Ha ha …. Ki Lo De and a Much Anticipated Wedding

Ha ha …. Ki Lo De
I guess you are wondering why that kind of title – Ha ha, Ki lo de? This is a Yoruba phrase figuratively meaning – Why? What I am about to write is a topic that touches a sensitive part of my heart and God willing, I intend to be a change agent in this regard. Have you ever imagined why Nigerians living abroad don’t want to come back home even when they are not doing skilled jobs in their country of abode while on expired visiting visas? I am sure the number one reason on everyone’s lip is Electricity and I agree with them since we all know that if Nigeria starts having constant power; a lot of businesses will survive. But I am going to face some other factors which most people fail to acknowledge.

1. The Sublime Shopping Experience

When I remember that in Nigeria, buying groceries for most people is a very unpleasant experience especially if you have to rely on our very dirty and overcrowded markets with market men and women rubbing sweats on you as you price each item as if you about to be cheated. I also know that it is only recently that some proper shopping malls like Shoprite and Park n Shop came up and it is a fact that only the upper class dare venture into those stores not necessarily because of item prices but that the mentality of the people suggest that their locations such as highbrow Lekki and Victoria Island is for the rich only. Now let us examine another country within Africa – especially some in the SADC Region where even their small towns boast of stores like Spar, Shoprite, Mr Price, Pick and Pay etc. One venture into these stores and see ordinary people including the lowest income brackets confidently strolling into them to buy their groceries at very affordable rates and in a most conducive environment. Same conditions exist in Europe and the US where the retail stores are easily accessible and affordable and the shopping experience is great for the customers. Another important point is that unlike Nigeria where you can count the number of good retail stores; these other countries have myriads of them at very reasonable distances. If you think about the stress of buying stuff in Mile 12 and Oshodi, you might prefer to stay in that country. Or am I lying?

2. Taking Your Babe or Boo Out
At a point or two, most of us had to take our partners out on a romantic dinner or fun day out. If I recall, the premium locations in Lagos can cause great damage to your purse. For example, I do not believe that a romantic dinner consists of a trip to TFC or Mama Cass but it should be to a Chinese, Thai or Italian restaurant maybe overlooking the ocean :). But how many working class hippy Nigerians can really afford these places without having to dig deep into their salaries? Thus a trip to Marcopolo, Golden Gate, etc is not a very easy one talking about cash. One would think that going out to eat in the so called Western Worlds will be a costlier adventure especially in comparison to the Nigerian system and knowing that they are usually more beautiful and organized. But the reverse is the case as they are usually cheaper and with more polite and courteous staff that you would be willing to part with some gratuities after the meal. Our South African brothers on the same continent are way ahead of us in this too. I still remember one night in Sandton South Africa at a top restaurant when I went to eat out with 4 friends. We ordered all sorts including a treat called 24 wings and a massive rib. We also took nice desserts and when the bill came for 5 people – it was for only 600 Rands equivalent to 9000 naira. Can you beat that? So the question is – why is Nigeria like that?

3. Hotel Costs

It is amusing to note that hotels are cheaper in other countries than in Nigeria. If you have to go and do something in another city in those countries, you will easily find cheap hotels in those cities with great service. In Nigeria, the good hotels are simply outrageously costly. The cheaper ones that are still not cheap suck so much. Some even put off their generators at 12 midnight leaving you to a very uncomfortable night in darkness and immense heat. Once again, why?

My Thoughts

I believe that Nigeria has a big class problem. One that believes that all should not shop in the same facilities. Though this rule is not written but this form of apartheid exist. Take a trip to the Palms in Lekki and you will understand what I am saying. People dress to the malls as if there is a fashion contest going on there. I bet that a shabbily dressed individual will find it hard to enter those stores seeing the class of people coming in to buy there.
I do not think the prices of our restaurants and hotels are solely linked to market forces but a deliberate attempt to restrict the services to a select few. This raises some fundamental questions about Nigerian business men and their mentality. The Woolworth Franchise in Nigeria never made it whilst the South African counterpart has done so well. The reason is obvious – anyone is welcomed at the stores there. I have been wondering for a long time why many Franchises passed down from the US and Europe to SA are not in Nigeria despite the fact that Nigeria has a bigger market. MTN Nigeria makes more money than MTN SA so one can conveniently say that the population is a great advantage to Nigeria. So why don’t we have it in mind to provide good services to our people at lower prices and attract more customers than just the elitist few? Why can’t we have many conducive retail stores around our country providing cheap groceries including meat n vegetables without having to step into the mud and slimes? Why can’t there be restaurants, games arcades etc that one can go to relax without hurting our pockets? These are the questions that have been coming to me and I know that the entrepreneur in spirits reading this are already thinking of a solution. If you have traveled a lot, I am sure you understand where I am coming from and that you do not have to be rich to have a good quality of life. Our country provides a big opportunity for this new drive in entrepreneurship because of its huge population. Who is thinking the same way?

A much Anticipated Wedding

In another 33 hours or so – I will be on a flight to Nigeria to honor my words. A long time ago – I promised my good friend and brother – ‘Gbenga Sesan that no matter my location in this World – I will attend his wedding. I guess I am a man of my words and it is with great joy that I anticipate the union between Oluwagbenga Olabisi Sesan and Temilade Adeyinka Agbaje on the 16th n 17th January 2009. Interestingly, the Church wedding coincides with the bride’s birthday. What a wonderful birthday gift. I am so happy for them and I know that the almighty will bless their union in Jesus name. GS as we fondly call him has been a true friend n brother and we have gone through a lot together and still waxing strong. He was my best man when I married my love in July 2008. I will leave all other talks to when I give the toast at the wedding. My guy — ride on my man.

5 thoughts on “Ha ha …. Ki Lo De and a Much Anticipated Wedding”

  1. Lola Ayo-Oladejo says:

    Very true talk.
    One is tempted to believe that there is indeed a delibrate effort at segregation. Business owners are mostly of the opinion that if their products are offered at an affordable price, the ‘rich’ would not patronize them.
    I’m sure change is coming soon.

    To ‘Gbenga and Temi, I wish you both a wonderful life together. May it be the beginning of greater things for you both. Amen.

  2. Zemansky says:

    I hail oh Bros…Well the question why is simple, you actually answered it “Electricity”. That word is a very powerful word and believe me, It can solve so many problems for us in this Nation.
    The cost of doing business in Nigeria is high. Imagine spending almost a Billion naira per annum on Diesel? It is outrageous. My brother I believe it will be well one day.

  3. Mutiu says:

    Its outrageous spending alot of money of diesel and petrol in order to generate electricity. It will be good for us if Nigeria federal government can revive the sector which will boom our economy.
    I got this Letter to NEPA (author unknown) from a friend and i laughed….
    September 17, 2008
    The Area Manager,
    NEPA,
    Lagos

    Dear Sir,

    COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR SERVICES

    I am writing to you with a deep sense of humility and gentleness. I
    consider this a great opportunity to communicate with an entity as
    awe-inspiring as you. Firstly, I bring greetings to you from residents
    of my area in Lagos.

    As a dutiful citizen, I consider this letter as part of my civic
    responsibilities. Great countries comprise of citizens who are alive
    to their responsibilities. As a famous musician once said, “Ask not
    what your country can eat from you but what you can eat from your
    country.” I have benefited immensely from this country; therefore I
    have decided to give back.

    I want to bring to your notice some strange occurrences which have
    been happening in my area. I want to sadly inform you that in the last
    2 weeks, electricity has been stable. In other words, we sleep and
    wake up with electricity, we go to work and come back and electricity
    is still running. This is terribly new and It has added DANGEROUS
    development in the lives of residents of my area. This is something we
    are not used to. There is too much electricity for us to handle. In
    the first week of constant electricity, I started acting strangely. I
    ironed all my clothes because I didn’t know when ‘light’ will be
    impounded on your orders. After 2 days, the ‘light’ was still there.
    Therefore, I proceeded to re-iron the ironed clothes. My fridge which
    had not seen ‘4 hours’ of constant light for months suddenly started
    freezing. In order to enjoy the maximum effects of refrigeration, I
    have decided to be drinking 20 cups of cold water before I go to
    sleep. Once I finish a cup, I put the bottle back into the fridge.
    After 10 minutes, the water cools and I drink. I just don’t know what
    to do. All the Ceiling fans in my house have been switched on
    alongside my AC. My deck is playing at a high level. My life is now in
    state of chaos because of constant ‘light’. My TV and VCD player are
    complaining of high blood pressure, as they have been terribly
    overworked in the last few weeks. Half of my light bulbs have gone on
    strike to protest their resurrection from blissful death. All the
    customers in the beer parlour beside my house are complaining that the
    beer is too cold and wants to destroy their teeth. Even the rats and
    cockroaches are complaining that human assailants find it easier to
    track and exterminate them under electric light than under
    candlelight.

    All the witches and wizards that regularly visited me in my sleep have
    suddenly taken flight in the presence of “light”. Now I have to review
    my membership of MFM (Mountain of Fire and Miracles) since their work
    has been done. Can you imagine what will happen to the membership of
    churches if constant ‘light’ persists? No more demons, meaning No more
    offerings!! Kai!!!!!!!!!

    With the above situation not abating, I decided to seek the reason
    behind this strange situation. This task was made easy for me when I
    realized that it was the work of saboteurs. Sabotage is the main
    reason for anything going wrong or right in our country. Our elections
    were sabotaged, our president’s health is being sabotaged, and Obama’s
    chances of becoming the American President are being sabotaged by
    Nigerians. Therefore this constant ‘light’ is the handiwork of
    saboteurs within your work system. These disgruntled individuals are
    enemies of progress who want you to miss your set targets. These
    enemies want you to score very low on your KPI assessment. I realised
    this fact when I stumbled on a document showing your Key Performance
    Indicators for every month. These are:
    1. Explosive growth in the amount of Candle-lit dinners and balcony-bedrooms
    2. Massive boom in the sales of Candles, torchlights, generators,
    inverters and lanterns
    3. Increased work place productivity due to Employees spending at
    least 16 hours at work because there is no light at home
    4. Massive growth of Rock music fan clubs being aided by the endless
    sound of generators that are switched on overnight.
    5. Volume of human blood being sucked by mosquitoes unchallenged by
    ceiling/standing fans
    6. Incidence of heat rashes
    7. Large Increase in naming ceremonies: When people have no light at
    home, what else do they do with their time other than *******?

    Sir, I strongly feel that the above achievements will not be possible
    if we keep on having ‘light’. The saboteurs in your workplace will
    make you look stupid and incapable in front of your bosses. The
    repercussions of this charade would be unbearable. This is why I am
    writing to you now. As a responsible citizen, if I do not volunteer
    this information, I know that I will be the one to suffer. The day you
    realise that I have been enjoying endless light for 2 weeks, you will
    pay me back with 10 black months. The end will be worse than the
    beginning, thereof. I am at a crossroad. This is a major dilemma.
    Should I keep quiet? No I won’t. This is because Evil triumphs when
    Good Men keep silent. Your incompetent staffs have left the light
    switch on and gone to sleep. I know you will take back all that we
    have stolen from you but Please remember my house in the day of
    recompense.

    Yours Truly
    A Nairalander

  4. makinde seun says:

    I believe that one day we will get to a stage in this country that the divide between the rich and not rich will be insignificant. it is when we reach this stage that we can now start talking of a United Nigeria

  5. Ayobami Oladejo says:

    @ Babygirl – Don’t worry, we will change the perception together. Let them watch out!

    @ Zema – Good to have you around. Regards to baby n wifey o. As per electricity – I believe each state should be granted d autonomy to generate their power. No company can effectively generate n distribute power for a big country like Nigeria. The constitution should be reviewed as par that.

    @ Mutiu – Wow … thanks for this hilarious letter. It made my day LOL

    @ Seun – We are all looking forward n praying for that day. Thanks.

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