Sis, I beg I fit hold some change from you? This is the typical way some Nigerians reach out to the Nigerians in the diaspora.
Recently a virtual friend on Facebook posted the most audacious thing I have seen in a while. Basically, the gist of the post was that someone was angry that people in the United States cut their hair with $100 and in Nigeria that is an atrocious if not downright a stupid thing to do. The poster continued their unwarranted rant by stating that $100 is nothing for folks in the diaspora, but in Nigeria that is a lot of money. First of all, why are you in my pocket counting my change? Let me be clear about my topic, the sense of entitlement does not stop with Nigerians in Nigeria. The sense of entitlement glues themselves to your body even when you cross international waters to obodooyinbo.
Sometimes, I think Nigerians whether in Nigeria or in the overs (overseas) feel like the whole world owes us a whole lot. I started to dig in and concluded that the nerve of our entitlement was born from our toxic culture where we think we owe everyone. Newsflash darlings! The world owes you absolutely nothing, nada, zilch.
The sad part now is that we have tainted our children with that nonsense. As the mother of three kids (ages 25, 13 and 11), I let them know I don’t owe them didly-squat. I also let them know that they do not owe me too. You know why? The quicker you let them know that they came into this world alone and will be leaving alone, the quicker they understand that they have to be on their own and learn to do things by themselves. I see parents buying expensive things for their children that do not understand the value of money. My middle child once asked me to buy him an unnecessary item and I said I did not have the money. Did I have the money to get it? Unequivocally, yes! However, it was the big kahunas with which this kid asked me that made me say no. This kid then opens his pie hole and stated that he knows I have money that I should use my credit or debit card. To which I said, what kind of money do you think resides in the card? Monopoly money??? This made me quickly realize that these kids have no concept of money and when they do have a little understanding of money, it is often from the standpoint of an entitled person.
I think Nigerian parents regardless of their geographical location should teach children the value of money. My solution for my kids (it is not a one size solution) is to open a debit card for them. I have money automatically sent from my account bi-monthly to their account. If they want something that I am not willing to buy them, they save their money and use it to buy what they want. That way I have done my bit being a good parent that has taught her children financial literacy. My 25-year-old has a good paying job, and he gives me money monthly for his room and board. Many friends of mine of Nigerian descent crinkled their nose at this. However, if he does not give me the money. Na, one slay mama go chop the money from him (he already has one slay mama wey be like Instagram model on his case). Where was this lady when me I was raising him to be a good boy? I beg make I chop from my child before I kpai na.
My take on entitlement is an interesting one. I feel that unless you are Siamese twins, everyone should mind their pocket and not chook their mouth into another person’s pocket. I shouldn’t be upset and feel like I owe someone something when I buy things that I worked hard for. I want a Tesla (don’t ask me why? I just think the car is a very sexy one) but in between paying over $5,000 (₦2.8M) per month in bills and trying not to get killed as a black person in America, I cannot afford one.
If Nigerians in Nigeria think we are doing so well, please I dare you to come take my spot. Everything is on credit over here and your ability to jẹ gbese is how you survive here. Don’t be an entitled person and get upset when people are not clamoring around to help you. If we send you $100, appreciate the hell out of it. You don’t know what bill had to be stopped to afford that $100. If I spend $100 to cut my hair. It is entirely my business and should not warrant a post on social media.
Let us be wise in our utterance because we don’t know what heavy load the other person carry for head. Thank you!Follow us on social media