YOU must have attended one of such parties in the past. It used to be the type of parties women dressed up to the nines for. The band in attendance was usually a leading one and most women would dance with such a frenzy that some appreciative men on the prowl for flings would plaster their foreheads with money—real money. Today, the picture is different. Most women who attend ‘heavy’ parties no longer go home to eagerly count their spoils. No, they invariably go home to take an inventory of how much they have foolishly frittered away, and to fume at how they’d been out-sprayed by other ‘classless’ women.
What exactly is going on? Aren’t the simple things of life important anymore? And has money become so obsessively vital that a lot of women would literally kill to get it? It is a throw back to that dreaded oil-boom era. Heaven only knows what that era will finally signify in the history of Nigeria. Suddenly, men who were drop-outs, who couldn’t string a few words of intelligence together, started clutching briefcases, wearing designer clothes and telling tales, of their jaunts all over the world. It was all thanks to those crazy contracts that you could virtually pick up on the floor of your toilet! These have recently given way to what money you can make in politics or as a top civil servant!
In the wake of the mini-millionaires, several women were left in the lurch either because they did not fit into their men’s new status or because their men have acquired a few, other women as classless as they (the men) were. So, naturally, these abandoned women became bitter. They knew a few of the tricks their men used to get rich quick. And didn’t someone mention drug trafficking and financial scams?
They quickly became mistresses of the game.
So, at parties these days, you see a group of the same women—all professionally bleached, all wearing expensive lace, silk or God-knows-what-else materials and expensive jewelries to boot-spraying each other and making the band leaders almost eat at their feet. The men have since realised that they have lost in the Nairamania race. They sit quietly and dare not venture on to the dance floor. The few that usually do always put a straight face on.
They make for the celebrant, clumsily spray whoever it is and hurry back to their seats, pointedly ignoring the sniggers of other women on the dance floor! Poor men! The current financial crunch hasn’t done much for their ego either.
Money, money, money. The last of such parties I attended, the spendthrifts were there as usual. The band leader, noticing this, wasted little time on his “testing, testing” caper! He started praising the women in turns until he came to a particular one who was conspicuously absent. The poor band leader thought she was at the party, as it was a member of her group that was the celebrant. He started extolling the bogus virtue he’d tagged her with and some of the guests were appalled.
“What’s the matter with him?” hissed one of the women. In minutes, there were furious whistlers as to how the woman in question was now a guest in one of the prisons of the government of the United States! Poor greedy woman! She’d tried to find another warehouse to traffic drugs in, and an X-ray room showed the authorities her new methods.
A few months ago, a colleague said he was speechless when a friend of his girlfriend’s came to warn him that if this particular girlfriend didn’t stop trafficking in drugs, she might be caught—and soon too!
“I went to her house immediately,” said the colleague. “I was convinced that this friend was raising an unnecessary alarm. I was instantly on my guard when I saw some few newly acquired expensive items in the living room. She then asked jokingly, if I’d come to take her to dinner. ‘Dinner ke?’ I crowed, ‘where would I get that kind of money at such short notice?’
If it was a matter of a little item like money she said, then she would take me!
I began to feel amused by this sudden show of wealth. As I led the way towards my nine-year-old tokunbo Benz, she said she would like me to have a feel of her new car—a brand new Suv!
“That did it! When we got to the restaurant, I warned her not to do anything dangerous as I’d heard some nasty rumours about her. She sneered that most of her friends were just jealous. That she now travelled strictly for business and would stop as soon as she hit a certain “target!’ The problem with jealous Nigerians, she said, was that they were always attributing honest wealth to shady deals.
“Well, that was the last I heard of her. She was caught on her last trip’ and the landlord has thrown her things out of the flat.”
The saddest part of the whole sordid detail is that not only illiterates are resorting to dangerous means to get money. A respectable old man whose daughter was jailed abroad recently said he was sorry she was caught abroad.
He would have wished that she were caught here and if possible, paraded on the pages of the newspapers and shown on the tube like the cheap criminal she was. That might just serve as a deterrent to other would be criminals. But would it?!