Interview With Saxophone: “Nigerians Have Seen Me Finish”

February 19, 2021

Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.


After interviewing Truth or Dare about inadvertently becoming the go-to game for turning a simple party into a den of iniquity, we got a phone call from Saxophone, who wanted to tell its own story too.

From being the happening babe of musical instruments to becoming a laughing stock to Nigerians, the Saxophone’s journey is a classic grace to grass story.

Zikoko: Thanks for coming here.

Saxophone: Thanks for not trying to blow me on my way in.

Err. You’re welcome. So, do you remember how you felt when you first came to Nigeria?

Ah. It was…magical. Before I came, the major musical instruments were drums, bells, and maybe the occasional keyboard. But then I came in, and I was the shining new star.

Not everybody knew how to play me, but they all wanted me in the mix, even if it was just for show. Live bands, country clubs, everywhere. I was the ‘it girl’. I felt so classy.

That must have been awesome.

It was. But this is Nigeria. You can’t be special for too long. They will eventually rubbish you.

Ahan. What happened?

The way grace changes to disgrace in this country needs to be studied. Honestly, look at me. From being the happening babe of musical instruments to becoming a laughing stock.

How did you become a laughing stock?

Frankly, I blame Nigerian vendors and their so-called romantic packages. I don’t know who gave them the idea that they need to include me as part of their romantic shenanigans, but it has really stained my white.

How so?

You know Nigerians must make money out of every available opportunity. Take Valentine’s Day for example. Biko, why were there more vendors than lovers? Why was supply greater than demand?

Then in a bid to standout out among the sea of vendors, you’ll see some of them looking for a unique angle, and before you know it, I am dragged into the mess.

Shouldn’t that be a good thing?

It would have been good if it was just one vendor. But check every vendor’s package and you will see me. So where is the uniqueness if everybody has seen me finish?

On the contrary, I think you’ve become more popular. Shouldn’t you be excited?

Did I beg you people for popularity? Even if I wanted to become popular, shouldn’t it be for something reasonable? You that is cheating will still drag me to surprise your lover who is also cheating.

Who are we deceiving? And where is the romance in that?

Are you saying you don’t care for romance?

Not on a hot afternoon when people are trying to sleep. It doesn’t even help that some of the so-called saxophonists don’t know how to play. All they know how to do is spray saliva inside me and make noise.

Tell me, does this sound relaxed and romantic to you?

Erm…

A nuisance, that is what Nigerian romance vendors have turned me into. A complete nuisance. Your babe is heartbroken? Play Saxophone for her. You cheated on her? Call Saxophone. Oh, it’s Valentine’s Day? SAXOPHONE.

They don’t care about context or situation, all they want is the money. And what will the end result be? Disgrace. Complete and utter disgrace. Kai. I have really suffered.

How does all of this make you feel?

Can I ask you a question?

Sure.

If you’re walking on the road now, and you see someone carrying a saxophone, what would be your first thought?

Somebody’s daughter is about to suffer.

You see? And you’re asking me how this makes me feel? I have become so overused that instead of being associated with class, Nigerians associate me with noise and suffering.

No, I didn’t mean—

You did, and I don’t blame you. It is what you Nigerians do. You spoil people’s lives and then mock them for it. You strip them of dignity and then turn around to call them cheap and classless. You are just as bad as they—

This is starting to become—

Don’t interrupt me. You will go out there now and tell your people—vendors, surprise package people, all of them. Tell them that I said they should leave me alone.

Haven’t they soiled my reputation enough? Tell them I said I don’t care about how they show love or surprise the people in their lives. I just want to be left out of it.

Yes, yes I will.

Good. *Saxophone rolls out*


Check back every Friday by 9am for new stories in the Interview With… series. Read older interviews here.

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