So after a maelstrom 12 days of travel and activity; 7 cities, 4 major events, and lots of travel time I’m finally back to hopefully face my books squarely. Thankfully, I met all but one of the 9 key objectives I set out to achieve. I had three full hours to kill at Heathrow both ways and for want of something more mentally challenging to do, I decided to try to categorize the African/ Naija people around.. I thought they fit broadly into ten categories.. Enjoy….
1. Madam Kofo: Those who were old enough to watch Ken Saro Wiwa’s Basi and Company will remember this type. Loud, bossy and having an over-inflated sense of importance they let the whole world know “it’s a matter of cash”. This was typified in my study by a slightly overweight, dressed ‘to match’ woman – her box, shirt & shoe were all in the same shade of yellow! She spent the entire waiting period on the phone with one family member or the other dishing out instructions…… on clothes!
2. Been-to dude: This fella has travelled quite a bit… Might also possibly have lived ‘overs’ for a while and thus tries to portray an image of a tech savy, super cool dude. My example was an Ipod toting, laptop using, bluetooth headset sporting naija dude with a lot of assciated bling-bling – a stud ear ring in the left ear, and hair so shiny I could have sworn I could see my reflection in it.
3. Community boy: Na community contribution dem take send this boi go school so he’s maxed out on the number of bags he can carry, and they are full of enuf things – garri, elubo, beans, yams etc etc.. LOL..
4. Mama Agba: Mama Agba is the occasional flier who is still yet to overcome her trepidation at flying. As such she resorts to all things spiritual: a big cross for jewelry, plus a rosary or other prayer bead very conspicuously displayed. Unfortunately I eventually set next to one of this types and I was treated to incessant bissimilahis every time there was event the slightest whiff of turbulence.
5. Attention seking fyyyyyne chic: Mehn.. this wan na phonetics go kill am o… An Ipod may or may not be an accessory.. But this chica has little hand luggage which must include a high street brand. In relatively warm weather, the standard dress code is a spaghetti top with a denim wrapped round the waist and jeans trousers — very dengeferous chikita. Plus some chewing gum.. The 90 degree broken hand pose is also a key trademark of this kind of traveller.
6. Mummy: This type has two to three small kids, one of whom is so full of energy Usain Bolt would be hard pressed to keep up on his best day. If Daddy is travelling he pretends to organize the boxes whilst mummy is fully engaged with keeping the children in tow..LOL
7. Well travelled Pa-ale and Ma-ale: These are typically much older peeps who have trained a generation of mid-level aristocrats – quite possibly they themselves schooled the country as such they speak impeccable English in measured tones, dress appropriately (possibly in some simple African attire) and engage every young guy or girl around in discussions on the weather, or some other innocuous topic supposedly of general inteserest.
8. Open eye dude: This guy dey form sharp man.. E no know road o, but e no wan ask. Na so so waka waka the guy dey do…
9. Nna Bros: Is the male equivalent of the Madam Kofo type, except that his own instructions concern containers, repairs and/or work on assets.. Nuf said!
10. Oil Company Worker: Possibly sporting one of them free t-shirts that get shared for safety week or for the achievement of corporate milestones, this dude sets out to demonstrate his importance. Dude on my flight had an Erha Project t-shirt on blue jeans and talked loads of crap about work- ostensibly with a colleague who needed guidance from him…
Edit — Unfortunately, our Customs officials in Lagos took away all your gala and suya.. as well as made me pay over two thousand naira for some small beans that probably cost less than one thousand naira to buy.. So vent your anger on them not me..LOL