Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Happy, religious Nigerians

I read recently in, I think it was The Economist, that Nigerians are the happiest and most religious people on earth. This confused me, given the millions apparently fleeing for the lives from that country. I decided I'd ask my good friend Kwame, who works as a Diversity Co-ordinator at the Equality Agency. As always, he immediately welcomed me to his plush office, even though he was already dealing with a ‘customer’ (that's what they’re called now).

Yes, I know’, Kwame patiently explained, ‘performing abortions with a panga isn't quite the experience the HSE is looking for, but that's not the point. The point is that there are virtually no black gynecologists here, so there’s clearly an issue of racial discrimination’.

The customer looked dubious. ‘But there’s no guarantee I’ll get the job, is there?’ Kwame shook his head impatiently. ‘Ok, just maybe there’s a possibility, you do sometimes get racists on interview boards. But in that unlikely event we’ll appeal, through every level of the courts, even to Europe if necessary. They’ll give in well before that’ he added dismissively.

But won't that cost me a fortune?’ Kwame laughed out loud. ‘It won't cost you a cent. The Irish taxpayer will pick up the whole bill’.

So in effect the government are paying people to sue them?’ the customer asked incredulously.

Now you’re getting the idea’ Kwame beamed. Then turning serious, 'this will cost you €5000, in cash’. The customer pulled out his wallet, and, placing it on the desk, counted out the exact amount.

Thank you, and don't worry’ Kwame called out as the customer headed for the door. ‘And now my friend’, he beamed, turning to me, ‘what can I do for you?’.

I explained my conundrum on Nigerians’ world-leading happiness and religiosity indicators.

‘Yes, Nigerians are deeply, deeply religious’ he solemnly assured me, as he deftly slipped the customer’s wallet into his pocket, ‘and the happiest people on earth, as you say. And why would we not be? Did not God provide us with the Western World, which in turn provides us with free sustenance? Did He not provide us with the Race Card, which we can brandish whenever in trouble? With a slight frown of disapproval he inquired, ‘would you not be grateful to your God for such munificence?’

And furthermore’, he continued, before I could respond, ‘unlike so many Westerners, I don't mean to offend you, we Nigerians believe in the practical, everyday practice of our religion.’ For instance, I insist that all my wives give a proportion of their welfare receipts to our church, whenever I impregnate a woman I insist – insist I tell you – that the child be brought up a devout Christian.’

‘But tell me Savant, a dark cloud is on the horizon. I read today that they plan to discontinue directly crediting Unemployment Benefit to our bank accounts, instead insisting that we collect payments in person. Is this true?’

Yes Kwame, it’s all over the papers today’

This is an outrage’ he thundered. ‘How can they expect me to do my work and still visit six dole offices? Or how can my wives run their brothels efficiently? It’s an outrage’ he repeated

Then a thoughtful look crossed his face. ‘It’s racism. Of course, that's what it is. It’s clearly aimed at blacks, gypsies and foreigners in general. You see, when we travel back to our homelands on vacation we won't be able to collect our entitlements, while the Irish won't be affected.

He thumped the table ‘well, we’ll soon fix that’

Christine’ he called out, and his blonde secretary entered. ‘Get me Neil Crowley, and tell him it’s urgent’. ‘This is one for the chief’ .

‘Ah, Neil. Have you seen this latest outrage…?' Kwame listened to the voice at the end of the line for a while, then slapped the desk in delight. ‘Excellent Neil, you already have a team of high-priced lawyers on the case, you say? Truly excellent, yes, I'm confident too. Thank you’.

He looked at me almost pityingly. ‘And you ask me why we’re happy, and why we’re religious. Don't we have everything to be happy about, and to thanks God for it? Sometimes I wonder, Savant, whether you’re as clever as you seem’

‘And now, pardon me, but I must be off – I have a meeting with my drug distributers. But do call again Savant, always great to talk’.

As he left I called out ‘Kwame, one day the Irish might be the happiest people in the world’

And when would that be?

The day you lot all fuck off back to Nigeria’

‘Ho, ho – you’re a gas man Savant. No fear of that – we’re here to stay’

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

good one, love it!

Anonymous said...

this post is satire, but it's more accurate than anything you get in the 'responsible' media any day