The Nigerian Perception of Fakery.

in #writing4 years ago

During a conversation with two of my closest friends, about a year ago, the subject of fakery came up, and I asked my friends what they thought of me on the subject. I was surprised when they gave a "I'd rather not have this conversation" look, because I expected a quick affirmative reply of my authenticity. When I pushed for an answer, they vaguely said that even though I wasn't fake, I showed elements of it in my behaviour. That reply shook me more than it should have, being that I almost always do not care about people's opinions of me because they're often wrong, but these were my friends, the two people I basically spent everyday with, even though we owned different apartments in the same building, we were unavoidably always in each others space, how could they know so little of me to think that I wasn't being 100% real with them?

Alone, at a later time that day , I ruminated on that incident, wondering why the two people who I knew I could be 100% real with, and constantly was, somehow thought that I was faking some part of the experience they got when with me. I didn't arrive at an answer then, and decided not to dwell on it. I'd forgotten about that incident until today when Moses my friend and housemate of eight months said jokingly that I was similar to a character in a movie we were watching, a character whose role portrayed fakery. I paused the movie and asked him to outline all the ways in which my general behaviour suggested fakery. He also couldn't give a tangible reply, but after an hour of reminiscing, I now have an idea of why people would think that I and others like me portray fakeness in a country like Nigeria.

The reasons I've thought about are annoying and yet so funny, I can barely type right now, but here's a summary.

If you're different from the average Nigerian, you're perceived as fake.

You don't get it? Okay, here's a breakdown.

‌If you speak any other type of English Language, different from the Nigerian English Language, you're fake.

If you happen to be one of the Nigerians who grew up to find English Language as their mothertongue, and do not speak the lingua franca, the Nigerian Pidgin, you're fake.

If you happen to not like Eba or Fufu ( a staple food eaten in West African subregion mainly and beyond, mainly eaten in Nigeria) and you like cereals/noodles/snacks, then you're absolutely fake.

If your dress sense is too western for their liking, you're fake.

if your taste for luxury is more than the average they're used to, you're fake.

The list should be longer than this, but I can't remember all there is right now, and bullshit varies from person to person. It's surprising how decidedly refusing to be on the path of averageness can make you the bad guy, but I've come to find that individual/collective differences, and tolerance are some of the most avoided topics in Nigeria, it's much easier to judge people.

P.S- If you read this, liked, hated, or even felt impassive about it, say so in the comment section. Writers need to know that they have readers. Muchas Gracias!

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Hello @lucentbritex, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

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