Friday, December 27, 2013

A Nollywood Christmas

Dear Readalot,

It's either you had a really merry Christmas with fried rice, chicken and coca-cola. Or you spent the day watching Africa Magic with your mum and drinking garri and groundnut, because no one in your family could be bothered to cook.

Either way, Merry Belated Christmas. Christmas is always time for sharing and loving and being with your family and friends (if you haven't chased all of them away yet).

In the United States, Christmas is very exciting and colorful. There is plenty to be excited about;

Christmas trees
Santa Claus

* Oyinbo people wake up on Christmas morning and find gifts waiting under the Christmas tree. Something for everyone from everyone. Sweet.

I keep praying though, that this culture should not find it's way to Nigeria. Our beautiful naija babes will only make it an extension of Valentine's day.

GIRLFRIEND: Baby, I hope you haven't forgotten Christmas is coming.
BOYFRIEND: I think everybody in the world remembers Christmas is coming.
GIRLFRIEND: Remember that gold watch I said I like?
BOYFRIEND: What happened to it?
GIRLFRIEND: Christmas is coming. You have an opportunity to prove your love to me.
BOYFRIEND: Didn't I just prove my love to you with that bag on your birthday?
GIRLFRIEND: You have to keep reminding me. In case I forget.

* Oyinbo people use original Christmas trees. Every year, they go to stores to buy Christmas trees that were actually cut from the forest. Or something like that. And they go home and decorate their pretty trees.

The Christmas tree currently in our living room is the same one we have been using since I was in kindergarten. In fact, I think they got that tree before I was born, but I'm afraid to go ask my mum. If there were any real Christmas trees in naija, they're just going to cut it down and use it as firewood for Christmas party. All is well that ends well.

* Santa Claus, aka, Father Christmas is one of the biggest parts of the American Christmas. Children are told that there's a fat old man with a long beard and a red costume who lives in the North Pole. Santa supposedly goes to visit kids who have been good that year with nice gifts. The kids are crazy about Santa claus.

In Nigeria, we have our own Santa too. We call him Father Christmas. For some reason, he's not as widely accepted as Santa Claus. Let me show you what I mean.

From left to right - Father Christmas, Nigerian child, Santa Claus, Oyinbo child.

* The mistletoe is actually pretty cool. It's like a bunch of green leaves. Or something. Some people hang it over their doors. The deal is - if you find yourself with a member of the opposite sex standing beneath a mistletoe, you're supposed to kiss him/her. Like so -

If this ever becomes a norm in Nigeria, the average naija guy will just buy their own personal, customized mistletoe and go everywhere with it. When they find a fine chic, they'll sharply hang the darn thing up and be like;

BOY: Wow. See mistletoe sha.
GIRL: Huh?
BOY: Oya come, let's kiss.
GIRL: Why?
BOY: Mistletoe oh this girl. Do quick.

It's not that I have a problem with mistletoes and kisses. But the culture of mistletoes cannot survive in this country. We've been exposed to too much Nollywood. And if you pay attention, you'll find that Nollywood can change one's perspective on kissing. When you watch foreign movies, kissing looks very promising. But when Jim Iyke or that other yellow boy decides to kiss Tonto Dike or that other black girl, you seriously consider giving up on romance. In naija movies they don't kiss. They swallow. So please, no mistletoes.

Now, you understand that a lot of foreign traditions might not work well here. However, I love our own traditions. We kill innocent hens and cocks. We eat them. Some people save money from the beginning of the year and spend it all in December on gifts for people in the village. Then they come back home and start saving to do the same thing again. Some people come to Nigeria from overseas and spend all their time complaining about NEPA, as if they forced them to come. Some people go to visit friends they havent seen the whole year through. To catch up. To love up.


The new year's almost here. Some people have started working on their new year resolutions.
- I will stop drinking.
- I will go to church more.
- I will stop cheating on my girlfriend.
- I will stop lying to my boyfriend.
- I will stop stealing money from my parents

Most people stick to their resolutions up till about January 3. I've always wondered why we make goals and hardly stick to them. maybe it's short-term memory loss. Maybe we're weak. Or maybe we're just freaking lazy. Let's try to not to make promises to ourselves if we can't keep them. If you know you can't stop cheating, break up. If you can't stop lying, go for deliverance. If you can't stop stealing, cut of your hand. Doesn't matter what you do as long as you do something.

Seriously though, one day at a time. Anything's possible.


In other news, I was in a bus a few days ago and the conductor was very interesting. I'm not sure what got him started, but he said;

CONDUCTOR: You know say no state for Nigeria wey I never reach? I thank you Father God for making me a tourist. Sotay I don go outside the country. I go UK, Kong Kong.
PASSENGER1: Wetin be Kong Kong?
CONDUCTOR: I just thank God.
PASSENGER2: Why you come dey do conductor?
CONDUCTOR: You see , if everybody dey inside office, who go dey carry you people go work? I thought about all this before going into the transportation business.
PASSENGER3: You know say you get sweet mouth. You suppose dey inside 419 business.
CONDUCTOR: Me shey? But I no get the person wey go put me through.

He made me laugh. He also made me think. There are so many people we come across and never give a second glance or thought. But everyone has their hopes, regrets, fears, nuances. We're all the same. One kain one kain.

Merry Belated Christmas Readalot. And thank you for adding colour to my year. I  love you.

Yours truly, Rantalot.


  1. Simi simi simi,hw many times i call u,abeg no make me laff make my oga cum sack me 4 work o...ceriously tho,i luvvvvv ur post

  2. LMAO!!! The Fada Krissmass resemble tiger!

  3. Awww... I loved this. Nice one Simi

  4. Again, I enjoy your rants! The pictures of Father Xmas vs Santa were darn hilarious!

  5. Loool.
    Awesome stuff. Keep it up.


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