By Donu Kogbara
LAST week, I dedicated this column to (a): complaints about the crooked, shameless, power-abusing personalities who are dishonestly pretending to mourn the death of Gani Fawehinmi â€“ a man of integrity with whom they had absolutely nothing in common and (b): complaints about the alarming number of Nigerians who steal from the offices and homes they work inâ€¦
and the many employees who have stolen from me since I moved here from the UK (where I never had such bad experiences).Â I thought I should let you see the responses I received from Vanguard readers.
08064099840Â Â Â Â Â Â 20-09-2009.
Dear Donu, I am thrilled by your excellently crafted piece titled Ganiâ€˜s Fake fans. Only God will punish them.
08039676450Â Â Â Â Uche
I luv your courage & observation concerning Ganiâ€˜s Fake Fans. But why did u come to Nigeria? Honestly if I were in your shoes, I wouldnâ€˜t come back.
07035296066Â Â Â Â Â Â (Anonymous)
Donu, thanks for your piece on â€˜Ganiâ€˜s Fake Fansâ€˜. Is it not insulting that the same policemen that fed him tear gas instead of water during his protests for the down-trodden and the satanic politicians who loathe his preachings against poverty and bad leadership are now eulogizing this enigma in death?
07030420979Â Â Â Â O.C.Nze, Enugu
Sis, you were rightly amused by the antics of our power-abusers. Why? Because Nigeria is a huge circus where looters prefer to import fuel than to refine locally.
08022356237Â Â Â Â Â Lucky,Â Warri.
Honestly, I feel your pains though there is too much poverty in the land. Why most Nigerians are not honest is ‘cos rulers are dishonest. Good people are treated as fools and morons, so what do you expect?
Re-Petty Theft. We get the leaders we deserve, donâ€˜t we? We should not expect honest leaders when a majority of us are dishonest in many small ways. Too bad.
07087264216 (from someone who described himself/herself as â€œSouth-South Voiceâ€): Please donâ€˜t blame them. The Nigerian system is very BAD. Most top government functionaries in Nigeria are thieves. Just mind the people around u.
Last but not least was a message from an unidentified reader who sent me the following highly amusing text (which s/he insists is a true story):
08033969421: Clement was a dedicated steward until the eve of his expatriate employerâ€™s departure from Nigeria and the devil possessed him. He nicked part of the proceeds from the sale of his departing masterâ€˜s car.
When the expatriate, a wily old vixen, discovered sheâ€˜d been had, she kept mum and then dispatched Clement on a tedious errand. In the course of his absence, she took his lodgings apart and found the loot, which she gleefully stole back!
I rounded up last weekâ€™s column by saying that there are, fortunately, some Nigerians who have good hearts and share my view that honesty is the best policy.
And I gave an example of a man who honoured a commitment to a dead business partner by giving his widow her late husbandâ€™s share of the profits from a deal.
I will be very interested in hearing any tales that you may wish to tell about any honest people you have encountered in this country because it is good to publicise decency. If the stories are long, please send them by email rather than by text.
I love Laura Bush!
THE other day, I watched Laura Bush â€“ the
wife of George, the most recent past President of America â€“ being interviewed on TV. And I was extremely touched.
The woman is so lacking in mean-spiritedness. She generously praised Barack Obama, the Democrat who electorally trounced the Republican Party to which the Bushes belong. Laura also had kind words for Barackâ€™s consort, Michelle. Her overall verdict on both Obamasâ€™ performance to date was a gracious observation that â€œthey are both doing greatâ€.
How many of us would have reacted so nicely towards victors who had humiliated an organisation we held dear and had headed?
I have been a major fan of Laura Bush for years. When she was First Lady of the United States, I was impressed by her modest, low-key approach.
There was never any whiff of greed or vanity. She was regal without being overbearing or pretensious. She didnâ€™t try to exploit her elevated position.
If she had any influence over her husband â€“ whose deep love for her was undisguised – she didnâ€™t make it obvious. She respected the fact that it was her husband, not she, who had been chosen by voters to steer the American ship of state. She stayed in the background, smiling sweetly and supporting him loyally.
George Bush made many mistakes and deserved much of the abuse he attracted. But his marriage was one part of his existence in which he didnâ€™t put a foot wrong; and I think that he should be heartily congratulated for having the good taste to invite such a refined gentlewoman to share his life and have his children.
Oyinbos are not daft!
BECAUSE I grew up abroad and rarely think
and behave like a typical Nigerian, I am frequently described as â€œOyinboâ€. And Iâ€™ve noticed that most of the people who describe me thus use the word in a mocking or exasperated way, think that they are smarter than I am and equate my alleged Oyinbo-ness with daftness or naivete.
I am mystified by this viewpoint because Oyinbos are anything but naÃ¯ve or daft!
If White folks are naÃ¯ve, how did they succeed in colonising us and controlling large chunks of todayâ€™s world?
If Oyinbos are so daft, how did they manage to invent aeroplanes, cars, computers, anti-biotics and the many, many, many other things that have drastically improved the quality of Nigerian lives? If Oyinbos are daft, why do we depend so heavily on them to benefit from our main economic resource?
If typical Nigerians are so smart, why canâ€™t they extract oil from our lands and creeks without leaning on foreigners and giving them vast sums to handle the task?
I used to be upset when I was dismissively described as â€œOyinboâ€ but have decided to start thanking anyone who calls me â€œOyinboâ€ for paying me a compliment!
Responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to 0802 747 6458 (texts only).