The silliest thing any freeborn Naija Pikin will do is to forget his or her bus stop. No Lagosian will do that, unless he or she is a born throway. In Lagos, the bus conductors never stop to catch their breathes as they keep yelling out the stops “abule, iyana, kpako, cement, under bridge, cele etc.”. If you are not mindful of this, you will pass your destination, because in Lagos, the buses never stops. They only slow down in traffic congestions.
There are other ways folks willfully forget and go past their bus stops: this is when they don’t know when to stop in their unbridled indulgences. Over-indulgence in alien foods, alien drinks, alien sex-styles, and alien books kills. It kills the spirit soul or body of the undiscerning reveler.
All things considered, alien books can be those classics you like better than The Africa Writers Series; the Mills & Boon you love more than our own Pacesetters series; the danger of over-indulgence could be upon you if you prefer Nora Roberts, to Myne Whitman the Queen of Nigerian romance. She has a new one out now- A Love Rekindled. And don’t you dare think aliens write better than us. Though they invented writing and we learned writing, but we sabi things they no sabi; things like spinning yarns from organic materials. Nothing synthetic, nothing sterile at all, all healthy and fit.
I was at the Nigeria International Book Fair, holden at the University of Lagos, Akoka, and I was loving it. it was like being in a world made of books, and I was in on it, feeling like I Am, the Lord of all the world, till my inflated pride got mercifully punctured before it reached it’s breaking point. My compatriots were patronizing books by foreign authors, and paying respectful passing glances at Nigerian titles .
At the booth of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) My comrados- Azafi, Iduma and Balo were buying books by Indian writers. They got talking about those alien authors and the authors’ works, and their dogs and their pet Elephants, the sacred cows they worship and the recent boils on their buttocks. I got sucked in into a vortex of confusion. I was not familiar with the trending topic of #Indianauthors myself, but the familiarity with which Azafi, Iduma and Balo discussed this trend shut me out like I was the alien and they were the natives. Nobody remembered to seek my opinion, because everyone except me was talking at the same time, all the time, comparing notes, and scores on who’s read the most Indian authors, and who’s nut. Only poor me was listening until they recourse to talking in Hindi. Yakety yak yak yak. Doh!
Now, I know India and Indians can be incredible, but I have never in my craziest imagination assumed my compatriots can be this incredible. If my ears did not deceive me, I heard someone mentioned “Salman Rushdie”; Salman Rushdie? the one with a price-tag on his egghead? Something like an internal combustion started in my mind, some wheels turned, some lever shifted, and everything moved, but I waited. my antennas up and fully erected, contemplating the virgin topic. I waited to hear further mentions, of things like “Satanic Verses”, “Ayatollah”, and “Fatwah”. But the conversation had dropped to lower gears of conspiratorial whispers in Hindi. Even if I managed to hear a ffin at all, I still would never had understood shit.
I mused to myself, Nigerian readers don sleep pass their bus stops o! There is no wonder now we- poor writers- think that Nigerians don’t read. It is not true that Nigerians don’t read, they fucking do read. Our local reading public read everything but a Nigerian authored book. They will lap up shit itself if it has a foreign sounding name. You really should find out for yourself the greed with which Nigerians devour the Holy Bibles, Al-Quran and other Satanic verses. What beats me is the question “why?”.
Why would Nigerians- the most god-loving-Satan-hating people on planet Earth subscribe to such satanic things. We really should begin to pay attention to our destination. Like a Lagos conductor will say “listen to your bus stop, if you sleep, saraa for you”. We really should desist from the unholy trend of shunning our own authors and our writings. Over-indulgence without diligence can lead to impotence; aha aha! (Credit to Pst Chris)
Indian is Incredible, and Naija is great nation. Although apples don’t grow here, but we have Akpu. Let’s stick to what we know. The thing you know can’t kill you, but the worm in the imported apple will kill you dead.