When Chinua Achebe said being a Nigerian was abysmally frustrating and incredibly exciting- brothers and sisters, one lie, he did not tell.
One minute, you can be scrolling through Naira land to investigate if the job interview centre you got called to, is actually a kidnapper’s den. The next minute, you can discover the last match on your ticket has entered big time!
Today, however, we’re going to be focusing on the frustrating bits of being Nigerian. Those things that just make you want to take your green passport and stone the nearest Nigerian politician. So we asked 4 people their most annoying experiences being in Nigeria. Here’s what they had to say:
Policemen and their ‘friendliness’.
I’m head pastor of my church province and I work in the Nigerian Civil service. On principle, I do not give or receive bribes from anyone, despite what people might assume about my job.
So you can imagine my annoyance when, one day, while rushing for a parish meeting I was meant to lead, but was late to — those looters garbed in uniform stopped my car to ask for money to help their Oga ‘do birthday’. I began to refuse, but they looked like they had time to waste, something I didn’t. So I grudgingly gave them ₦500 to contribute to their debauchery. Nigerian police, definitely, definitely not your friend. Mr Ikechukwu- 46
Harrassment as the order of the day.
I used to shop at Yaba. A lot. The options are great, and say what you want, but 3 jeans for 2 500 is a blessing no man can curse.
One day however, I landed in Yaba with 5k in my pockets, prepping to buy like 100 shirts. While trying to locate my usual plug’s stall, Yaba boys started their usual nonsense of dragging and asking that you check the bales they just tore.
I tried quietly navigating through them, when one caressed my shoulder and said something like: “otu ocha, you be my spec oh”. Normally, I’d ignore and push through, but that day I snapped and gave a reply he definitely wasn’t expecting.
We began bickering, and another trader must have heard because before I knew it, I was surrounded by men calling me “ashawo” and other unmentionables.
It upsets me to this day. I left sobbing and in a haste. I shop online now. – Adanna, 23.
Mission Impossible: Finding A Job
My experience is more frustrating than annoying. November 2018 made it 3 years and 2 months since I had been unemployed. There was nowhere I hadn’t looked in search of a job and there was just about no odd job I hadn’t tried.
In the second week of November 2018 however, I got a promising offer to work at the marketing branch of a start-up company in Lekki. The interview was for 3pm on November 14th.
I got dressed and was out of my house by 12pm on interview day. Plenty of time to get to the interview venue from my house in Surulere to the interview venue in Lekki, right? Wrong.
That day of all days, parked tankers unleashed traffic from hell on Eko bridge. A journey that should ideally have taken me an hour tops, ended up costing me 4 hours of my time.
When the bus got to Lekki, I made to cross the express to save time and was arrested by some policemen stationed there. I spent an additional 20 minutes bribing my way out of it.
Luckily, I was able to re-schedule the meeting and I eventually got the job. Being stuck in traffic still gives me severe PTSD though.
– Matthew, 34.
Nigeria Won’t Let Me Escape.
You want to know the most frustrating thing about living in Nigeria? It won’t let me leave.
As a web designer and developer, I have had several opportunities to attend programs and to speak at international events about my craft.
However, every so often, I have had to lose out on speaking arrangements, and very promising programs abroad because my passport is green and their embassies don’t like that very much it would appear.
Maybe they have a reason for denying me actually. Because the way I’m frustrated, once my Canada visa comes through, Nigeria, e go be.
No water, no light.
I finally gathered liver to ask this girl I had been eyeing on SnapChat out for lunch over the weekend. The whole week leading up to D-day — I worked out, brushed my teeth like 3 times and said an extra prayer before I slept so it’d be successful. Lo and behold, Saturday came and there was no water in my house and no light to pump it with. You people will laugh, but the way my house is set up— if my mommy isn’t home, we can’t put on the gen for any reason, and she was out till late that day.
After I had stalled long enough for them to bring light, and our lunch date started turning to 4pm, I decided rub to rub and shine to the venue.
Now I don’t know if it’s that I didn’t have enough game or the perfume I bathed with to cover my mustiness was too much for her, but she never called back after that day. I still hiss whenever NEPA brings light. – Woleola, 20.