Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Pangs of poverty

I underestimated poverty until yesterday when I realised how deeply it had eaten into our societal system.

A premature headache sent me home an hour early. I was resting on the couch nursing the bang in my head, when the security guard said I had a guest (some artist I bumped into ages ago). I thought damn, why didn't he call me, and I wont discuss work at home. I told security to tell my "guest" to give me a ring first. I allowed him in.

He sat in front of me lamenting about his current predicament. How Nigerians never purchased or appreciated his work. He hadn't sold a damn piece in over 6 months. He looked gaunt and dejected. At this point all i could think of was the boiled yam and stew Rita was busy with in the Kitchen. (Rita please fry the eggs with lots of garlic/chillies as well, to wipe out this headache)

Ahem....He wanted me to display his work at our exhibition or purchase them instantly. I couldn't, as I didn't think they were good enough. They were tacky. Fortunately, I am in charge. I am not an advocate of mediocrity. I couldn't get over the fact that he had enough balls to show up at my residence uninvited...(let me be divalicious) or without a previous appointment. Clearly, the purpose of mobile phones have been defeated.

I told him i couldn't make any promises but I will introduce him to my immediate boss (an aficionado in purchasing tacky art work), i beckoned Rita to bring me dinner. Mr artist was hovering around me as I was eating. he summoned up courage to ask, he was shaking. "Please help me, I don't even have money for transport out of this place nor have eaten all day". He was old enough to be my father. Its takes a true man to do that.

The country is so bad that strangers walk their way into your house and make requests. It has got me thinking. I step out of my house this morning and you see a convoy of high profile machines carrying some bloody nincompoop (also known as a politician) to their already air-conditioned offices while the true grafters are wasting away with no one to support them.

This is a country where people travel to Europe or United states just for grocery shopping while 80% of the population are wallowing in abject poverty. Surprisingly we have a high rate of literacy here. Our country is very rich with just the wealth concentrated in a few hands. I am not optimistic about this. I don't see it getting any better....not in the next 50 years. Brace yourself people.