How to celebrate Democracy Day
If you hold a position in government like being the President or the Governor, then know that you should give a speech on your hopes, plans, and aspiration for the country. Nigerians are waiting to see your face at a convention, parade, or something. Make sure you show up on TV and say something headline-worthy.
Dear newly sworn-in government officials …
After four years, you’ll be left with our doses of curses and prayers. We’ll forget the roads you built. The two-room block of classrooms you commissioned, the borehole you drilled with a manual pump. But we’ll never forget how the economy went down and how we battled recession. How the megawatts of electricity never increased. How you canvassed our votes by promising us our rights and how you never did more than wear agbada and pass bills about increasing your salaries. And yes! We will not forget how you raise your two fingers and shout democracy o!
How to be a Nigerian Scholar in the West—by James Yékú
You are “in the abroad” and your views must be seen by these irrational colleagues you have left in the dark as the absolute and irrefutable truths. After all, their research is a mere survivalist response to a parlous postcolonial state you are so generous to theorize in your peer-reviewed essays. Yours is the finest example of scholarship and your prestigious location is the desired Mecca those at home dream only about.
How to write about Africa—by Binyavanga Wainaina
In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book.
Nigerian Tailor Victims Support Bill 2019—by Elnathan John
A bill for an Act to cater to the millions of traumatised victims of tardy Nigerian tailors, to establish a Tailor Crimes Commission, Tailors Victims Support Commission and the Tailors Victims Support fund, to criminalise and provide punishment for tardiness by tailors and other matters related thereto.
Letter to the Nigerian people. Signed: Your Politician
Just the other day while on a visit to my mother’s, I gave the youths filling up the potholes on the road an handsome cash of N5000. What if the contractor had done the road excellently with expensive materials, how will these youths make money from the hundreds of cars on that route? I’m sure they are making a lot!
Opinion: Laugh if you like. But we need satire more than ever—by Owen Jones
It is all too often those at the bottom of society who are demonised and derided. There’s too little punching up. Where is the scrutinising – and yes, ridiculing – of the poverty-paying bosses, the tax dodgers, or the bankers responsible for economic disaster? Satire can be brilliantly effective at encouraging us to challenge the way our society is run. It is a more crucial element of our democracy than we perhaps think, and we should fight to bring it back to the prime-time slots it deserves.
Opinion: Is satire in Nigeria worth the try?
Satirist Elnathan John is similarly cautious about the role of satire in Nigeria. In a tweet, he commented, “Nigerians don’t want any real satire. They’d burn down the station. They want weak impotent comedy they can giggle at.” However, as satire grows in popularity in Nigeria, some disagree. They warn against dismissing this comedic, smart and playful approach to registering dissatisfaction too soon.
REVIEW: A peep at Elnathan John’s witty takes on Be(com)ing Nigeria
This body of work is well-constructed if it were to be compared to a lego house, it is relevant (not least due to Nigeria’s heated political climate), and it is proof that Satire is by no means a dead art form in these parts.
‘How do we survive for four years if we don’t sell our votes?!’
“Take for instance, the last time we had an election. My family was given two bags full of Kuli Kuli and Garri to Vote for Party A. On the election day, party B offered us a cylinder full of groundnut and some bags of Garri. That is what we have been eating for the past 4 years. And it only finished just yesterday, this yesterday”.