Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Concept of Hard Work in the Mind of a Religious Nigerian Youth

I got a new house mate three months ago and he is Nigerian, as expected I was little bit sceptical giving the current situation in Malaysia. Having someone I know nothing about in the same apartment got me worried, I do not know his name, the College/University he attends or what he was doing in Malaysia. My former house-mate was done with his Ph.D. and headed back to Libya, older guy, so living with him was very easy. Having a new tenant is not my decision to make, it's the landlord's and the new guy has money to pay for his room, so here we are.

One month in, I noticed my compatriot was very restless, he never leaved the apartment and freaked out anytime there is a loud bang from the door leading to the fire exit on our floor. Unknown to me, it was about the same time Malaysia was carrying out its yearly ritual. The Malaysian Immigration department performs this yearly operation where illegal immigrants and migrant workers are rounded up and sorted. Those deemed useful are registered and the rest purged. It's almost impossible for a Nigerian to fall into the useful category, we don't do construction or production line work, apart from lacking the skills needed for these jobs, the pay makes no financial sense to someone that can afford the flight ticket to travel all the way to Malaysia. (Our mouth don wide finish)

So, I got curious and started asking questions and he opened up. This was his response to my inquisition.
"Guy, you know say this my work, if Imigra catch you, dem no dey collect bribe. Na immigration camp, prison and Murtala get you" He admitted to being a Scammer, and explained he had overstayed his visa.

Why does this guy baffle me? He is the religious type, the MFM kind that disturbs the whole neighbourhood with his prayers. You hear him screaming and chanting the name of Jesus, vibrating table and chairs in his room. So, he had a similar prayer session few days ago and about 10 minutes after the noise subsided, I could hear him speaking on the phone, he was threatening and mocking a scam victim whom he defrauded. It really struck me, how do these guys do it? I screamed. How does these two parallel lines  heading in opposite directions meet in their minds? My mind was blown.

Another incident that got me thinking is the 'Nigeria Got Talent' guy, Emmanuel Odeh, a midget from Rivers State who auditioned for the 2013 edition. This guy walked up the stage with so much sense of entitlement and with no talent what so ever but expected the judges to vote him to the next round of the competition because he asked God for it in his prayers. The man did nothing to convince the judges or viewers that he deserved to move to the next round, He just wiggled around to a song expecting a miracle and when the judges voted him out, he started weeping profusely, exclaiming he had asked God for it and God promised to do it for him.

As Nigerians, we most times learn how wrong it is to judge others based on the fact that if exposed to the same circumstance, we’ll do same or worse. Yet, our parents and the world at large teaches us that, there can never be honour in stealing no matter how sleek or in whatever circumstance. It’s a no bueno.

It's this same mind set that our leaders have, kneeling in front of every Tom, Deek and Harry expecting God to come down and make decisions that would change our country for the better.

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