The average Nigerian despises the rich. There’s a pervading belief that every well-off person is in some way responsible for the widespread poverty in the land. As a result, the masses do not care whether the wealthy inherited their fat pockets on account of a line up of affluent ancestors or as a product of some business hocus pocus. The consensus is if they aren’t gnashing their teeth to put food on the table like the majority, they must have shortchanged the rest of us to attain such status. It’s a no-win situation for the well-to-do.
I had made a Facebook post about the former Chelsea player, Diego Costa sharing a striking resemblance in looks and temperament with the fictional comic character, Captain Haddock of the Adventures of TinTin series fame. It was an epiphany I thought to put out just as it hit me. A few minutes later, I got a notification that someone had responded to my post. It was a random Facebook friend. He commented with something along the lines of asking me to leave Chelsea alone since I was a Manchester United fan.
Time was when we were swamped to our necks. If you stayed in any of the crazy cities of the world; the Lagos’ and Newyork’s and the Tokyo’s and the London’s, attributing every shortcoming to the lack of time was a genuine excuse. In Lagos where I live, it’s the norm to leave home as early as four in the morning and return as late as eleven at night, so yes, saying you didn’t have enough time on your hands to meet yet another deadline or take a look at your child’s homework was acceptable.
Enter COVID-19, the game-changer.
One look at you and they are convinced you are buoyant enough to fulfil their monetary needs.
Welcome to the world of online beggars.
These days, I am wary of responding to private messages from acquaintances or random social media contacts due to one ugly trend: Begging.
Wherever you turn, there’s someone itching to send you their account details.
They lurk on virtual alleys—from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram—seeking whom to fleece.
You could be ranting about COVID-19 and its impact on the world’s economy and someone would respond with their bank information asking you to do giveaway. The sense of entitlement and shamelessness displayed is something that should be studied in schools.
Overcomer is a Christian Drama produced by Stephen Kendrick, Aaron Burns, and Justin Tolley, and directed by Alex Kendrick
I had scrolled past it a couple of times on Netflix. It caught the impression of a cheesy, preachy movie, especially when the image of Priscilla Shirer (who played the lead character in the popular faith-based drama “War Room” by the Kendrick brothers) popped up on my screen. I thought War Room was a tad pretentious and preachy.
It toed the tired, frustration-inducing narrative that places the success or failure of a marriage at the doorstep of the woman only. So for a while, I passed on Overcomer until I made a random decision to see it.
I miss football. I miss it a lot. Ever since the novel COVID-19 mutated our regular programming, football tournaments, just like every other sector came to an abrupt halt. Aside from those who kick the ball and excite us with their footballing skills, sports commentators have always been a source of fascination for me. So when Jim Beglin sought out his colleague and fellow commentator, Peter Drury on the request of football fans around the world who had missed the latter’s inimitable commentary style, I was excited to catch a (virtual) glimpse of the man behind the voice.
“I feel claustrophobic in here. My kids are driving me crazy. Omo, no how wey I no go comot this house.” Bode said.
He had scrambled for his phone almost as soon as it rang. It was Felix, his longtime friend and colleague at Lion Consulting.
“Hahaha, guy chill. The thing dey affect everybody, but how we go do na, it will soon be over.”
“I’m trying to oh, but mehn, I don tire. Not even with this woman wey de want attention all the time. Abeg I don tire jare.”
Felix rumbling laughter rang through the speaker.
As he hung up, Bode could hear his three kids screaming at one another again. He needed no one to tell him they were involved in yet another scuffle. If they were not arguing about what cartoon to watch, they were fighting whose turn it was to occupy the rocking sofa.
The world is in a state of flux. The sweeping feeling is that of anxiety and confusion. And this time around, the apprehension is not an exclusive lot of a few or some far-flung corner of the universe. No. COVID-19 has distributed and ensconced itself in a way that has continued to confound even the sceptics. One day we were living our lives, going about our businesses with gusto or indifference or lethargy, oblivious of what was around the corner. The next, a strange disease showed up and chucked all our best-laid plans in the bin.
The entire world is in dire straits right now. The uncertainty is palpable and we are almost at the point of resignation to the possibility of darker days ahead. Like a meteorite, a hitherto unknown virus struck with the vengeance of a serial killer. From one country, the Coronavirus has spread its raging tentacles to more than 150. Asia, Europe, and Africa have felt the wrath of the unwanted guest and its unrelenting in its efforts to bring humanity to its knees.