Gbeborun. Busybody. Pokenose. Abusive words, but we know there’s a certain delight in yarning stuff that’s not your concern. And on an international level, this delight is just awesome. You feel larger than Jonathan’s pension, discussing issues on a global scale. Left to us, we’ll celebrate your expert participation in international social trends—AKA, joblessness. We’ll gladly declare a public holiday for this social education aimed at further glorifying your banal self-aggrandizement. But good thing it’s not left to us, because really, this trait is just as effed up as the lawmaking in Rivers State.
Now, it may seem odd that we’re going to take a piss on idle talk, seeing as that’s our manifesto in these parts. Fact: its written all above the page and everywhere else. But there’s a sort of idle talk that’s good for the community, the kind that keeps the conversation going. And there’s the other type of idle talk that only keeps your mouth and other people’s time going. And there’s a simple test to decide which is which. We’ll give you this well-tested system at the end of the page.
It’s not a new idea, it’s been present in Europe and America, but now has its current head office in Nigeria, Africa. This idea that you can determine a person’s level of sophistication by their ability to correctly name car hire services in London and restaurants in Dubai. Especially with a—usually bullshit—accent picked from these travels and which has somehow, suddenly dislodged the local one that has been in place for over twenty years. This fraudulent social psychology is a fallout from the days when the most knowledgeable person in the colonial African community was the one who had shipped out of Africa—for education or otherwise—and had come back with marvelous stories of life beyond the black continent. Naturally, these “been-tos” attained oracular status and thus began the craziness of mistaking overseas travel for metaphysical knowledge or another country’s visa as a statement of intelligence.
Today, of course, travel is virtually commonplace and it’s easier for your local errand boy to become a Member of Parliament in the UK than for him to get a National ID card. But still, that misguided assumption that the ability to comment on foreign affairs equals social sophistication and international sagacity is still very alive—in the current form of the national pastime of vigorously agitating on socio-political matters in other parts of the world, while much more important issues are burning in the backyard.
And that’s why we can expend much time and energy on the random shooting of one black American and blank our minds to the gruesome systematic killing of schoolchildren right up our asses. We have our dead, but we are more concerned about America’s dead. Let the dead bury their dead, Jesus said, and he would have added: “and to each his own fucking business” except that he thought you would figure that out.
And you know what, the Nigerian intelligentsia have discussed every issue that plagues America and Europe. We’ve even dissected North Africa and the Middle East. An now, maybe its time to get back home and treat our own fuck-ups with similar attention: the issues are there, refusing to leave by themselves. Of course, you ought to be charitable, but there’s a reason some folks say it has to begin at home. And here’s today’s free gift: the next time some intellectual indignantly tries to rouse you about some injustice in another country, ask the person: how the fuck does this guarantee electricity in Nigeria? If you get some bullshit answer about pan-Africanism or world peace then just dial 199—it’s Nigerian for Get-Me-The-Hell-Out-Of-Here!