the throne. If we start this change revolution , we wouldn’t have to worry about a government of lies and nepotism, of bloodshed and blatant ignorance of the cry of the common man. We would all be corruption free.

Finally and most importantly, get your voters card! Most of us get it as just a means of identification and that’s very sad. Just remember that regardless of what you may think, politics is responsible for the price of bread and rice and fuel and garri. Therefore, if you decide to remain apolitical, you have no moral right to complain about whatever brand of governance is shoved into your face come election year, or however high the cost of living in Nigeria might become. Have a voice and use it. Get your voter’s card!

Bad things happen not only when bad people do bad stuff, but when good people decide to do and say nothing.

Happy democracy day. We shall overcome. ✊

Sincerely, Chibugo.

90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉

Temporary romantic partners: to have or not to have?

While the term dating has many meanings, the most common refers to a trial period in which two people explore whether to take the relationship further towards a more permanent relationship

I got that from Wikipedia.

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Now, the term “dating” is one of those terms that people seem to have different meanings for. I sensed this when I was told by a colleague, “Hey, you only live once.! This is your time to have fun! You’re so choosy at this dating thing. Seriously.”

Well, I’m sorry, but if dating means making out with every Tom, Dick and Harry I go to the movies with, then no thanks. *insert appropriate grimace*. I’m particular about those I let into my personal space.

Temporary romantic partners are people we date with no intention of settling down with them. Yep, situations like this exist. They’re even more commonplace than you could imagine.

I was shocked when I had a discussion with a friend and she mentioned the man she was dating. In my typical blunt way, I ask, “Do you see yourself spending your life with him?”

“No”. She says.

I am more shocked, if that’s even possible. “Why are you then dating him for Pete’s sake?” I’m perplexed. She’s pretty, not the kind that lacks male attention.

She gives me that “Don’t probe too much” look. I will not mention what she eventually tells me is her reason for being with him, but it does nothing to ease my perplexity.

It doesn’t help that most people who date in our Universities have no intention of ending up with the person they date. It has a name even. It’s called “school boyfriend or girlfriend”. It’s not supposed to be serious.  It seldom leads to marriage; as a matter of fact, of the many school boyfriend/girlfriend situationships I’ve seen, only one has ever led to the altar. Mind you, most of these relationships while they exist, bear every mark of “legally married”, while being everything but. Back in university, we actually had a “couple of the year” award. And no, the nominees and eventual winning couple weren’t married but they played their roles beautifully, playing husband and wife like their calling. That’s how normal it’s become.

Dating should be fun, shouldn’t it?

Of course. But that’s not all there is to it. Unless the world became full of selfish, pleasure seeking millenials while I was asleep. How do you explain dating a girl for years and knowing fully that you do not intend to marry her when you’re ready to settle down but want to have all the “fun” now in bed and out of it?

It’s different for the “modern” folks who believe that sex is like a meal you should eat whenever you feel like and move on. If both parties are aware that they’re being used by the other as a “fuck buddy” and they’re fine with it, then hey, whatever rocks their boat. Check out popular scenarios:

1. Girl and boy meet in uni, and decide to date exclusively. They become intimate by plan or by chance. One of them likes the fun and the ride, but knows he/she would never settle for current partner. Years down the line, one of them walks. Dumpee is shocked and wondering why. Dumper doesn’t give time for the dust to settle. Dumper’s next post on Facebook is a wedding picture.

2. Guy meets a pretty young girl and decides he wants her for his wife. She doesn’t love him but because he seems to hold the key to her family’s financial emancipation, she tells him that she has to finish school before they can take their relationship to the next level. He agrees and trains her through 4, 5, maybe 6 years of University. She has a plan all this time. As soon as she completes her program, she tells him she has no interest anymore(old news!) and takes a walk. *insert nollywood dramatic soundtrack*

3. Girl meets famous guy and falls hard. He has other girls but hey, he’s famous so she should be happy she even gets to be called the “main chick” and hang on bis arm at events. Eventually one of the “side chicks” bears him a kid and he has to let main chick go so as to do right by his child. Of course she goes. She must have known that with his roving eyes, their relationship was even less than temporary.

It all boils down to using people and loving things. We love what we can get from people: fame, financial security, perhaps even love(in some weird situations) , but we cruelly use the people themselves to get these things.

Ours is a generation of selfish and myopic cowards, pardon my French. Wanting everything but too lazy to get it the right way, and blaming everyone but ourselves when things go wrong.

Having fun with friends is a great way of building a solid support system, and by all means, experience all there is to experience. As long as it doesn’t end up with you having the body count of a public toilet, or a litany of broken relationships to spice up stories for your future grandkids. You don’t have to be your own Guinea pig. Learning from other people’s mistakes is usually the best way to gather experience without actually living the experiences.

The problem? We don’t stand for anything anymore, and so we fall for anything. If we weren’t such shallow minded pleasure seekers, we would “guard our hearts with all diligence”. Whatever then manages to get in, would be real.

The time to walk is before someone’s heart gets too emotionally invested

Be open and communicative! That way you know just where you’re headed in the relationship and you know when to stop the charade(if there is one)

Stop being a doormat and hoping your partner will change if you do this or that better. He/she probably won’t. Save yourself the hurt down the line and take a walk before you become too invested.

If you’re looking to “forever” and your significant other is looking to “live the moment”, you might just need to develop those leg muscles. Take a long walk.

I’m hardly qualified to speak on relationship matters, but these are truths that people are ignorant of in the search for love or anything that resembles it. The loveless world we live in makes people cling to unhealthy relationships that do far more harm than good.

Don’t cling to shit. It will only make you smelly. Don’t be shit either. You’ll only be flushed down.

Oh-so-sincerely, Chibugo.

 

90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉

The keke ride that woke me up

Right after the commercial motorcyclists “okada”, tricycles are next on my “avoid if  possible”  list. We all know how close to impossible this is, though, with the madness called Lagos. They are a necessity if  you don’t have a car. I jumped into one of those within the week as soon as I heard “fine girl, you dey go Express”? My bus rides are usually time for me to enter into myself. I’m usually deep in thought or as close to pressing my nose to the window to see the things speeding past me as possible. Some childhood habits just never die. Of course you can’t press your nose to the Windows of a “keke”  because there are simply no Windows!

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” I love you!” This was the first thing that hit me when my bum had hardly settled in my seat. Goofing around, are we? Two can play that game. I played dumb.

He said it again, louder this time. I caught his eye in the rearview mirror. Without missing a beat I replied “I love you too” and looked away, hoping he got the message. He grinned instead.

Gawd no! This one seemed to be one of those long winded, ever cheerful people and I was not in a talkative mood. That didn’t deter him. “Will you marry me?” he asked. Without wasting a second I said, “of course”. I had hoped to catch him unawares by not trying to act coy. It worked. He was a bit startled at my reply. Then he laughed gaily and launched into the story of his broken heart. Even as passengers piled in, he continued  his story, occasionally glancing at me in the mirror to be sure I was still listening.

“Are you an Edo girl?”

“No”

“Where are you from?”

“I’m Igbo”

“Oh, you Igbo girls. The girl I wanted to marry was Igbo you know”

“Hmmm”, I say. I’m thinking “TMI?” But my simple response seems like more than enough fuel to drive him on. I needn’t say more. He just keeps on.

“Her people said I couldn’t marry her. Her mother actually told me she liked me and that was why she was advising me not to waste my time and money on her daughter”

Silence.

” I really loved that girl. Her name was Florence. ” At this point he smiles in memory of this Florence girl. I find myself cracking a small smile. I can’t help it. He’s a smiler .

“Her mother explained that she has just two daughters and wanted them to marry close to home”

Silence.

“She told me she would get pregnant for me so that her parents would have no choice but to give her to me in marriage. It was painful but I had to let her go. I’m not that kind of man.”

All this time, the other passengers are listening, but don’t get the full gist. I tell him I’ve reached my stop. Handing him the currency note, I tell him, “You will find your real woman someday, don’t worry.”

The fact that this taciturn passenger finally managed a full sentence seems to have made his day. He flashes  me a winning smile.

“Thank you sweetheart”

Ooookay, too much familiarity already. A simple thank you would have sufficed but anyway, I’m off the vehicle. As I cross the road, I think to myself, “This would be good for the blog”. Unlike the one million other times I’ve said this in the last four months, I actually go through with it.

Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them. They don’t expect you to  solve their problem, but just to listen. You never know when or where you’ll be expected to play the shrink to someone. Whenever that is, remember :if you must be anything, be kind.

Yay. We’re back.

90s chick; nerd, humanitarian; lover of life, family, fashion, food, art and literature; Christian by birth and choice. In short, I’m like jollof rice: you’re gonna love me. 😉