Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lagos: the new Moscow

An article along those lines by the New York Times' man in Lagos, Will Connors, here and here (NVS version).


Air beneath my feet 1:58 pm  

oh! oh! the governor’s son, airline director’s daughter, oil magnate’s idiots with a very deep emptiness...incredibly stupid and ignorant...headline could have been "Among the rich and stupid of Lagos

Anonymous,  3:02 pm  

Air, that's so unfair, the children did not write the article now, did they? The interviewer must have enquired.

I am sorry but some of us have to be rich kids too, it doesn't make us any less smart than you!

Air beneath my feet 3:57 pm  

Enough of the sentiment, who says I'm smart? Oh, so you really think you are smart? What a very original and practical thing to say.

Anengiyefa 4:09 pm  

@Anon 3:02PM, its not being rich that is the point here. Its being shallow, empty, and uncaring. Its their brazenness, their shamelessness and impudence, their detachment from the misery that is the reality for millions of their fellow countrymen. This is what I assume Air is referring to.

Anon 3:02,  5:13 pm  

Anengiyefa, thank you. It's not obvious from air's post that he refers to the shallowness, uncaring and that stuff.

But back to the point, so I go out to a club I like and have a good time, how do you conclude that I am brazen/shameless or impudent? What, because I dare to have expensive drinks or because I have access to a smart car that my Dad, who worked his butt at some point, bought me. I don't get it.

All I am trying to point out is, I am finding repeatedly that many Nigerians have taken to holding the wealthy in contempt, there's almost a resentment specially reserved for us and I think it's totally unproductive. Not all of our parents were stole. Fact.

p.s @ Air, I am smart, believe that.

Anengiyefa 6:37 pm  

Anon 3:02 said... youre quick to let us know how rich your dad is and how hard he worked for his money. What youre not so quick to tell us is how many lives he has elevated in that country, how many jobs he has created , and what contribution he has made towards improving the lot of the less privileged. Please don't think that because we hold these views we necessarily come from a deprived background, because many of us do not! I would be very ashamed to so obscenely flaunt or parade wealth in an environment where people are dying of poverty. That is nothing short of depravity.

'derin,  6:55 pm  

I totally do not get air's point. Like anonymous, does the fact that i've worked hard enough to be able to afford a good time, wherever and however i choose make me shallow and stupid? Does it mean that i'm detached from my fellow nigerian's misery? How am i supposed to empathize, by refraining from doing the things i enjoy doing? I shouldn't go out and have an expensive (according to you) meal because others cannot? I don't understand.

Air beneath my feet 7:02 pm  

@ anon 3:02 And may i ask who you are pleased to be yourself? Well, what word should I begin with, so that the likes of you understand at least something? How shall I start speaking to the likes of you? I am afraid for you. You are ridiculous, or isn’t that true? What higher estate did your dad inherit, were his grandparents slave or landowners, where did he inherit his wealth? By working his but off, in Nigeria? Ha! He must be a swindler, with petty interest and backwardness, shallow education and ridiculous habits: good for nothing people who have outlived there time and exhausted there lives and only capable of dying really think you are smart, or have you been slavishly caught on the Jesuit’ hook?

Sandrine 7:34 pm  

Hi Jeremy,

Interesting article. I guess nobody wonders anymore why Americans do not visit Nigeria more often. 400$ a night!
Take care.


Anonymous,  9:08 pm  

Sad lil not so rich lagosian said...
I do not get the point of you attacking the rich kid..HE/SHE makes a smart point in a foolish way.

The article howeva made me cringe it made me slightly ashamed of the reality which WE are all part of in lagos and not just smart foolish rich kid, so Air, take it easy, were all as guilty, if uve neva contributed to the various cafe,bars and ressies all ova the island fine but if not,my guy lets think of how to change!

That being said, omo the article sha overdid it!

@ sandrine- why is there a blog content warning on ur blog, wetin u dey write for that side?

Ok so whose gonna attack me, I figure im next!lol! :)

Sandrine 9:19 pm  

to anon 9:08
I have a warning on my site because some of the articles I post have subjects that can be offensive to some people (rape for example) and some of the videos have R language (Eminem and Bernie Mac for example).Most of the posts are not offensive.

Anonymous,  9:29 pm  

D'accord!c'est clear! Had a quick check and didnt see anything offensive so I wonder!
Liked the first zouk video!

Anon 3:02,  10:49 pm  

Anengiyefa, I wanted to, but thought against including in my post how many people are employed by my Dad, and the way he extends his hands to people who are in need. But rest assured he does, his wealth is cleanly made and he sleeps well at night, so do I. This post ain't about me though.

All I am pointing out is that guys like air should try thinking before speaking and stop with the generalizing. And going to your penultimate sentence, are you telling hands on heart me that if you had the means (or now you have the means) you would deprive yourself of things you like because of the state of Nigeria? Are you telling me you won't drive an SUV because all Nigerians can't afford to. Let us be real with ourselves here.

@ Air- So every one who is wealthy must have been a swindler? Do you now see what I meant about resentment? I see you are eager to trade insults although you act as though you have some sort of monopoly on morality, I would indulge you but my 'mama taught me better than that'. Toodles.

Anon - it is a she o and it's smart 'tongue-firmly-in-cheek' rich kid.

I'm done.

internationalhome 12:27 am  

Anon 3:02, air and anengiyefa have the right to marxist ideas....same as your dad (and you by the sound of things) has his to capitalism...
As a rich kid you are not expected to understand where the resentment comes from...however, do not assume it is not justified!

Aronke,  12:33 am  

@ air, re: your 7.02 comment. What's with the rage filled tirade and sanctimonious posturing? Are you saying to me you leave a completely ascetic life on account of worldwide poverty? That you refuse to enjoy whatever comforts you can afford to simply because others can't? Na wa for you o. Get over your moralistic high horse and get a life will you.

Anonymous,  1:28 am  

NYT articole ended quite abruptly, i thought id missed page 2, so i re read article in the 2nd online journal where it was printed, but, i guess will connors was done talking. . and i wanted to know what Moscow was like based on the title.. no joy for me. If this had a college paper, Mr C would have gotten a C.
Very unsatisfying report, tittillating title that goes nowhere.

Lost at the Other End of the World 6:24 am  

While some people are trying to "deal" with the resentment of the poor for the rich, the bottom line is that most Naijas live on 2 dollars a day or less. That's morbidly fucking pathetic.

Anon: the uneasiness you experience when people point at your money like say na bad thing is good.
Have you ever driven from Lagos to Benin and seen Lepers on the express way begging? Have you seen a 2 year old leper-boy sleeping on the ground next to the expressway as motorists zoom past him at 110 k/h? When I saw these conditions, I could not help but feel a deep sense of guilt for the little I had.

My brother, there is nothing bad about feeling bad that you're wealthy. You don't even have to be wealthy to feel bad about the fact that you have while others around you don't. That is what empathy is, and, maybe, just maybe, it could sow the seed in our hearts to help out in a more concrete way.

The truth is that, some how, many rich people in Naija live in twilight zones and are radically detached, on all levels, from the harsh social realities that surround them. (Anon, I'm speaking very generally). Is it not last year or so that one minister of works saw the condition of the lagos-benin express way and started crying? Has she not always been in Nigeria? It beats me.

My brothers and sisters, the matter...hmm...e don tay. No be today o. So, make una chill.

Waffarian 11:15 am  

@lost at the end of the world:

Thank you for that comment, you put it so much better than I could have. They keyword there is EMPATHY...whatever your ideas are (capitalist or marxist), one should be able to SEE misery and acknowledge it for what it is. While I do not want to sleep at the side of the road, I do not want anybody to have to do that either.

About the lepers...its really sad...I have anguish anytime I have to go through Benin. Anyway, one way you can help them is to buy food for them. Money does not help...where are they going to spend it? They can not go anywhere.

As for people living in the twilight you said, no be today. But I happy to give una tour...infact, I go happy to do excursion...make una no worry, just halla at me, we go start from ogborikoko, all the way to pessu market, from there, we go enter canoe go visit some islands there...fresh fish na part of the package. Just "wire" 1000 dollars...(pounds dey acceptable).

Anengiyefa 11:28 am  

@Anon 3:02 said... no I definitely will not drive an SUV. Instead I will use the money to offer 50 scholarships to needy children. I will sponsor an orphanage. That's the sort of thing I will do, beacuse self-aggrandisement is repulsive to me. I simply will not negotiate potholes in a Ferrari!

I find it quite alarming that most of us see nothing wrong with 10year old kids hawking chewing gum and phonecards in the middle of the night. What are we doing with our future? And let me tell you something, I am not poor now and I do not come from a poor home.

Air beneath my feet 12:16 pm  

@anon 3:02

Please let me clarify, I'm not attacking anon the interlocutor but the likes of you!

The likes of you think you are a rich kid but a deeply empty soul, a total idiot with a much deeper emptiness than I had originally imagined, silence! May the devil take you! The likes of you are probably just as dumb as an ass and as stupid and dishonest as your daddy. It's time to start serving reason and please stop the sentiments. In fact, that you are an idiot is an elevation. You are less than an idiot. In conclusion, your reasoning is plausible but false.

@aronke 12:33 am
Would you believe my late father established a financial banking institution in that country of yours and never rode in a merc? He rode (as chair/ceo of the bank) on a vw beetle (without a/c), you hear me so! The bank exists till this day and yes he never stole a single penny, never had a house in VI, Ikoyi, London etc. Yes! He lived in his original house in Ikeja until the end. He was the founding chair/ceo of this bank until the end. He rebuffed suggestions by other board members that he own or loot the bank and live a life of luxury i.e. drive the best of cars and live in so called luxurious neighbourhood

Anonymous,  1:06 pm  

AH UNCLE ABI AUNTY AIR..NOW WE GET TO THE ROOT OF YOUR ANGER..but i must tell you, you can not get pay back to what a thankless society did to your father tru the crucifixtion of aunty rich and her cohorts, minwhile hope u know Ijeka too is rich man land so dnt let me start on you,lol!

Minwhile, if you arrange this rage properly maybe the rich girl will see ur point? perhaps borrow a page from lost at the end of the worlds comment. abi how you see am.We have to learn to address each other with respect and thats the only way we can hear each oda! Ciao

Check it?
Anon 9.08

Anon 3:02,  2:21 pm  

Anen, this is my grouse, it appears (forgive me if I am wrong) people automatically assume that because I say I 'play' hard that I don't empathise, or that I am happy to see the poor on the streets. I am not. I have identified the area where I am able to give back to the society and I do so by volunteering my time and resources within the medical field primarily. I give in other ways already. I do not want to go into my life history, not on here. I work hard, I play hard and I bless hard.

I still respect your stance though.

Air, why are you so angry? The devil can't take me. I'm in safe Hands.

Waffarian, I originate from Benin, and I go back every now and then. Check it?

I'm reallllllly really done now.

Waffarian 4:07 pm  

@anon 3:02: see me see trouble oh! you see ya name for the comment wey I write? na "lost at the other end of the world" na im I dey yarn with for here oh! If say I be wan address you, e no for hard na but wetin concern me with ya own matter? you fit be Igbenedion pikin or leper, e no concern me.

Lost at the Other End of the World 5:04 pm  

@ Waffarian:


After your tour, we go head for Benin. I go carry una go Igbagwe, where Benin girls wey no make am all the way to Italy dey do thier runs.

Anonymous,  6:09 am  

Most of una de craze, na over english and over money de do some of una. I know people wey de work hard for their money. Every person wan point finger, do the best you can and leave the rest for God.

If you want to resent Mr big man, do so, but na you go get ulcer, if you want to wish death on Mr big man's son, shebi you de abroad now de hustle? I go pray make you make plenty money so that others go envy una pickin them. As if when you de enjoy your $7 cocktail, you de remember the poor in Nigeria. If e pain you reach so, sell your personal computer, send the money go Naija now, after all free computer de library.

Anonymous,  6:16 am  

Most of una de craze, na over english de do some of una. I know people wey work hard for their money. Every person wan point finger, do the best you can and leave the rest for God.

If you want to resent Mr big man, do so, but na you go get ulcer, if you want to wish death on Mr big man's son, shebi you de abroad now de hustle? I go pray make you make plenty money so that others go envy una pickin them. As if when you de enjoy your $7 cocktail, you de remember the poor in Nigeria. If e pain you reach so, sell your personal computer, send the money go Naija now, after all free computer de library.

Anonymous,  5:56 pm  

Very sad indeed. I guess the producers of Moet, Gucci, etc just love a group of wealthy empty heads in a pig sty of a country deluding themselves. Airport is a mess, roads are dangerous, newspapers are badly written, education system is a shambles, people are mostly fat with high blood pressure i.e. walking corpses, but guess what? We have money!! Lots of it, though we live like pigs. Enough said.

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