I have had quite a shitty week. With the anxieties and the ill health that fell upon my household, my weight loss goal was crashing even before it took off. You see, food is my pill for everything. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad. The only time food seems to take the burner is when I am in a heightened sexual state. There is the associated adrenaline so it is explainable. I was quite pleased when my friend came to visit. I needed the solace and the mutual worry about Nigeria.
Our conversation revolved around programming, pro-poor policies, and international development. Somehow we hit on the phrase ‘eat the rich’. This phrase makes me chuckle every time I hear it. It reminds me of something my brother Sam always says ‘I know poor people personally’. Heck, I have been a poor person. This past tense no be say I don wealthy, de tin be say I don waka some levels on election pyramid poverty so my colleagues still dey very much around. We never wealthy finish.
Nigeria’s poverty pyramids have their functions. It is how to measure poverty in Nigeria. The easily identifiable ones are the election pyramid poverty and the abeg pyramid poverty. They both have nothing to do with living under a dollar per day. It is simply what your soul has been reduced to for votes or electoral support. For some, it is $2 while for others it is a political appointment. There is quite a large number that settle for ‘Oga get my number and e sabi my name. Na my guy’. These are the ones that play the long con with the hope that one day it is converted into a juicy contract or a con they can play on another unsuspecting hustler.
There are people that live on ‘abeg’ per day. I am not sure how to quantify that amount. Now you see the weird thing with living in this place is even with the ‘abeg’, there are levels to it. Those on the ‘abeg’ pyramid may well be living better than people who live above $1 per day without having $1 any day. They live on the charity of others. Their ‘abeg’ can yield very nice iyan or amala and Egusi soup or it could yield a 2020 Toyota Camry. Their Ogas are dependent on their catchment areas. Everybody is an Oga to somebody. The wealthier your Oga, the better placed you are. Who knows, you may exit the poverty pyramids and move into the envied middle class. The trick yet is that even the middle class is placed somewhere on the ‘abeg’ pyramid. Even an Oga has an Oga.
As long as you know poor people personally, you are the rich they see. When it is time to ‘eat the rich’, I hope you enjoy being drizzled with Worcester sauce as the Bill Gates of your poor communities.
Oh wait, you thought this post was heading somewhere sensible?