‘Is your hair peruvian?’ ‘No, its actually Mongolian’… The usual question modern Nigerian girls toss at each other at silly birthday parties at hotspots or lounges as they are termed these days. Glamorous, dressed to the nines, in groups or cliques, they eye the man in the Mercedes. Whether or not he is a man of honor or a man that prays is not considered. He has a Mercedes! And the batting of the fake eyelashes continues.
‘I love your wrist watch!’ ‘Its Micheal Kors!’ Yet again another batch of vain talk as the others summon the courage to talk to the man that arrived in the Mercedes. Assuming a bolder girl/woman doesn’t beat one of them to it.
There was a time when girls sat in the kitchen and talked vastly about various meals they could cook, gushed secretly about the neighbour’s son in silent whispers knowing Mother must never hear, mumbled extensively about school works and whether or not the course work would entail in-depth research. The mothers would reprimand and the daughters would listen. The fathers would command or subtly hint and the children obeyed. The older brother ruled with an iron fist. He would be sterner than the father. And the household needed no foreign culture or newer gadgets.
But alas, those days are gone. The modern Nigerian girl or woman as she would believe herself to be no longer lives at home or is hardly ever home. She freely roams. Whether her morals move with her is unknown. The brother is ‘hustling’ or playing PS3. The mother is busy at the office or at the salon. The father is on a trip somewhere. She has all the freedom in the world. But all the freedom may not corrupt. That’s not the issue at all. Adventure and being a social butterfly in itself is a beautiful thing. But it is the new socialite way of life that is disturbing and destructive to our Nigeria. The vanity.
This need to own everything in vogue. The new phone. The newest shoes. The un-natural hair. The long nails. The car. The up scale house. The birthday parties. We are no longer defined by what our brain holds but the phone our hand cradles. ‘Who’s Zimbabwe’s president?’ ‘Why did Mandela go to prison?’ are questions that cannot be answered at posh parties by the Marc Jacob wearing women we see sipping Red wine. But ask ‘Is your bag a Celine?’ and they’ll say its a ‘Prada’.. Ultimately being fashion concious is hardly a bad thing but is that all our women will know in this generation of gadgetry and pretence of ‘poshness’? An overhaul in our appreciation of the little things, culture and intellect is in dire demand.
‘When did you get back from(insert white man’s country)?’ ‘Oh last week, this weather is harsh’… A common banter between our Nigerian girls. Travel to broaden your horizons they say but it is never about experiences for our people these days. It is a trip purely made out of decadence and a need to show our ‘friends’ on social networks that we live ‘the good life’.. This is almost as tragic as our economy.
One could go on about what is wrong with our mind frame but it is as tiring as waiting for grass to grow. But the question remains: Should your hair be peruvian and your skin Nigerian? Is your mind British? Is your accent American? Why are your trips Australian? What is your wrong with being Nigerian?
Fati Abubakar wrote in from Maiduguri
You can follow her on twitter: @bebe_licious