On Recession, Humility and the Culture of Begging By Festus Ogun - Eyesoflagos


As the economic recession continues to bite harder, there has been series of socio-cultural lessons that have travelled along with it. Without any form of doubt, apart from striking the nation with perpetual hardship, this recession has partly succeeded in bringing back our lost values. These values, which had been lost for long, are definitely needed for the growth and upkeep of the ‘Nigeria of our dream’.


One of those values that got evaporated from the face of Nigeria is the fine virtue of humility. When Nigeria was still Nigeria, citizens of the state were set of humble individuals. And since being humble has been described as the father of all virtues, Nigeria of those days progressed in all ramifications – at least, to a very reasonable extent.

Those days, leaders were so humble to their citizens that the business of governance was quite fair – compared to what we have today. Citizens were also very humble and things were quite good.  Sadly, what obtains in this present day is a sheer patronage of “constituted authority” and “constituted citizenship”. Prima facie, our values are vanished.

But, at times, in life we will be forced to do what we would not have actually done. The condition we find ourselves often times serves as a determinant factor of who we are and the kind of character we wear upon ourselves. You see, poverty and hunger can bring back so many sane elements of a society. The psyches of many have been restored to ‘factory setting’ as this recession continues to get harder.

Consequently, those lost values have been equally partly restored by the recession that has overthrown this present government. The period of lavish spending is part of history already. Lavish spending is now on exile and many of us are now prudent. Do you spend foolishly that which isn’t enough?

Look, pride ‘was’ one of the symptom of a healthy Nigerian. And this is caused by the answer to the question: what pride has he a poor man? In our cultural history, poor people are not usually proud and arrogant. They are usually stubborn. See, during those times when there was money everywhere, everyone was boss in their different lanes. Hence, ‘everyone’ was proud.

Now that there is recession, everywhere is calm and many are trying to cope with the hardship. There is no more laulau. People are now being forced to be humble. But, at this critical stage, this humility we talk about may be insufficient. Your humility, at times, may not allow you get what you want. So, you need to deploy the father of humility which is BEGGING.

Look at me very well, when your humility won’t allow you get the needful from the other party, you cannot just but pick up your pride, get kerosene, burn it to ashes and swallow it with pap. After consuming your pride, you must just apply the art of ‘begging’ so as to fasten the effect of your humility. It is noteworthy that many beg not because they feel like, but simply because you cannot just but do it; if not you may not get what you want.

Take for instance: you are left with only #50 and you want to urgently see a friend in his home that you know for long to cost you #100. While you stop the bikeman, you need to be humble at first( though that’s not the style, most Nigerians don’t respect okada riders). Then, if you don’t want to trek to your destination, you must just beg the man. Who says he’ll hear your pleadings in the first place? So, maybe after three okadamen have left you, you’ll meet a passionate one. I know you don’t like humility, but, you will be forced to be humble since recession is affecting your slim pocket.

In the market, saying “mummy, e please ma”, “mummy alata, e jowo, e bami fisi ma”, “daddy, e jowo e ta fun mi ni #250 sir” are now the popular slangs. At times, the other party will ask you not to beg HER, inquiring if you’re not a Nigerian. Do you know what that mean?

Can you see the government you all voted for?


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