The gulf between Nigeria’s classes is so wide that if you’re one of the wealthy or your father is one of those who has managed to gather wealth at the expense of the rest of us, like a corrupt politician, you cannot help but stand out.
It has been said that it takes a certain level of corruption and underhanded manoeuvring to attain a level of wealth in Nigeria.
While that may or may not be true, it is a cross that most children of the wealthy have to carry.
Many of them would rather be perceived as part of the flock and not typecast as the spoilt, rich brats that they are seen to be.
It is why Davido sang in his debut single “Back When”, 'back when I was broke yo’, even though he’s never been broke his entire life.
Some of this comes with genuine intentions though.
A fair number of the people in this category have figured out a way to live below the radar as normal people like you and me, others think all it takes is learning to dance shaku-shaku or shout "SaintSamyGanja" like Slimcase.
Here are some ways to live like a normal human being if your father is a corrupt politician.
(1) Don’t become a musician:
No matter what you do, or how talented you believe you are, never get involved in music. There’s no worse way to stand out. Nigerians have somewhat learned what the trajectory of the Nigerian musician works.
They expect you to come out with a few average singles, get a hit song and then, and only then, begin to get money to shoot good videos.
Davido and DJ Cuppy are testaments to how hostile Nigerians can be if they feel you're getting a free ride on your family wealth in a field where only the talented should flourish.
So for the sake of everything good, stay away from a microphone. The moment Nigerians see a new musician that grabs their attention, they get digging, which brings me to my next point.
(2) Put Padlock on Your Instagram:
Nigerians have unlocked the fine art of finding you and your flashy lifestyle on Instagram and built an entire industry around it.
You may think it’s just your friends who like your photos until one day, someone shares a photo of you rocking Virgil Abloh’s new Off-White collab.
Then, you suddenly get as many followers as Slimcase in one afternoon. Soon as this happens, you’re on Instablog9ja’s radar.
So save yourself, put your account on private and make your friends swear a blood oath to not post any photos of you looking like you have money.
(3) Find someone else to do everything for you:
This person could your friend or an employee (because you actually have money so you can buy a person’s time and attention for as long as you want).
His sole purpose is to be a front, to be the one whose name appears on the receipt when you buy something expensive, the one who everybody celebrates as the innovative CEO when you buy a company with your father’s stolen wealth and use the money to solve all its problems.
(4) Pick a particular style of dressing and stick with it:
Variety is the spice of life. It is also a liberty that you can only afford when there’s enough money in your pocket when it comes to fashion.
We have learned to expect the wealthiest and most flamboyant celebrities to debut the newest trends for us since they are the ones who can afford it.
By default, having access to so much wealth and the connections your family is privy to means you can afford the best of what LouisVuitton and Supreme have to offer.
Rocking them would actually be the most stupid thing you can do, because one moment, they’re hailing you as a style icon.
Then your father’s name gets mentioned by the EFCC and “news blogs” put those photos of you looking like HushPuppi as the cover image. Be guided.
(5) Get a job, with an actual title:
Everything we’ve said will be completely pointless if you do not have something to show. See, Nigerians are funny. They will notice you popping bottles at parties and getting public cars and it will be all fine.
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They will share messages of admiration until someday, someone will wake up with a fresh dose of frustration. After creeping around the internet, he’ll find that the last time you entered any employment information on your LinkedIn page was in 2009 when you claimed you were your dad’s Personal Assistant because he asked you to transfer money to 5 of his allies in the grassroots.
So get a job. If you have to open a brand new company with a strange name that does everything on paper and nothing in particular, do it.
Get employees, print ID cards and business cards, have company retreats. When they ask you why you’re paying them even though they’re not working, tell them their job is social welfare and you’re using them as the first example.
It makes no sense but by the time they figure it out, you’ll have left the building in your helicopter.