A fictional monologue by the middle-aged director of a large real estate firm
“Ah, it’s you? Welcome back, O. Come and give your aunty a hug, jo.
“You’ve started serving now, right? Good. This country needs more young people like you to come home and lift it up. Really. Because if you see the kind of corpers that come to my office to ask for posting, you’ll want to cry for Nigeria.
“Some of them are as good as illiterate yet they claim to be graduates. You can ask my secretary. We always get a lot of corpers seeking posting since you know we’re close to the government. And the past few years, we see people who have trouble filling out the application form. Can you imagine? A graduate who cannot read and write. This last time, we even posted a sample application form and a lot of them copied out the sample from first to last, even including the name.
“And you know why all this is going on: because a lot of them just did cash and carry for their degree. Wasn’t it last week that they caught this professor at T. University for taking up to one million naira from some students in order to let them pass their final project?
“How can they afford that amount? It’s their parents that pay it, naa.
“The children of today are all spoilt. Even my children. When they were in secondary school, I was still driving my first car: one Volkswagen beetle. I used to pick them after school everyday and then one day, they said, ‘Mommy, you’re embarrassing us. You can’t be picking us up in that ugly car.’ I got so annoyed! I started giving them taxi money to come to my office after school and from there I drove them home; they can complain, but I’m not going to kill myself and buy a new car.
“Things were so much different back in my days. When I got my first job, I was still living with my parents. After a few months, my Mom said I had to start buying the groceries for the house, and also buy her aso oke every month. All from that my small salary. I was vexed, but I managed it. And little did I know that she was just saving that material: she didn’t touch any of it. So it was now when I was getting married that she brought all of it out and told me, ‘I was collecting this material so that you wouldn’t waste all your money.’ It was that aso oke that I now used to do all the clothes for my wedding.
“But these days, kids don’t have that sense of responsibility any more. Just last week, my son Deji (he’s serving now) came to ask me for money for fuel. I told him to go and fill it by himself. And he got angry at me, that why can’t I just pay for the fuel for him; after all, wasn’t it because of me that he came home from the UK to come and serve. And that car we’re talking about, it was me that bought it for him, O. And he doesn’t have to pay rent because he’s staying in the house. I just left him alone and he, too, stopped talking to me since last week. Well, I don’t care. When he needs money again, I know where he’ll come. Hahaha.
“You have to go already? Alright. Thanks for stopping by.
“Ah, you brought all this for me? Thank you very much. Your parents raised you well. God bless you.”