“God when?” One of the latest in the endless repertoire of lingos that spring up daily in the social media space. The phrase is expressed as a longing for something— a new status—a change in fortune. Gorgeous photos of an about-to-wed couple, the acquisition of a top of the range car, or a business success announcement are only a few of the events that can evoke this saying.
God when is the poor man’s reminder to the creator that he still exists and is as deserving of the blessings the rich take for granted. It is the single lady’s go-to password to nudge the cosmic into effecting a change in her marital status, and the struggling guy’s supplication when he remembers how he lost his girl to a moneybag. Social media lingos come and go, but God when is not likely to fizzle out soon, and I’ll explain why.
If there’s any behaviour that is so evident in the typical Nigerian, it is the inimitable ability to cling to hope. In spite of the myriad of issues the nation grapples with, its citizens are trained to look on the bright side. Call it the e go better mentality. Somehow, we believe we will make it; if not in Nigeria, then outside its shores.
The skewed balance between those who are thriving in spite of the challenges of living in a third world country and their counterparts who can barely scrape a meal in a day is a major reason this hunger for a better life in the latter will be expressed through a ubiquitous slang.
Our society is riddled with glaring paradoxes
The super-rich residing side-by-side with the penurious; the middle class, all but gone. And social media—the ultra vanity space called Instagram—and the pressure it induces will continue to be a huge factor in this dynamic.
Before, one only had to deal with this poignant gap in the real world. But now, things are different and social media ensures that you do not miss the chance to see others luxuriate in seeming abundance while you wonder what you are doing wrong. And in your soul searching moment, you can only sigh and hope that the tide turns in your favour.
In the midst of the groans and massive exodus of the middle class to the other side of the world, some Nigerians are living their dream in Nigeria. This inexplicable lacuna is responsible for the exclamations of God when.
Sometimes, God when is a by-product of greed
The avarice-induced mental impotence that blocks the ability to look inward, to see one’s blessings, coupled with the unfettered need to compare self with others.
You are ignorant of the struggles and pains of those you so desperately wish to be like. You are only aware of what they choose to reveal on Facebook and so you assume their life is perfect.
Other times, the phrase is a genuine desire for a positive change.
It shouldn’t be strange that a person who works hard and is focused, yearns for more, especially when he sees those who don’t put in half the effort he puts in excelling.
We all have our God when moments
When we are weary. When we are inundated with pressure. When we are frustrated at work. When we are clueless as to the direction of Nigeria or whether it’s even headed along any path. Even when we do not give voice to it, we will always have an innate desire for progress.
God when isn’t going away anytime soon because people are going to continue to flaunt the flowery parts of their lives
As the youths see their contemporaries driving a Mercedes while they are still stuck asking mum and dad for handouts, they will mutter God when.
If politicians continue to get away with purloining our collective wealth only to oppress the already jaded masses, God when will be uttered.
When PHCN chooses to seize power for days leaving an entire neighbourhood in total darkness, and the inhabitants remember that their peers who just moved to Canada will never experience the same thing again, their sighs would be synonymous with God when.
Whether we like to admit it or not, God when is the common man hang on to hope; it has come to stay.
As always, this was a great read!
Hey Lauretta! Thank you so much.
The poignancy of this article is similar to the flaying of a whip. Truth is always impossible to hide, however hard we may try.
*Me when I’m done reading another great article by Lolo*: God when! 😭😭😭
Hahaha! Thank you so much, Tomilade.