Thursday, 15 September 2011

18 Reasons to love Nigerians

This blogpost is borne of the "419 reasons to like Nigerians" presently being carried out by the "The419PositiveProject"

Having been invited to contribute to this initiative I found that there are so many reasons to love Nigerians; so many many reasons I do think we are some of the most lovable (and unique) people in the world - and so here's my attempt at telling you why

1.      Family is everything – both our nuclear and extended families mean the world to us and our list of cousins, uncles and aunties are endless!
2.   We love our hustle – we get educated, get jobs or get a business going on – we always have something going on
3.   Our women are born fashionistas – it just comes to us naturally... we might spend 3 hours in front of the mirror for a date but its ALWAYS worth it!
4.  We are fun loving – Friday nights are for hanging out and Saturdays are for parties and that’s the way it is
5.  We got religion and we make it work – no matter how much trouble we got, we aint confused about God
6.  We are hopeful and optimistic– no matter how down and dirty it gets, we always hold out hope “we go be alright” “we go hammer” “it is well” are some of our favourite phrases
7.   No matter how long we have lived abroad, we are always proud of where we are from, our culture our traditions
8.   We love our country with a patriotism that is amazing – it’s a case of we can talk “crap about Nigeria” but if you are not Nigerian, don’t you dare join us!
9.   We allow ourselves to be westernised without letting go of our roots – we are an amazing mix of Africa and the West
10. There is nothing as beautiful as a dark skinned brother in a traditional outfit (Guinea brocade, lace, woodin etc)
11. When we have the money, we know how to LIVE large and when there is no money we still know how to LOOK large without breaking the bank
12. Our girls are the perfect mix of akata accent, academic smarts, cafeteria cooking skills and sex on heels.
13. We are natural born lovers – I don’t know about 'if you go black you don’t go back', but I do know 'if you go Nigerian, nothing compares to it for you again'!
14. We are the least suicidal people in the world and also the happiest – our hope, our hustle, our faith, our love.... all come together to just keep us going
15. We know that our children are our future, as a family, as a people and as a nation and the average Nigerian parent will give any and everything to give their kids the best of life – we don’t need a welfare system to teach us that
16. We are grateful for everything – we don’t take life, health, anything for granted – which perhaps is why we are so happy
17. We are friendly – na overfriendly dey worry us - this is one country where strangers talk to you in buses, give you directions, offer help in outrageous situations and if you want to see us in action, set your car on fire – we are all fire fighters!
18. Finally - We have swag!we just do! 

Make friends with a Nigerian today - we rock!

If you have more reasons - please respond with them

I heart Nigerians!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Your friends are few

A harsh truth I have been forced to learn in the short time I have been on this earth is that my friends are few... very few and it will do me good to remember.

A preacher once said at a program - go through life making as many friends as possible and as few enemies as possible.

Unfortunately I disagree with this preacher who is simply saying go through life as a people pleaser. To do this, you will pick every phone call, say yes to every favour, listen to every whine and rant, run yourself ragged to please people to make friends... you might have 1000 facebook friends, and 2000 twitter followers; but it doesn’t mean you have 3000 friends or even 1000 friends; your friends are few whether you know it or not.

If you think you have very few enemies, you are either far away from success or very deluded... infact you are merely deluded, because even if you are far away from success, you might not have a lot of enemies but your friends are still few... very few, simply because you are not successful. What do you have to offer in your lack of success? You are a potential burden, you are likely to ask for help... a lot.... and for these reasons, your friends will be few.

So you are someone who never says no to people, you are here to help! What are friends for? Yes, you will have a lot of "seeming" friends who in truth are using you, you have been marked as the “go-to” guy, the friend who will always say yes... no they are not your friends, they are your handlers and you are the mark; you will loan out or give away money, clothes, your car, your home, your CV, your time, any and everything...and they know this.

Perhaps you are someone who goes through life eyes wide open, who refuses to be used and is focused, with a plan and a destination, people will hate you for the simple fact that you are practical and true to who you are, for refusing to be used, for knowing what you want and remaining focused... refusing to be derailed. It means you will say no to those who want to come and live in your house for 6 months with their 3 children, you will say no to people who want to use your credit card for their business; it means you will say no to that huge loan that will obviously not be repaid... and for this you will be well disliked and your friends will be few.

If you are successful or on a clear path to success in some form or the other, your friends will be few and your enemies many; your so-called friends will quietly dislike you for trying to be successful or being successful. Don’t worry they will still be the first to click “like” on all your facebook pictures and to say “you look fantastic” on that picture where you have spinach between your teeth... but they will hate your guts and root for you to fall down on your face – in their heads they are saying “arrogant idiot! Is he (she) the only one? let him (her) even fall down on his (her) face, so he (she) can know what it feels like” – like you have never fallen down before... but they have forgotten... what is key now is that you are successful and or happy and that is not okay so your friends are few... very few.

This post of mine might sound brutal and cynical... even a little paranoid but in my opinion it is a truth I have been forced to learn and your nice comments and friendly follows don’t fool me.

You can choose to go through life pleasing the world, granting favours that will break your back, cost you your job or your home or your marriage or your peace of mind – it is your choice.

But keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how nice you are or how fantastic you are, your real friends will always be few and it will do you good to remember it.
If you don’t succeed - your friends will be few because you are not a success. If you do succeed - your friends will be few because you are so successful, either way - your friends will be few - even the great Julius Caesar had a Brutus close by.