The President Buhari Book Launch... frowns all around.

Whenever anyone in in the Nigerian government says anything closely resembling the word “youth”, my lips turn downwards and my ears flick upward, exposing their waxy hairy holes. There are two reasons for these physical reactions and sadly none of them are good.

First of all I’m irritated at the fact that they nearly always say, “youths.” As youth is a word that often needs no plural the action irritates me beyond belief. It gives me that feeling you get when someone shits atop your grave. Secondly, I know that I’m about to be fed a pile of rubbish. I have long been of the opinion that one must be very particular with the rubbish one is fed. It is the only way that you can tell that it is in fact rubbish, and thus completely useless. 

A week and a bit ago, President Buhari presided over the launch of a book about his esteemed personage, called Buhari A New Beginning by his personal photographer Bayo Omoboriowo. Its very title is enough to alert all but the most determined of idiots that it is nonsense. The beginning of Buhari’s Presidency has been anything but new. And even if it is new, it has been a beginning so dire that the only thing to be done is sweep it under the carpet. If the economy was booming, and champagne bottles were bursting at the prospect of being popped, I wouldn’t complain. But things are so bad that Papa Afam banned me from stealing the odd sip of his brandy because by his estimations, I cannot afford it. No, this has not been a beginning worth celebrating. The country is eating the glass that is an economic recession, and the people that would have traveled to forget their troubles if only for a week cannot because the very thought of spending foreign exchange is likely to depress all but the most optimistic.

I suppose it would have been different if the event was so spectacular that it made me green with envy, but it wasn’t. It was a disaster, made worse by Nigerian Television Authority’s coverage. I had always heard that the only purpose the Nigerian Television Authority served was as a mouth piece of the government, but I never quite believed it. That event changed my opinions about them rather effectively. I do not think I have ever seen coverage so bad. At this juncture I will leave an incredibly brief note for the very good fellows at the NTA. The creative industries are insanely competitive. I am not sure how you are funded but by subjecting your audience to over two hours of that, it is clear that your money is not delivered by the impartial forces of capitalism. After watching the darned thing, it is likely that I’ll only watch your channel if I want to cut myself. That way, I’ll be able to cause myself irreparable damage without actually bleeding. As I hate the sight of blood, I think this is a brilliant plan.

To be fair NTA cannot be said to be responsible for all the things that made the event terrible. The first thing that ruined it, was its premise. Was it an event to encourage the young creative people in Nigeria or to announce that there was a book promoting the president about to be delivered to the resilient now banned but still operating hawkers of Lagos? If it was the former, don’t do it and be unserious about it. Broken promises are always more painful than unmade ones. And as I do not think that anyone that’s mildly creative or clever expects anything from the government, the best bet would have been to launch the book and fill the hall with members of your government. At least that way I won’t think about the support that will be coming until I meet my timely end. This may sound unduly pessimistic but the Nigerian government will always be free to surprise me.

The second thing that made it horrible was the lack of entertainment. If you’re going to have an event that is going to be broadcast live, then the very least anyone can do is make it entertaining. Let there be fireworks and pyrotechnic wonders, bring on a line up of Nigeria’s best entertainers. I want to see Tiwa Savage wind her African Waist, and P Squared dance till they are delirious. And while you’re at it, bring out Awilo. He may not be the most politically correct character but he has never been dull. The Book Launch used dancers of no renown and they depressed me so greatly that the beautiful rendition of our excellent national anthem did nothing to lift my spirits.

The worst thing was that the event felt like a waste of time, which I have now turned into a blog that I'm not very happy with. I just want to be happy with the government, and all that it does. And if not happy, then I want to see the logic in its actions. If it cannot do something as simple as hosting an event to a reasonable standard, then isn't asking them to run a country too much to ask?

On the verge of tears,

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