Ramblings Of An Angry Nigerian: 2016 HALF-TIME SCORECARD

Sigh. Six months have been chopped off of 2016. It’s July 1st. The first half is gone, gone forever and today we kicked off the second forty-five minutes of this year. First, I must say a big congratulation to you for making it past the half threshold of this trying Marathon. Surviving this hardministration alone is a feat. Forget, for a second, about your account balance, forget that ten percent of your goals this year haven’t been accomplished, forget, forget and just thank Olisa in heaven for life. My people have a saying that life is everything. Ndubuisi. Which happens to be my father’s surname. Yeah, life is everything, the main deal, because with life, they reason, you will have a shot. The God who preserved your life will give you the things to enjoy life with. They say. I agree with them. Ndubuisi. I suspect you are surprised I’m this optimistic. Well, it’s I forgetting, for a second, that I am a sadist; this is me leaving my cynical gloves on the doorstep, and coming into the dining to look at the half empty glass and call it half full. Optimism doesn’t kill. It won’t kill me. It’s just for today anyway.

My 2016 biggest goal was leave Nigeria. Being the prophet I am, I saw in late 2015 that Nigerian economy will get worse and suffering will ripen. It’s not actually prophecy. A little like simple mathematics. I looked at the poor oil price, I looked at my president, old, sentimental, poorly educated and surrounded with Lai Mohammed, Audu Ogbeh, Amaechi etc, I looked at the economic blueprint, zero; and I knew that we’re cornered and, like Lord Jim, I decided to jump from this ship. I am not saying that Nigeria is a sinking ship, not yet, but it’s a ship run by APC so you can never be too sure. I have a handful of my relations overseas so I began to bombard them with calls, and I succeeded in getting one of them agree to take me in. We began to make plans, I began to pack. There were moments I saw myself washing plates in China, there were moments I saw a red faced policeman chasing me in the cold streets of Belgium etc. These prospects don’t appeal to me and they weaken my resolve. But I never gave up, I continued to plan. I needed a lump sum of money and the only way to get it was to have my family give it to me or to rob them. But as Buhari bites deeper the harder it becomes to get the money, or even rob them, and the harder it is to flee this sinking ship.

Sigh. Nigeria. She makes it hard for you to get a job, she makes it harder to make money, more expensive to solve your needs and near impossible to escape. Motherland, the only people you permit to fly are the ones who don’t need to escape from this country; the only people you give jobs are the ones who don’t need jobs to live large; the only people you allow more money are the ones who never mind the rising cost of living in this space; why, mama? Why!

Plan B for me, this year, or rather goal number two was to set up a company, employ myself and boost the economy. It’s somehow connected to number one goal. It will keep me busy, divert my frustration of being caged and even provide the cushion for me in the abroad until I get that waiter job (chai). But setting up a business in this time and place is like trying to wrestle a wild cat. Bruises. I have a big plan, no, I am not going to give details now but trust me when I say it’s big. But no one will give me credit to begin. It’s people like Senator Ben Bruce they would give loan. This common sense senator borrowed eleven billion naira from Union Bank eleven years ago, eleven billion! And he’s yet to pay back a kobo, and when ANCOM came knocking he said he’s being persecuted because he employs one thousand people and pay them above the minimum wage. Minimum wage is 18 thousand naira and Mr Senator tells us that he pays one thousand people 18,100 naira with his eleven billion naira loan, after ten years! That’s an average of one person per eleven million naira. Where is the common sense in this matter? How is a normal being proud that he employs one person for every eleven million naira borrowed. This is why we will never go forward. Here am I, hungry, angry and creative, and no one would touch me. Gimme ten million naira and I swear to employ a hundred people and pay them 18,100 naira after ten years (since 18,100 naira is the yardstick). Then look for ten thousand hungry, angry and creative Nigerians like me and give them ten million naira each, and we’d transform Nigeria before 2025. Note to Mr Bruce, stop telling us to buy Nigerian to boost the naira, how about you pay your debt and save the economy.

Sigh. He will never pay back. This country is what it is, wired to sustain the rich, the connected and the powerful. You that is hungry, angry and creative is nothing. Help yourself or become a police recruit.

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My goal number three was to grab a decent job.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahaha ahahahahahaha.

Nothing more to say. Next goal!

There are ten other major goals. A thousand minor ones including the one about reading fifty novels this year, something like one per week. Haha, it would please you to know that I just finished the second novel last night. Average of one book per three months. OK. There’s one about doing something about my singlehood, but of all the four billion women on earth it’s only the fat girl who roasts corn across the road that has a crush on me. Corn thirty, ube 3 fifty. OK.

Overall, the first half of this year has proved the worst time to:
Look for a job,
Start a business,
Leave Nigeria,
And, most especially, be broke (being broke has never been romantic, but this time around, being broke has a touch of the noose on it).

Sigh. What’s the first step of the second lap? Continue pushing, that’s the only thing to do. Or just google How to make it in life. Or just marry a rich man. I am not exactly bursting with ideas otherwise I’d be blogging from Hong Kong. But if I will give you advice, if I must, I will ask you to involve God. Those of you on my Facebook list will remember me singing ‘Take the whole world and gimme Jesus’ all over the place. Yes, because I have decided to follow Him, no turning back, no turning back. Because even Buhari is not a match to the Man of Galilee. Because there’s a place for grace and also a place for hustling. Because, I haven’t mentioned it, but this is the best time to follow Jesus.

I will be wrong to assume that everyone reading this is a Christian or even theistic. So generally, I’d say keep pushing, keep working hard, remain dedicated, determined and never give up. You must make it or die trying. You weren’t born to watch people live their lives, were you? Non.

And in case you want to invest in my company, contact me. Email, whatsapp or call me. Or say so in the comment box. You think it’s a joke, well, that is your cup of tea. You are doing yourself, not Okechukwu and Sons Limited; that was how they laughed at Mark Zuckerberg. Now, he’s the sixth richest man on earth. So keep laughing while we build the great company. And by the end of the year it will no longer be funny when, I, in my yacht, and you, in your kiosk, call my phone and it’s my Spanish secretary that would pick the call and say, in her beautiful formal voice, “La persona que llama está ocupado en este momento.” Sucker.

I am outta here.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

Update: Read 2017 Halftime Report

HOW TO BE HAPPY AS A BROKE, SINGLE, ANGRY NIGERIAN

I have not blogged for nearly three weeks now, and I have, when friends asked me, said I’m on strike. I should be on strike. It’s not against the government (where’s the government?); it’s a strike against the timidity and cold ashity that we Nigerians have become under this hardministration. What is the essence of writing when the people you write to don’t care, when they are comfortable with hardship, when they rationalise and apologise for tyranny? But, you might ask (for the sake of argument, what else?), must I write politics, why not short stories or stupid characters or Sade?

And my answer is, Why should I write stupid characters and the rest when I am hungry and angry and frustrated by an entity that is elected to alleviate these? Look at the motto of my blog, it’s for the Wretched of the earth. Yes, the Wretched, like the okada man who was supposed to charge me 150 naira but accepted 100 naira when I told him I would fight to reduce the price of fuel. So I “fight” and lost, and NLC (1978-2016) lost their life in the battle (rest in piece), and you expect me to run back to the blog with Chike and the River tales. I will not. I am the last person on earth that would give the impression of running away from the deep complexities of governance into the cartoon of comedy, or the lie of thriller. In fact, this blog, I’m tired of you. I am putting you up for sale right away. Contact me on kingkingsley89@gmail.com let’s talk business. Let me use the money and start up something useful, like a kiosk where I’d sell spirit and poison the youths who are trying to run away from their fight, their reality.

That’s by the way.

I am here to talk to my people. This post is not for everyone, just my people. To participate you have to give the right answers to these mini-questionnaire,

Are you single?
Are you broke?
Are you angry?

If you have answered one “no”, please excuse us, this isn’t for you. Don’t let me diss you. Respect yourself. This is my blog and I ask you to leave… Good riddance.

Now, if you answered yes to the entire questions then I must ask you to dig a hole and bury yourself in there because you are evil. Or better still have Lai Mohammed advise you for you’re terrible and deserve all the masquerades he’d urge you to dress for employment.

To read this article, this is how you should answer the poll:

Are you single?
–Nonsense.

Are you broke?
–Are you trying to mock me?

Are you angry?
–Stop asking me stupid questions!!

Atta boy! You can’t be angry enough and give a civil weakling yes answer. In fact the best answer to Are you angry? is to pick up an empty bottle of O’npa and smash the erring big head. But don’t do that yet. What will it profit you to be broke, single, angry and in prison? You can’t read Hard Voices in prison, can you, so what’s the use?

So, to be happy in spite of these burdens, you must do the following.

1, Admit you are broke, single and angry.

Don’t lie to yourself. There you are standing before the ATM, roasting under the angry sun, sweating and feeling sorry for yourself. It’s your turn and you step forward and withdraw one thousand naira. You have expertly used your back and blocked other brokers in the queue from seeing that you just withdraw one thousand. No one sees you but Jude, you can’t lie to yourself. Because you know from the bottom of your heart that if ATM dispenses 200 naira that’s what you would be withdrawing, that’s what you deserve to withdraw. So you go home carrying your one thousand carefully because it’s made of egg shells. You buy MTN one hundred naira card (your account balance is -99.89), MTN pity you and dash you 10 MB; you enter Facebook and you see the picture of your immediate past girlfriend who left you because she said she wanted a break from relationships; there she is in the photo, smiling so brightly, and happier than you ever knew her. She tags the pic, Thanks for making my day boo. #loveeverlasting. Tears are forming in your eyes but it’s the onions in the kitchen, you can’t be crying.

Keep lying to yourself. She left you not because she needed any useless break, you’re a loser that’s why she left you. Being with you was like riding a bicycle up Udi Hill, now she’s so happy sailing on a speedboat, as you can see.

Oga, wipe your eyes clean and admit you are broke, single and angry.

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2, Confess that you are broke, single and angry.

Put your right hand hand on your chest, close your eyes. Now repeat after me, I am a broke ass, I am single to stupor and I am an angry unmarried auntie. Ew, ew, ew…

Stop crying, Chichi. That’s what you are. Confessions are sometimes soothing balms.

3, Be contented with what you are.

Don’t try to change what you are. You are not stupid. You’re just broke and single dear. Do you know how many millionaires out there who are so dissatisfied? Uncountable. Do you know that being in a
relationship has no direct link with your happiness? A research in one American university I can’t remember right now says that people who are single are twice more likely to die young to be happier than people who are very very single. You see. And remember the wise Robert Mugabe says It’s better to be single and waiting to be taken for granted than being married and waiting to be taken to the psychiatrist. So you see that you have the best deal.

The only problem with this idea is that you’re angry. Mehn, anger is self-mutilating. So…

4, Do something about your anger.

Being broke accepted, single very accepted. Angry, poisonous. No one has been denied paradise ’cause of poverty or singlehood. But no angry man shall see the Lord. The only way to be happy as a single, broke and angry personality is to be single, broke and un-angry.

So, how can you dis-anger your life. The bad news is that I don’t know. The good news is that this place is not a Hot Temper Guidance and Counseling Plc, it’s a blog for Gawd sake! Don’t be greedy. How much are you paying for reading this, absolutely naught, now you want to get free counselling on top of it. Chai, Nigerians!

Anyway, since you insist on getting how to stop being angry advice from an angry person, I guess I can dish out one or two things. First, remove every symbol of anger in your life. Start with Facebook, unfollow, or unfriend or block or all of above that gal with her uncreative hashtag and fake smile. She’s history and that’s what dust bins are for. Done?  good.

Secondly, stop attaching your happiness with something as unstable and unpredictable and worldly like your economic and romantic status. You are a go-getter, innovative and reliable yet no one wants to hire you, their loss. You are beautiful, sensible with a sense of humour yet only married men the age of Uncle Bayo and, let’s be frank, riff-raffs ask you out. Oops, oops. But you can’t just kill yourself by letting a rock of anger have dominion in your heart. You must banish anger and pursue happiness with annoyance. You might start by pretending to be happy, and with time you will get used to it. And a sure way to banish anger is to…

5, Do something about your broke ass.

You can’t fold your hands and let impecuniousness (pardon my grammar, I have a degree in English) grow mushrooms in your head and accompany you to your grave. Of course no one has ever been denied heaven because he’s broke. But no one has ever gone to heaven on the strength of their penury. You may as well make your life easier on earth. To start with, refuse to be comfortable with poverty, be allergic to poverty, hate it, frown at it and fight it with all your might, wherever you smell it. Thankfully, this is Nigeria where everything is possible. So, in banishing poverty you could do any of the following,

a) Dress masquerades
b) Become a politician and steal money. If you join APC no one will probe you. You’ll be innocent until proven innocent.
c) Become a musician. Sing about the female anatomy and if your chi is alive you’ll hammer.
d) Do Kanayo O. Kanayo.
e) Try yahoo.com
f) Begin to farm tomatoes
f9) Take a placard with the inscription “Hire me, I’m a graduate with twenty years experience of uncommon sense” and go stand on a busy junction. Ha ha ha.
g) Fall in love with Dangote’s daughter. Etc

6, Do something about your singlehood!

Yes, everyone is double except you. Your gateman, your shoeshiner, your gardener, all are taken, engaged or enraged. Except ewe. You are broke and so what? You don’t have “I am broke” tattooed on your forehead, do you? Well, if you do, get a headwarmer. Now, go out and mingle. There’s something we call packaging. Yeah, package yourself and ask every girl you see out. By the time you get to the 3,678th girl you will find a frustrated, single and angry girl who just wants someone she can yell at. Accept her like that, with both hands, after all what do you really want from her other than to touch a female breast?

And you mustn’t even only just try your luck with the single ladies. They are sometimes hurt or/and nursing a heartache, and you can’t use your hand and dip your hand into a scorpion’s den. Some of the best girls are in a relationship or assume they are in a relationship, snatch a brother’s boo and move on. Your own boo it was a brother who stole her, wasn’t/isn’t it? Or an uncle. If she’s not walking down the Isle don’t give up on her.

You might take her out for a date and while eating chicken paid with your hard earned money she might say, “Actually I’m in a relationship.” If you show serious displeasure she might soften the statement with “How do you expect a Nigerian lady at my age to be single? It’s not like that relationship will affect our own.” If she really likes you she would open the door wider, giving her guy the knockout, “I am with a guy who doesn’t ask how I buy my cream and every every.”

You would laugh in your belly because you, like the mythical boyfriend, don’t care if she rubs ice cream or shea butter on her face, all you want is to touch er… er… er… touch… no, actually you want more than touching, you want the whole fura da nono.

Hey, pass me the bottle!
I am outta here.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu