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Letters to Nigeria and planning a party through rough times

Letters to Nigeria and planning a party through rough times

By: Osedebamen Mary Julius

October 2020.

Dear Nigeria,

The saying goes, “A fool at forty is a fool forever.” Happy sixtieth birthday! Harsh, isn’t it? The dawning reality that you are nowhere close to the better tomorrow you have been clamouring for.

So, what now? Do we talk about solutions to your ever-prevalent problem, or should we just catch cruise on social media? Let’s check the latest trend on Twitter and retweet.

It’s too bad you are turning sixty during this pandemic. That your friend would have thrown you the wildest party, the guy just dey cash out from HK. Just imagine it! Imagine the babes that would have come — in more ways than one. Amaka and her baddies would definitely have attended. Did you hear?! One of them is going to be the fifth wife of one rich senator so better knack your last one well o. She has now gone from that small girl of yesterday who was asking us for urgent 2k to big man’s wife. How time flies!

We would have invited a few guys over, but not Chidi, because we have to invite Mohammed. Then maybe we might invite that pastor to pray for you and bless your new age. I hear he wants to add a new car to his collection, so why not donate some cash so he can celebrate you in church on Sunday, a front-row seat kinda of celebration? We would get drinks (beta one o) and food. Plus, I have a shisha guy.

Guy, the party for go well! I heard you’ve gotten your cut of the national cake, so everywhere must stew! Invite Bisi, send her some cash, and I’m sure she will stop playing hard to get. With this ASUU strike going on, she has just been sitting at home, and I hear her dad lost his job. I’m sure she will be in dire need of money now.

So, we would have babes and ballers. Oh! We would have also invited that your friend who just became a governor. He called yesterday to tell me he was acquitted of the charges of electoral malpractice, so he would definitely have been in the mood to celebrate. But you have to remove that one-legged beggar who is always sitting in front of your gate. If we ever have a party, we wouldn’t want the guests to see such an eyesore.

One last thing before I go: remember that after all the congratulations and gallantry, your problems will still be waiting for you. Your debts are rising, people are getting poorer, insecurity and much more. But it’s your day, enjoy it! Bask in the praises they are going to make up about you. Maybe, just maybe, this sixtieth year will provide you with an epiphany on how far you have fallen.

Your friend,


October 2021.

Dear Nigeria,

Dis year no go work for party o. Our pieces from last year are still scattered around like shameless rags. We gats pick them up.

Your friend,


October 2022.

Dear Nigeria,

Dis year sef no go work. How do we throw a party when students have been out of university for eight months? I’d advise we use the money to settle ASUU. We also need a month of silence for our dearly departed, those invited by death and those invited by the diaspora.

Your friend,


January 2023.

Dear Nigeria,

Time sure flies. Your sixty-third birthday is coming. Did that epiphany ever hit you?

Guy, I dey hear some kind things for street. People no dey send you again. I hear citizens have little to no faith in you and the other nations look down on you now. Mighty giant of Africa! It can’t be true, can it? Did you not see the call for change resounding years before its time? How did you not notice your sagging shoulders slowly dropping your pride like a loose-fitting agbada?

When I caught wind of these talks, I just knew you needed a birthday bash like no other to pick you up. Because that has always done the trick; it just takes a good flex, meme, or cruise to pick us right up.

But when I heard of that deadly massacre at Lekki toll gate that happened just nineteen days after your birthday. I thought to myself, “What meme can bring us back from this?” But, men, are we resilient! Naija no dey carry last!

We should have just had that party two years ago, deadly virus ravaging the globe be damned. Then, there was the whole ‘hoarded palliative’ debacle. That virus really did a number on you, didn’t it? But depressing matters aside, we must plan a party this year!

First things first, we need ballers! Mad money ballers! Who cares what age they are? I hear the current guy painting the town red is just 17. But you wouldn’t believe the things he has gone through at such a young age. The things he suffered and the things he sacrificed to get where he is now. At such a young age!

Bisi don get sugar daddy o, one old papa with more money than he knows what to do with. Even Amaka is married now. She got married during that eight-month-long strike, a new record for ASUU if you ask me, and she is already an expecting mother. She sent me an invite, but I was too busy trying to work my way to Yankee. Believe it or not, even I caught the japa syndrome. Almost all of our friends have fled for ‘greener pastures’ in another man’s land. It’s funny, really.

Truthfully, the real reason I wanted to leave was I had taken enough. Just one year ago, my friend lost her dad to kidnappers whose origin we shall not mention. They paid the ransom, but the man was never found. As if that was not enough, I lost another friend just last year to the Ondo shooting. Great guy, god-fearing and kind. He just wanted to serve his God.

I digress. So we could try inviting Bisi and Amaka. Maybe they would honour it for the old times’ sake. Then there is your politician friend, still very much available to party. Besides, he is going to need all the support he can get; elections are around the corner, and I don’t think his sugar-coated tongue is as powerful as it used to be.

We have also got to think of funding for the party. With this cashless policy that is choking everyone, alongside the rapidly increasing cost of living and the scarcity of fuel that has added to the price inflation, times are hard. Shey we no go just do small chops? Bag of rice dey go 50k o. And this is just the start of the year, how will things be when we get to your birth month?

Your guy has got himself a girlfriend though. A real baddie. She is currently being investigated for examination malpractice at her university and needs to blow off steam. His defence is that she spent eight months taking the government’s advice of learning a skill but was only given an impromptu one month to gather an entire semester’s worth of knowledge and write exams the next month. What’s the point of the certificate sef? I hear there are no jobs with open arms out there anymore. Microbiology graduate dey sell wig, Economics graduate don turn perfume plug.

I don’t know if you feel it too, but we need a win badly.

Your friend,


Osedebamen M. Julius is a graduate of the University of Benin. When she is not writing, she can be found reading the newest release of a Nigerian author.

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6 months ago

Ose is a great writer. I’m proud of you! – Samuel Olusanya

Last edited 6 months ago by
6 months ago

I didn’t want it to end. This is a wonderful piece!! I love the smooth flow and transitions. I love how you take us through three (3) years of history without boring us with details. I also love your use of satire and diction.

Fasinu Konfidence
6 months ago

If this is not a masterpiece, I don’t know what is. The way those words were beautifully spun is an evidence of a very intelligent and creative mind. ❤️ ????

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