By: Muhammed Bello
"It's the most thriving, the most lucrative industry in Nigeria."
Dear Mr. Kid Napa,
It is a well-known fact that your creative business is the most lucrative — from how you think of the best ways to hold people without their consent to how you demand that their people pay outrageous amounts of money. What a genius you are.
It is also true that the unemployment rate in this country has risen dramatically and, as a result, you have distinguished yourself by devising such a novel method of earning money. I mean, we all want to be able to feed our families, drive the latest car, wear the latest clothing, and throw a talk-of-the-town kind of birthday party for our girlfriends, but you were able to achieve all of these things using your innovative income-generating methods.
I know you have a kind heart and it is never your intention to make others cry, but what needs to be done simply needs to be done well.
My neighbor and his girlfriend had a disagreement the other day. Even though others are doing more, he couldn’t afford to purchase her the latest iPhone for her birthday, which was embarrassing. Can you believe it? I wouldn’t blame my neighbor if he decided to work in your industry the next day, week, or month. Shame go catch you too na.
Again, I understand that you entered this profitable industry in order to make rapid money. Yes, I understand. To spare you the embarrassment of requesting an urgent 2k. Instead, you’d rather be asked.
However, as a potential kidnappee, I am also a human being with demands that are specific to when you want to kidnap me.
First and foremost, I don’t want to be caught unprepared, so I’d like to be able to take a badass photo and post it on my family’s and department’s group chats, as well as on Twitter, with the caption: “I’ve recently been kidnapped; you may only use this image of me as a missing person and not another.”
I’d also like to be chauffeured around in a vehicle other than the ones that have been associated with your industry. I want to be able to use my phone because I don’t want to lose out on any intriguing tidbits on Twitter that we can both enjoy. You know you don’t want to be bored. Is it possible for you to give free WiFi as well? You will, of course.
I’d like to be well fed. I’m not interested in the normal biscuits, water, or fizzy beverages. I’d enjoy it if I could have rice and beans with soft meat and chilled yoghurt for breakfast; bread and egg for lunch; and hot amala with ewedu for dinner.
I’d like a working television, a good comfortable bed, somewhere that smells lovely and doesn’t smell like urine because it wouldn’t be nice for people of your calibre to host me in an uncompleted building. Also, I’d like to see you, my darling kidnapper, nicely groomed. You don’t have to appear rough. Spend this money!
This is not something too much to ask for, even God said we should ask and it shall be given; I hope you will consider all I have written. It will be nice not to call my people because I am not the only child and I am already a handful. They could care less, and please remember to notify the government if you decide to leave your industry and seek employment elsewhere.
They would first parade you on television, feed and clothe you if you are in poor condition because you happen to be among those that could not make wealth out of your industry. The government would also certainly send you to a vocational training center so you may learn a skill. You would then come back later to inform the Nigerian people that you have repented and proceed to find a job (or, rather, get one provided on a platter by the authorities).
They must show you mercy because you have assisted them in producing what they could not — job opportunities — by recruiting people under you into the industry and developing new sectors with varied roles. They wouldn’t lock you up or make you suffer as they do for individuals who seek their rights; instead, they’d congratulate you on being a good comrade.
Muhammed Bello is a creative who is currently studying Education and English language at the University of Ilorin. He was shortlisted for 2020 Punocracy Prize for Satire and he volunteers for charity. He tweets @mobwords.