Till date, I’m yet to meet a Nigerian who’s missed an American Visa appointment. This is priority right? So why can’t we treat the other appointments we have with this same regard?
As an entertainment journalist, I have seen this happen over and over again at entertainment events including press conferences, media junkets and concerts where people show up late and events start late. This lateness upsets me. The blatant disregard for time in this industry is horrendous. The moment one points this out, we are quick to blame it on African time.
Hold on - how is it that we are able to make it to church or the mosque early enough for prayers but appointments are hard to keep?
Another thought: I don’t remember our schools (primary, secondary or university classes) running on African time. Here are some reasons why we adopt this relaxed attitude with regards to time and appointments:
An interview is scheduled, the interviewee shows up two hours late with a soggy-filled apology and the excuse is there was traffic. I’ve recently found myself asking managers and publicists: "In the last 10 years, can someone please tell me when there was no traffic in Lagos?"
The traffic situation in Lagos is pretty predictable. Don’t pack in too many appointments in a day and if you need to be somewhere give say an allowance of a three hour head start to accommodate Lagos traffic.
Till date, I’m yet to meet a Nigerian who’s missed an American Visa appointment. This is priority right? So why can’t treat the other appointments we have with this same regard? It would be nice if we turned up to events the same way we turned up to the airport early enough to check in.
Remember when Lauryn Hill kept us all waiting in Lagos? And the organizers of the concert she was performing at pointed out we had no right to complain. Well Ms Hill did the same thing in Atlanta, USA on May 6 and kept her fans waiting for two hours (which was a much lesser time than the Lagos incident). Anyways her fans called her out and guess what she issued a statement explaining why she was late.
Did anyone in Lagos get an explanation . . .
It’s a thing to be fashionably late. And yes even I would advise a celebrity to show up to their party a few minutes late, give guests time to arrive and of course stage a memorable entrance.
You do have to be careful with arriving late though, the show might not wait for you. We’ve seen this at Catholic churches where the Bride is running down the aisle because her own wedding has begun without her.
Interestingly, there was an incident at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards a couple years back. The AMVCAs are known for adhering strictly to time because the show is broadcast live across Africa. During one of the ceremonies, a popular female artiste was announced to perform and it so happened she wasn’t at the venue so she missed her performance and the opportunity to perform for the continent. It so happened she assumed the event was going to run on ‘Nigerian time’ and so she arrived late deliberately.
The next time you decide to run on Nigerian time just think of the opportunity you might be missing. As they say "time is money".