The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth!!- By Elnathan John - Politics,Gossips & Nollywood

The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth!!- By Elnathan John

It is very easy to criticise others. Nigeria has made me rethink a lot. If you do ANY serious work at a high level in that country you will in some way be connected or befriend a politician or top government official. You cannot escape it. I always ask: can you critique them?

Often the answer is no. There is a reason why I do not see myself doing any work in Nigeria in the near future. However radical you are, there will be that one thing you cannot talk about, the one that butters your bread. Because we are petty as fuck and we demand blind loyalty. There are not many of us who can choose relative poverty and say, I will say it all. Not in Nigeria.

All the big critics you see in Nigeria, there is that one person/thing they will not talk about, the one whose house they visit, who gives them jobs or contracts, who assists them And if I was in Nigeria, there would probably be that one person for me. In the past three years, my biggest benefactor has been the city of Berlin. But I can be critical about Berlin and not have anyone arrest me or demolish my house, or threaten to rape my mother. In Nigeria?

In Nigeria, it was fellow writers who asked me to stop being so publicly critical. Fellow professionals. Because they said, it would ruin my chances. Because in Nigeria, that is all that matters. The hustle. Bread. Paper. So do not be shocked when your brave faves capitulate.There are many who do not see a place for themselves in Nigeria. Because they will not do this. For those who remain, it is tough. If you have a conscience it will be tested every fucking day in Nigeria. Unless you are independently wealthy and don’t need to work for money.

Even then you will need influential people for favours. Because Nigeria is a fucking jungle where you need connections not just for emergencies but also for basic things: school admission, documents stuck in bureaucracy, police illegally arresting your relative, driver’s license There is no shortcut for fixing Nigeria. Writers will not help. NGOs will not. “Civil Society” will not. Everyone has their own little hustle which they need to survive. Nigeria must change so that middle-class people don’t need politicians dick in their mouth to just survive.

And to add: there are foreigners I stopped talking to over their hypocritical support of Nigerian dictators. People who would not attend a gathering if say Boris Johnson was funding it, criticized Nigerian writers who refused to associate with a murderer who funds literature.

You come to Nigeria and say, oh come on it is just for literature, but you go back to your country and sign petitions against dictators arresting journalists in Turkey and other countries. But in Nigeria it is ok for a dictator to arrest people who tweet, bury Shiites etc. These ones are part of that middle class hustle, because their friends are. So they change the goal post and say, yeah, if an African murderer is supporting literature maybe it is not that bad. Because literacy beats burying people in mass graves.

Written By

Elnathan John

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