Are you a spoilt brat?

Bisoye (Surname withheld) is a bosom friend right from Nigeria, we grew up together on the island of Lagos and only parted physically because I relocated back to the UK but we still maintain contacts and make it a point of duty to atleast spend a day overnight at his abode in Lagos when I go visiting. He is what you'd call a perfect buddy who will readily listen to your problems and proffer solution; he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, somebody here reading my piece will understand my point. Bisoye is everybody's dream of what a friend should be. Nice Brother.

When he rang to tell me he was contemplating relocating to the UK having lost his job as a deputy Company Secretary with one of the moribund commercial banks who merged recently, I went all ways to sort him out. To cut a long story short, Bisoye finally arrived with his family here about 6 months ago and he just left my house now almost crying, he cant cope and wants to return back to Nigeria where things work better, I nearly collapsed because he came with his family on a scheme called HSMP, Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, being a qualified Lawyer, it was quite easy facilitating his relocation to the UK, we also got him a good accommodation, he got a job as a fee earner in a growing law firm somewhere in Croydon, the wife, a qualified pathologist does not have her desired job yet and works at a call centre for EDF in Surrey, the two boys are in school already, so what happened to Bisoye overnight.

Bisoye sauntered into my lounge at about 9pm tonight and started his story, very funny but true, he complained bitterly about working as a fee earner in a law firm when he was once a Deputy Company Secretary with a mega bank in Nigeria, he complained having to drive himself to work when he once had two official cars with 2 drivers attached to his family, he had retinue of house helps at his house in Ogudu GRA, washermen washed and ironed his clothes, the house helps bathed the children, the shopping is done for them, Auto mechanics come to pick up the cars for periodical services, he drives around late in the night with his Lagos buddies painting the town red and moving from one hot spot to another but here he is in London having to do stuff himself, that fact is driving him mad.

I gave my 2pence advise to him and promised to share this view with fellow villagers (He's also a villager but does not post regularly) to see if I was the one wrong, I told him that I am so disappointed at him for having to contemplate returning back having come thus far, we as humans should be able to adjust to whatever situations we find ourselves, he left and promised to get back to me on his decision but I pray that he will rescind and stay. The Nigeria system has spoilt so many of us that we can't readily do simple chores ourselves, we engage the services of everyone to help us out in our daily activities, if the Mother-In Law is not around, your own Mother will be spending the weekend, one cousin or the other will always be around to help out, all these and may more is driving Bisoye so mad.

Life in the UK is quite strenuous, you wake up as early as possible to catch the train to the city, many of us cant afford the daily congestion charge of £8 hence opting for public transport, you get called up from the School your kids attend to pick up because he/she is sick and having spent all your available holidays, you are left with no option than to beg your superiors to allow you this time. You get home late in the evening as a result of failed train networks, tired and sapped, you just want to hit the bed, the rat race obviously continue the next day. Juxtaposing Nigeria with the UK in this term is miles wide apart, the Nigeria context is a bit easy as money answereth all things. Now the question is: Has the Nigeria System spoilt many of us that we can't cope wherever we go? We are so used to easy lives, we believe so much that money can do all things and thus when we have little problems, we begin to fidget and always want the easy way out.

How many Bisoyes do we have in the Diaspora who out of loss of good livelihood relocates and finds western life so sapping and uneasy, you all need to come out of this relative obscurity, rediscover your mission, fulfill or betray it.

WaleAkin lives in Kent, UK



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Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Emj posted on 08-30-2006, 19:58:29 PM

Bisoye (Surname withheld) is a bosom friend right from Nigeria, we grew up together on the island of Lagos and only parted physically because I relocated back to the UK but we still maintain contacts and make it a point of duty to atleast spend a day overnight at his abode in Lagos when I go visiting. He is what you'd call a perfect buddy who will readily listen to your problems and proffer solution; he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, somebody here reading my piece will understand my point. Bisoye is everybody's dream of what a friend should be. Nice Brother.

When he rang to tell me he was contemplating relocating to the UK having lost his job as a deputy Company Secretary with one of the moribund commercial banks who merged recently, I went all ways to sort him out. To cut a long story short, Bisoye finally arrived with his family here about 6 months ago and he just left my house now almost crying, he cant cope and wants to return back to Nigeria where things work better, I nearly collapsed because he came with his family on a scheme called HSMP, Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, being a qualified Lawyer, it was quite easy facilitating his relocation to the UK, we also got him a good accommodation, he got a job as a fee earner in a growing law firm somewhere in Croydon, the wife, a qualified pathologist does not have her desired job yet and works at a call centre for EDF in Surrey, the two boys are in school already, so what happened to Bisoye overnight.

Bisoye sauntered into my lounge at about 9pm tonight and started his story, very funny but true, he complained bitterly about working as a fee earner in a law firm when he was once a Deputy Company Secretary with a mega bank in Nigeria, he complained having to drive himself to work when he once had two official cars with 2 drivers attached to his family, he had retinue of house helps at his house in Ogudu GRA, washermen washed and ironed his clothes, the house helps bathed the children, the shopping is done for them, Auto mechanics come to pick up the cars for periodical services, he drives around late in the night with his Lagos buddies painting the town red and moving from one hot spot to another but here he is in London having to do stuff himself, that fact is driving him mad.

I gave my 2pence advise to him and promised to share this view with fellow villagers (He's also a villager but does not post regularly) to see if I was the one wrong, I told him that I am so disappointed at him for having to contemplate returning back having come thus far, we as humans should be able to adjust to whatever situations we find ourselves, he left and promised to get back to me on his decision but I pray that he will rescind and stay. The Nigeria system has spoilt so many of us that we can't readily do simple chores ourselves, we engage the services of everyone to help us out in our daily activities, if the Mother-In Law is not around, your own Mother will be spending the weekend, one cousin or the other will always be around to help out, all these and may more is driving Bisoye so mad.

Life in the UK is quite strenuous, you wake up as early as possible to catch the train to the city, many of us cant afford the daily congestion charge of £8 hence opting for public transport, you get called up from the School your kids attend to pick up because he/she is sick and having spent all your available holidays, you are left with no option than to beg your superiors to allow you this time. You get home late in the evening as a result of failed train networks, tired and sapped, you just want to hit the bed, the rat race obviously continue the next day. Juxtaposing Nigeria with the UK in this term is miles wide apart, the Nigeria context is a bit easy as money answereth all things. Now the question is: Has the Nigeria System spoilt many of us that we can't cope wherever we go? We are so used to easy lives, we believe so much that money can do all things and thus when we have little problems, we begin to fidget and always want the easy way out.

How many Bisoyes do we have in the Diaspora who out of loss of good livelihood relocates and finds western life so sapping and uneasy, you all need to come out of this relative obscurity, rediscover your mission, fulfill or betray it.

WaleAkin lives in Kent, UK



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Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Picasso posted on 08-30-2006, 20:00:55 PM
WaleAkin:

I can understand that not everyone is cut out for living outside the shores of Nigeria. What I cannot fathom is why an educated man, a grown man is crying just because, amongst all other things, he doesn't have or cannot afford a househelp that will cleanup after him or a driver that will take him to work.

Didn't you remind him that the CEO of the company he currently work's for probably drives himself to work too?

He should be thankful he even has a job. Instead of mapping out a strategy on how to consolidate his UK experience in lieu of netting his dream job, he is whining. Spoiled brat indeed. Nonsense! Let him end his misery by relocating back to Nigeria!
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Techsista posted on 08-30-2006, 22:47:17 PM
For some, an upper middle class life in Naija with driver, washerman, cook, esetira, esetira is clearly preferable to the drudgery of life in the west. Now if only people realized before making the big leap that their living standards might fall initially and take years to rise, they'd be able to make a better decision about emigrating.

Many middle class Naijas are spoilt brats. I know it never occurred to me that I should contribute to my own university fees until I landed in the good ole US of A and had to work to furnish part of my tuition and all of my living expenses. That was a healthy wake up call -- I discovered previously untapped skills in hairbraiding, dishwashing, film projection, babysitting, housecleaning and data entry. Chei! Then I landed a plum job in the library -- ideal for studying. All these experiences helped when I got my first "real" job outside of uni.
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Profegee posted on 08-30-2006, 22:53:58 PM
Mr. Wale Akin,

You are not to blame for the unfortunate reaction of Bisoye to the new environment. I must stress here that most friends and colleagues at home are only interested the the hard currency, the little comfort and other things we might be enjoying here forgetting there are so many things we sacrifice.

There is no gain without pain. They want the gain but not the pain. I think instead of living in frustration and feeling bad everyday, it will be better for him to return home with his wagon (family) and start afresh.

Thanks so much. There are many Bisoyes all over the globe.


Profegee
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Rola posted on 08-31-2006, 05:00:16 AM
Wale,
Why you no tell Bisoye how e be for this side? Common, what is the big deal about driving yourself,doing the laundry and cleaning after yourself?I find it hard to believe that a full grown man would cry over things like this,he is even lucky to get HSMP(i know a lot of eligible people that have been refused).
E be like say the guy dey Naija dey calculate anticipated salary in pounds without factoring in things like way of life and cost of living.Poor Lagos big boy!
I think he has actually gotten it easy so far,no 'paper' wahala,children in school,got a job,family fairly settled.If to say the bobo hustle two jobs to manage pay international fees for UNI,im for no say 'i get am before, no be property'.
Anyway he shouldn't forget he still retains the option of heading back to Naija if he continues to find living abroad not conducive to his lifestyle.
But he can surely get used to it........Good luck to him.
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Fjord posted on 08-31-2006, 06:27:31 AM
Very interesting!

Wale, these things may be tough for him to adjust to, but he's got to remember he'd lost a job, and now has an opportunity to make things better. Is he having any pressures from, er, 'senior management', that is, Madam? Perhaps there's a bit of pressure coming from there: may be she's not happy with what's she's currently doing (someone's suggested exams); it's the tears, there's got to be a bit more than struggling for a man to release tears. No doubt you probably gave it to him.

He's got to look at the brighter side of things: the children can probably attend good schools, and they'll be free from strikes and a system free from close-to-zero education funding. It's already been said: he's having it rosy yet. He wants a driver? Then he could work to afford it; up here, nobody ever has a driver, except perhaps the prime minister; a good driver earns well, and whoever is able to drive wouldn't ever be stupid enough to employ a driver at a bit more than EURO 20 per hour anyway; easy Naija life 's gotten him spoilt; of course his children will learn to be self sufficient with the DIY culture and all else. He's having it rosy yet, and that's what he's got to remember.

.
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Akuluouno posted on 08-31-2006, 06:32:13 AM
Dear Wale,

You have captured the reason why things do not work in Nigeria with this story of Bisoye. Most workers in Nigeria are pampered so silly that when they interface with work attitudes in developed western socs, frustration and stress are the results.
Do you know that most of my colleagues here in London will not like to be seen in the bus alive. I have continued to preach myself hoarse that the London transportaion system is the best I have seen so far in my life. They cannot reconcile their big egos by riding a bus. Ditto the search for jobs. They would like a well laid out job with all the paraphnelia of office added. I have also warned them that it may not be possible since the owners of the land may not immediately want to offer that but after some time it might be possible.
My grouse is that we in diaspora should bring this work ethic and attitude to bear in Nigeria by letting folks back home know that it is the only way to move Nigeria forward. Hardproductivework and nothing else.
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Salstep posted on 08-31-2006, 07:00:34 AM
Wale,

Abeg tell ur bobo make he chill.
This is normal. With time he will get use to the system.
I am sure he is in for even more shock when bills like Council tax, water rate, NEPA sorry eletric, gas and all sort of other taxes he never paid in naija begin land for he door.

Make he begin adjust o. No one said it was easy.
Re: .Are you a spoilt brat?
Abamieda Wanderer posted on 08-31-2006, 09:20:27 AM
Wale,

Thanks for this article it is really a great eye opener. I think someone mentioned that these are the reasons why things don't work in Nigeria. Trust me everybody who had ever lived a pampered life in Nigeria have their own wake up story. I have mine too.

Wale, my advice to your buddy is what I always tell my spoilt brat friends and cousins and that is that; yes you can have many house helps, washerman, Chef, megida (security guard), drivers and whatever other excess and vanity we enjoy in Nigeria as long as you are willing to pay the following:

1. You must pay your help at least the minimum wage/hour as stipulated by law (that is if he/she will take minimum wage from you)

2. You must also provide at least 2 weeks of paid vacation (if they have been working for you for more than 3 months).

3. You must provide health benefits like; Health, Dental, Optical insurance and subsidize 80% of prescription drugs for him/her and her immediate family.

4. You must provide yearly salary review and increase to accommodate the national inflation ratio.

5. You must accommodate as stipulated by law all family emergency situation like Doctors appointment for her/him, kids, samba or Fifi the dog/cat because they are part of his/her family too; sick days, not sick days but calls in sick anyway days; Guess what you cannot terminate him/her for these or else you will be hit wrongful termination law suits. And trust me living in the US, you can sue for anything and there are Lawyers that will take your case.

6. You cannot verbally insult or physically slap your help around like you do in Nigeria because, here it is called abuse and unprovoked and aggravated assault and it land you in jail (ask Naomi Campbell).

7. You must all sorts of taxes that is never heard of in Nigeria like Employment tax (don't pay go to jail); Property tax (don't pay loose your house); Sales tax (don't pay, service will be refused, you make a fuss, you will be accused of shop lifting) and many other taxes that will make you cringe.

8. Others I may have forgotten......please help me anyone.......

After explaining all these to all my newly arrived I live like a king in Lagos spoilt brat friends and cousins from Nigeria; they seems to just never complain again, they adjust quickly and go with the flow.

I bet you this will sober him up quickly.

Shikena,
Abamieda
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