Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Olivia Pope & My Oga

Hello World...

So over the past few weeks, the naija social media circle has been on fire with the gist of "Oga at the top". Your boi couldn't resist watching the clip and I laughed till I nearly passed out. After laughing sha, I tried to imagine how I would feel if my father was the dude on TV, then I said to myself "na lie, e no fit happen". I can't categorically call my papa a genius but the man sabi book well, where else did I get my small brain from if not from him and momsi. No be say I dey brag, but my papa used to carry 1st in secondary school, all our fathers were "1st_carriers". Back in those days, no one came second, just 1st. (If your papa didn't come 1st, please let me know) Me sef, I have sworn to tell my kids that I was the brightest student of my time, the matter must be embellished to the highest order.

But what did I learn from the "my oga at the top" saga? First of all (go down low), the man wasn't prepared. I think that was the key issue, I don't want to say he didn't know his job because we clearly don't know what his job details are. But if you are coming on national TV to refute allegations of job racketeering at your establishment, I believe you ought to do your research pretty well. It is almost like going snowboarding with running shoes. But then, this is naija, where anything goes. Secondly, how in the world did his boss agree to send him to represent NSCDC? Clearly the man lacked PR skills, he was basically setting him up for failure. You don't send an engineer to a business meeting to discuss figures, there's a reason why we have PR fellas and spinners, abi the oga no dey watch "Scandal"? Hire Olivia Pope for goodness sake!

Lesson 3, if you don't know the answer to something, don't be bullish and act like you know. A simple, "I can't remember right now" would have been better than "I cannot categorically tell you". If you study the clip carefully, you'll see that the guy was trying to buy time but kept stumbling further into the hole he already dug with his first statement. The art of spinning a tale requires that you buy a little time with your first reply.

Lesson 4, when you are thrown against the wall or thrown to the ground, don't just bounce up immediately and start swinging. Take a moment to catch your breath, else if you jump up right away, your knees will wobble and give way. Especially when the odds are not in your favor, you have to fight smart. The panelists were clearly out to 'expose' the fraud at NSCDC, they were prepared with facts and figures, our oga was not and from the look on the faces of the panelists, 'dem wan finish the guy'. Our oga's brash display of aggression (a la waiteee wait...), only served to anger the panelists more. So once they sensed blood, they went for the kill. Let's replace our oga with Olivia Pope and see what would have happened:

Q: What is the website of NSCDC ?
A: I can't remember right now.

Q: Are you saying you can't remember or you don't know?
A: I never said I didn't know it, I just can't remember it right now.
Q: Is it that complex to memorize?
A: Like I said earlier, I can't remember it and I don't want to give you an incorrect answer. I don't memorize website addresses for a living. Do you know the official website of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? I'm sure there's one and you should know it because you are a Nigerian.

Sadly, our protagonist and icon of comic relief has been thrown to the dogs. I hear he was suspended, tough luck. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make any excuses for him, but the truth is that there is a gross lack of professionalism that is almost a 'standard' for Naija. I won't say the culture applies only to the civil service, because there are also folks in the private sector who dress sharp but have weightless skulls because of the lack of brain matter. Knowledge is no more a virtue people yearn for, swag and effizi have replaced that. At least the older generation can blame their non-exposure to the internet as a reason for their inadequacies, but what excuse will the present generation give? Shebi we'll all tell our kids "I used to carry 1st when I was your age".

Trust Naija people to make videos and even t-shirts to 'celebrate' another man's mistake. The speed with which a single faux-pas goes viral is alarming. As in, you can fart in the elevator in Vegas and the gist will be in Yaba within 3 hours (that's faster than an Arik flight o). I hope everyone learnt a little lesson from the whole escapade. As for me, I sharply logged on to my company's website and memorized every single detail of the company profile. You can't catch me slipping, abi are you a learner?

I have one final question for anyone who follows "Scandal". Is Olivia Pope good, bad, stupid, wicked, unfortunate or just a triffling side chick? Because I can't seem to 'place' her. I mean she comes across as strong, independent and a justice league defender, yet she be tearing up the sheets with Fitz (who is just a complete ass in my opinion). I'm curious to know what women think of her. Feel free to comment.