Tuesday, 19 January 2010


wana udobang
So Nicholas Cage is broke. So is one time 50 cent and Paris Hilton producer Scott Storch and believe me the list does go on. Although not so deep inside, i say “you had it coming, you deserve every bit of poverty that is about to be unleashed on you”.
As i get more and more entrenched in the Nigerian entertainment business, i uncover new and not so new wonders every day. I recently chastised a friend for taking a fifteen thousand naira corporate cab whilst his pocket were a tad bit try. I wondered why he couldn’t just give some guy two thousand naira to buy petrol and five grand for some change. Not to seem overly condescending but Wole Soyinka went to Mo Abudu’s show on a bike just to bypass the traffic, and really it doesn’t get any bigger than that.
I then went into a tirade about other celebrities who were already paying over twenty five grand per day in car hire services, meanwhile they had just managed to elevate from the apartments they were squatting a while before, of course with other numerous squatters and floaters too. Not to bore you with arithmetic but twenty five grand a day in five days equals one hundred and twenty five grand. In a month its half a million naira and in two months its a brand new kia. And that can tie you till your next consignment of cash, then the logical process of upgrading takes place.
He said i was mean and a bit harsh. Actually he said i was being very judgemental.
He went further saying i was acting like i didn’t know how difficult it is for people to take you seriously in the business. He gave me a scenario and it went thus.
Imagine you had an important meeting to go to, where you had to negotiate with brand managers and you are constantly being sized up or down depending on your automobile of choice. The thought in itself was a bit too warped for me to grasp because to me it was simple. If they offered you a fee that was unacceptable, you just say NO. I was always of the school of thought either your talent or hustle experience should speak for itself without having to buy a Murano with your last show money and then living in it afterwards.
The thing is that this phenomenon penetrates and disperses into other sectors of Nigerian society. From banking to oil and gas, earning a hundred thousand naira a month and buying designer suits alongside Peruvian hair on credit is perfectly normal. Even hawkers make it perfectly ok for you to have a credit facility. I had been told a fair few times to get a loan and buy a car. That way when i attend negotiation deals, i can be taken a bit more seriously. I deliberately omit the part that my meetings never materialised because the powers that be are more concerned with an all night rendezvous as opposed to my means of locomotion.
My friend keeps telling me you have to fake it till you make it and i want to tell him you have all faked it for so long and none of you seem to have made it yet. The interesting thing is, whether you got of a bike or a plane, no one might take any notice. He later tells me i won’t understand. Then i respond with the epistle that is my life story. I explain that i have been rich before, then dirt poor, and i understand what it feels like to need to fit in or to need to be taken seriously by the elitist confraternity that is Nigerians. Still its no reason to bankrupt yourself even before earning a wage. As my face book status reflects my every random thought, i engraved my rhetoric as my status update and received an interesting reply. The reply said “you think therefore you are and if you tell yourself long enough then you will become it, so living a false life might not be so false after all.”He added that is was called faith. And then i thought to myself when you start misinterpreting biblical concepts to aid your stupidity, then i see why we are the way we are. Nonetheless maybe i need to get acquainted with this new way of thinking. I’m off to purchase my Rover and fix myself up with an apartment in park view. I reckon this will propel the genesis to my life of financial surplus. Like a ten thousand pound student loan I’m still paying for isn’t bad enough. Thanks but no thanks. Though India Arie says “i am not my hair”, i say “i am not my car”. For now all so called embarrassing means of public transportation will do just fine.


ufuomabubu said...

Nice one there,

pita said...

wana i totally agree with you. i dont see any reason i should in trying to impress some one, do so at my own deteriment. I, as an artiste, understand the need to look good am be taken seriously, but i dnt hav to kill my financial future so dat someone who doesn't hold the key to my life should be impressed. Well ironed n clean clothes, properly matched can go a long way to make u look sharp. dere r body spray dat give an all day sweet scent without u spending a show's pay. I for example hav a laptop bag dat has diffrent compartments, in one of dem i hav my show shinner, spare handkerchief n a little powder(lol). i get to d venue of my meeting b4 time n clean up in d men's room. by d time d other party arrives, i look like i came out of a 2009 camry. dats my illusion. its cheaper n works a lot of times.

Ladi said...

I interned in a few 9ja banks and noticed this phenomenon amongst the younger staff who just got introduced to the 100k salary. I got away with taking taxis back home for the sake of being a teenage employee but there was certainly more respect for the intern with the BMW (thank the daddy) even though they always came late.

elfworks said...

as always, you do me proud, Wana. :)

elfworks said...

oh and that was me.. Nnamdi.

Tariere said...

Lol @ 'In 2 months that's a Kia'

Well havent you heard the term 'Eko for Show'?!

teck-zilla said...

As the saying goes..vanity upon vanity=vanity. All that "yanga" is just SCREENSAVER...after the poop hits the fan,eyes will open and the mind will experience what alcoholics call "Moment of clarity". Don't believe the hype!

Anonymous said...

'nuff said

lamikayty said...

I saw your note on a friends fb page and had to say more as I couldn't leave a comment on it.
True talk my sister, true talk! I'm grateful for my upbringing o 'cos my dad drummed Dickens into us - “a penny saved is a penny earned.” and 'Spending more than you earn is pure foolishness' and this horrible craze for credit is simply horrible. If i cannot afford something, i'm not moving near it!
This penchant for Designers, show, a life bigger than others is one of the reasons why our society treats 'seemingly richer' people better than others deemed to have little or nothing. Its why people steal to 'look good' and why civil servants own houses in Ikoyi with no other means of livelihood.
Its why people must get to the seat of power at all costs, etc, etc!
Hmmm my sister, don't be dismayed, it is common sense not to live 'big' when you have small pockets and to cut ones coat according to ones size but I don't understand why there's this horrible craze for big eyes!! (Ojukokoro!)
The wedding craze is another matter! Millions spent and afterwards, bride and groom are left hungry and without what one would consider essentials. I don talk reach o! I think you've inspired me to write a post!

Anonymous said...

Wana I am beginning to think we are kindred spirits. Just saw your blog today for the first time, and I have to say, you write very well.

You cldnt have decribed Lagostown, Nigeria better. I was at a Modelling Event last week, and people are air-kissing themselves up and down. Nothing wrong with that, but the materialism and squalor on show in Nigeria is taking epic proportions.

And for people with low self esteem or who want to join the jet set by all means, this leads to desperation. And as I always say, desperation is an unclean force.