Monday, 7 July 2014

How To Spot A Lagos Big Boy


When you get the call you remember your Pastor's prophecy from last week Sunday. The one that said you should expect a call from someone high and mighty. The meeting will either be at Radisson Blu, Moorehouse, Southern Sun, Eko Hotel, Oriental or Four Points. He will come in a Range Rover, Prado, X5 or some other 'Jeep.' 

You get there 1 hour early. He joins you and asks if you have placed your order. Effortlessly, like he owns the place. You shake your head. You are completely taken by his appearance. He looks like he walked off an Armani runway, his complexion a fine shade between mulatto and ajebo. You wish you can take his picture and show it to your boyfriend, hustling his life away somewhere on the mainland, decked in those Luise Vitron shirts he swears are the real deal. 
The waiter takes your very modest order. Big boy orders for coffee - black, no sugar, no cream even though it is 2pm. Wow.

Breakfast underway, he talks to you about his vision for the project or business and the role he sees you playing. This project is not local. It is either sub-saharan or global in scope. The idea is so revolutionary, he believes it will disrupt existing technologies or change the face of business in Africa if not the world. The budget will range conservatively between 1- 5 million dollars. Your mind wanders as you think of the dress you will wear on that special Sunday when you testify to the goodness of God. 

You listen more than you speak because big boy is doing most of the talking. In all his talking, he says nothing about your fees. You do not ask. With the wristwatch on his arm looking like it can fund a gubernatorial campaign, you have no worries about his ability to pay. You send in your proposal like he asks you to and this is where the drama starts. He asks you to update this and that, revise this and that, take that part out or tweak this part. You are hopeful still. 

Just so there is no doubt about it, let me say it to you, you have just met a Lagos big boy. He is big, young (and therefore a boy) and lives in Lagos. He is articulate, seems to have a taste for the fine things of life. Sadly, that is where it all stops. Let me tell you why. Lagos big boy is a peddler of perception and all he has goes into servicing that perception. He is groaning under the weight of it but will die trying to prove otherwise. He lives in houses he cannot afford, marries women he can not take care of with children in schools above both their pay grades; drives cars he has not finished paying for and wears clothes he struggles to dry clean. 

All he has surrounded himself with covers the deep sense of inadequacy that gnaws at him every now and then. It is the reason why you will find him more often in hotels than you will at home. Home forces him to confront himself and the emptiness that his life is or has become. It reminds him of all the bills and responsibilities that come with the perception he has built. Surrounded by equally ostentatious people living way above their means, he feels intense pressure to live up to perceived expectations.

Dear one, do not get caught up in the antics of Lagos big boy. Forget the experience you just had and move on. Fast. As painful as it is I must tell you, he is not your testimony.

©Naomi Lucas

13 comments:

Simon Nwachuya said...

Just a sincere and honest fast note..The peddler perception.
This is so true but with a few exceptions. Lagos has always been inspiring and lately one of my best African Cities and for these group of Guys, we have them everywhere.
Nice one Naomi

Naomi Lucas said...

@Simon, thanks for stopping by. Indeed, we have them everywhere...

kells said...

Nice

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Kells

Ifesinachi said...

Nailed it as usual. I have met one or two before, and you're right. It's always talk talk...

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Ifesinachi :)

OLADAPO ADEKOLA said...

There is nothing like having deep understanding of how Lagos Swags and Effezy flows. Caution, Beware and step jeje

Ngee said...

Hi Naomi. I have a YouTube video blog and I would totally love to record this as a webisode. If you want to discuss please give me an address to reach you or email producer@thengeeshow.com.
Hilarious write up by the way.

Naomi Lucas said...

Hi Ngee,, thanks for stopping by :)
You can send a mail to nlb.share@yahoo.com and we'll take it from there.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful write up Naomi. And to think that these so called big boys take huge loans to etect a state-of-the-art building in Lekki Phase One and spend the rest of their lives paying debt.

lawrence said...


Well written,got me laughing

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks anon. It's not only phase one o. They are everywhere!

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks anon!