My friends are very bourgeois as my Moscow aunt would say. I’m just an unsophisticated village girl. Or maybe a working class Moscow girl. My father was a socialist. He believed the party line. He told me he raised me to be a revolutionary like Eduador Mondlane’s children. I read that book when I was 10. I saw that picture of Mondlane’s’s daughter Chudi holding an assault rifle. Her mother Janet sitting under a tree in fatigues. Powerful pictures. Powerful PR. Powerful propaganda. That’s what my father wanted me to be but he could never raise an army. And I eventually abandoned him for the joys of capitalism and city life. I always had ‘big eye’.
‘The thing wey dey hungry you no dey market’ my husband would often say to me. He’s a bourgeois beta male. I didn’t know any better when I married him. This December is our 30 year anniversary. I think its time to get a divorce. He never goes anywhere. He was traumatized by the civil war. Says he won’t live anywhere so far away that he can’t walk back to his village in a day. He moved from Orlu to Owerri (30 miles) kicking, screaming and protesting. I want to go spend another year abroad, this time in the Pacific Islands. Why the Pacific Islands? Sounds exciting and I hear the weather is good.
The bourgeois middle class in Nigeria are pathetic. All they think about is maintaining their middle class lifestyles. The moment they can’t afford to go on their annual holiday abroad or buy the latest Range Rover they sell their birth right for a bowl of porridge. They don’t question the status quo. They are certainly not out to change it either. They’re THE heirs to the lifestyle their parents imposed on them in the 60’s and 70’s. They’re always talking about how they travelled to England every summer as kids and shopped in Marks and Spencer. As if that makes them better human beings.
Poverty porn? They’re the biggest peddlers. Always making a big deal about helping the natives while they live fat off the people’s suffering. Collaborators. Every last one of them has abandoned the village, their communities, their community values and blame the kidnapping. Kidnapping is just how the natives respond to the stupid isolationism the Nigerian middle class imposed on themselves. They buy vineyards in South Africa but can’t invest in local industry.
The natives still believe brothers help brothers. They’re obtaining because the bourgeois middle class weren’t sharing like they’re supposed to according to native law and custom. The natives can be unforgiving and harsh. Hunger and hardship in a land of plenty has made them extra mean and desperate. You better watch out for that guy washing your car and opening your gate. You boast about paying him $100 a month and tips but his wife and family live in one room inside a ghetto.