When Nigerians Are Crass: Notes on the Tatler article

I know I'm a little bit late with this. I just read that article in Tatler. You know Tatler don't you? It's a High Society English magazine that's mostly more fluff than substance. I'm not throwing any jabs here. God knows we all need a little fluff every now and then. Just this morning I read a rather amusing and quite brilliant article about Jennifer George and her adventures with her puppy, Geoffrey at Puppy Training school. How extraordinary! Read it too if you like.


But that's not the article this article is about. This article is about an article titled, The Nigerians have arrived. It's a brilliant read. That sort of well researched writing makes me green with envy. Well done David Jenkins. You did a splendid job. I can't say how the article was received by the High Society uber posh ladies in London, but it did not go down well here in Nigeria. No, it didn't go down well at all. People thought it was sarcy, and condescending, and it was. There was nothing flattering about it and maybe that was what made it so brilliant.

How else are we to write about the wealthy from a country with a population of 170 million, 70% of whom live under £1.25 a day? Wealth is vulgar. Money is distasteful. Even if you've worked hard for it, you cannot deny that fortune smiled on you, and not the man on the street next to you. That's why the discerning rich act modestly, and give back generously. What was he supposed to do when Kessania Edewor-Thorley who hasn't shown any concern for the conditions of the Nigerian child, or Octopus, or Egret, or Cattle, or Global Warming or the Bengal Tiger, says that for Moneyed young Nigerians in London, it's Cirque du Soir on a Monday, 'that awful place Dukebox' on a Tuesday and Loulou's on a Thursday. And what was he supposed to do when she said 'so everyday's a champagne day. It's not, "It's your birthday!" It's "You got back from work day! Let's party!"' And what was he supposed to do when the people he's speaking to are alluding to £10,000 nights when they were teenagers? And when Rotimi Alakija was admitting to knowing of a £1.1 million champagne war by Nigerians at a club in the States? And when Vedelago said that he wants to buy a Porsche to go to the gym?

While the article was plenty snarky, it really wasn't snarky enough. It's one thing to have someone else write about you, but it is another to provide the firewood for your very public roasting. The saddest thing is that they who have been roasted probably don't know that they have been roasted. Or maybe they don't mind being portrayed as crass. If Richard Vedelago minded, he wouldn't have been loving the damn thing up all over his instagram.

Happy Days,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love your photo commentaries, they slay me

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