As a full breed Nigerian child, you just have to be smart, here we refer to being smart as being sharp. So today, I was supposed to do something in double quick time but then I didn’t or maybe I didn’t know how to, the reply I got from a ‘higher authority’ was “I want you to be sharp ok”. I half-smiled in reply, half because I tried doing it while pulling the serious-no-nonsense-I don’t need help-face, and because I couldn’t even say I didn’t know how to go about it. Anyway, I was eventually bailed out *phew*, and trust me, I won’t ever forget to change the printer type on the laptop before being able to print out a document …
Being sharp definitely is a prerequisite to surviving in such a place as this, it’s sort of like a stigma if you are not. Not to worry, it’ll come naturally, with everyday circumstances and events hitting it hard into the brain and nerves and what not…it’s not just a process, it’s the life. Our parents are proud of it, if you want to be sure, tell a Nigerian parent of a two-year old, “madam, your girl (boy) is so sharp, he even knows the name of our president!” and watch out for the huge grin on their face, you can’t miss it.
Being fearless is to be sharp, being inquisitive is to be sharp, being innovative is to be sharp, being ‘street-wise’ is to be sharp, being smart is to be sharp…and as our elders say,
‘no sane person sharpens his machete to cut a banana tree’, ‘not to know is bad, not to wish to know is worse’.
image source – google