Every so often I do this: express my gratitude to all the persons, organizations and institutions who chip in and make Nigeria and Nigerians such a great, great place. Mostly because I was raised properly. I was taught to say please and I’m sorry and most importantly, thank you. So from time to time I update my gratitude.
I would like fellow Nigerians to join me in thanking the people below:
1. The United States of America.
For the accent(s) that our radio presenters try so hard to copy. Nigerian radio would be nothing without them. We love them. God bless America.
2. Harvard University.
For providing spaces for ex-Nigerian government officials to soothe their consciences and (re)write their history. Hundreds of pages of new Nigerian history have resulted from this. We thank them immensely.
3. Great Britain.
For colonialism, religion and all the other things that have saved us from ourselves. For things like DFID which supports our hospitals and governance even when we can afford to do them ourselves. For the hospitals in England where generations of our elite are born. Like Paddington. For being unobtrusive about their spying (not like America that can’t keep secrets and is hunting its whistleblowers around the world).
For helping our leaders keep the funds that managed to disappear from Nigeria. For the wonder that is Sepp Blatter who is living proof that corrupt sit-tight leaders do not have to be black. That is such a relief. Now we no longer have to look for the solution to corruption in our genes. God bless Switzerland.
5. Benin Republic
For the cooks who keep the expatriates in Nigeria nourished as they provide us technical expertise and foreign aid. I attended one expatriate event that they catered and by God those people can cook. God keep them for our foreigners.
For not complaining when we partially outsource the health care of our middle class to them. Not everyone can afford to go to Germany the U.S. or England. For Bollywood that provides so much inspiration and material for our own Kannywood. What would northern Nigerian be without Indian movies?
7. UAE. (Dubai in particular)
For giving our middle class, their wives and mistresses a place to shop. Again, not everyone can go to Paris, New York or London. May their visas keep being easy to get. May their stores never close.
8. South Korea
For the alternatives to the more expensive car brands which help some of our working class Nigerians drive brand new cars. We know they Kia. We Kia too.
For supporting many of our governments over the years, some of them allegedly with spy equipment and arms. May we never quarrel with them. We see what they when their neighbours in Palestine annoy them. May we never annoy them.
For not trying too hard to outshine Nigeria even though everyone predicted this would happen. For also allowing their citizens to realise the value of the darkness Nigerians have endured for decades. There is nothing worse than being compared with a sibling who is doing better. God bless Ghana.
For making us able to afford our own textiles. Or stuff that looks like it. Great job. For the phones that are loud enough to be heard in all the Nigerian noise. We love them!
For the hair. I don’t need to say too much here. Brazil is just the best. God bless Brazil. May their hair continue to grow healthy.
For Julius Berger. I know that not many people in Germany know this company that works wonders here in Nigeria. But without them where would all our popular bridges be? We thank them for navigating the corrupt space that is Nigeria and finding a way to do business, decade in, decade out.
14. South Africa
For being tough with visas and not letting us flood the place and ruin the most progressive nation in Africa. For not being too friendly and spoiling us as a result. For DSTV which keeps our middle class happy and giving them the things that truly matter: international football and American TV shows and series. Thanks big brother!
For granting all those asylum applications. For the interracial marriages which have given birth to papers and foreign passports. We love them. Always.
For filling in for the Nigerian government since 1960. In healthcare, safe travels, justice, and consuming our enemies by fire. For helping those who through various means have been helping themselves. For blessing our collective hustle.