Delusions Of Grandeur

I once had an appointment with a client at her office. I got there a few minutes to 12 noon, as we had agreed to meet at 12, told the receptionist my mission and was asked to take a seat after informing her boss of my presence. To cut the long story short, I ended up waiting for close to 2 hours to see her, and the worst part of it all was that she didn’t think it was necessary to apologize or give me any explanation at all as to why I was delayed for so long, even after I subtly reminded her that I had been around for a while ( it was apparent to me that she wasn’t doing anything of utmost importance). She probably felt since she was way older or of a higher social standing, it would have been ridiculous for her to apologize to me. This was a woman who couldn’t have been less than 60 years old and whom I was meeting for the first time. So much for first impressions!

Before, you criticize this woman, I make bold to say that many of us are like that. Maybe in our own case we would have mumbled a halfhearted apology about being so busy with some documents, or being held up in a meeting that took longer than usual, especially when we feel superior to the person waiting. Bottom line is, we love to carry a false air of importance. It is a Nigerian thing.

I have observed this trend from way back in school, where the really rich kids were quite humble and almost unaware of their parent’s wealth while the ones who were from the other side of the divide would pretend that they were from affluent homes. A girl would have told fibs about living in a mansion in Ikoyi only for a colleague at school to bump into her crawling out from what could pass for a cesspit in Ijora Badia! Now, who’s fooling who? Why do we like to put ourselves under unnecessary pressure? There is nothing wrong in aspiring to wealth as long as we are willing to work towards it, but there’s also a place of being in touch with our present reality.

We live in a country of deluded people. This is particularly true for the nouveau riche. Someone suddenly comes into a bit money and immediately starts walking with a swagger. He believes that he can no longer relate with his old friends as they are not on the same level anymore. For the women, it may be the case of marrying into a wealthy family, it doesn’t matter that she has nothing going on for herself as an individual. She is now better than many of her mates because of her new status. She develops an American, British or Beninese (as long as it is not a Nigerian) accent out of nowhere to compliment the whole package. Yet for others, their delusion of grandeur may result from being in an environment where they are the local champion. As the adage goes “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King”, which explains why when surrounded by mediocrity, the most intelligent or influential person in the group assume ( in their myopic mind) that they are the next best thing after electricity. Until they are able to extract themselves from their deceptive cocoon and look beyond their “Ivory tower” to know that many people are far more intelligent and successful, the delusion continues.

The old saying “Empty barrels make the loudest noise” has never been more true…old money doesn’t make noise, the wealth is evident for everyone to see. The likes of Dangote, Adenuga and Bill Gates never talk about their wealth but we all know without an iota of doubt that it is there. Same goes for people who are widely acclaimed for their intellect or talent. if you are truly talented or wealthy you won’t need to herald it, a gold fish has no hiding place.

25 Replies to “Delusions Of Grandeur”

  1. spot on lolade. Nigerians like to show off and its annoying. Thank you for mentioning bill gates. People might not know that he gives 90% of his wealth to charitable causes under the umbrella of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. How many of the rich Nigerians do that? Rather they make their lavishing of wealth public while neglecting the down trodden of society. You can never see bill gates lavish in public. That is private. Truth is like you said, its a Nigerian thing and it would take a miracle to change that mentality.

  2. LMAO!!!!! @ “living in a country of deluded people”. You are sooooo right about that Lolo. Sometimes, one tends to wonder if we are cursed in this part of the world! Everyone wants to impose his/her importance on the next available party! Its so bad that even in the corporate world, almost everyone has the nomenclature – “Head. . . XYZ unit”. And most times, its a one man unit without surbodinates! Writing names without titles are no longer normal nowadays. It has to be Alh Chief Dr Abayomi. . MNI, FCII, RDEE, PPCC. . And countless meaningless “degrees” that can’t open windows of huts not to talk of real doors of influence! Maybe its our level of impoverishment that has led us to this very sad point, I really wonder! Another well written script Lolade. . Do keep it up!

  3. Nice piece Lolade. I do wish this could be read and realized by many. I will check to see where my own delusions rest and find ways to remove it. Just before we look too far I think we need to start with the person we see in the mirror. The proud will be humbled and the Humble exalted.
    Thanks a bunch Lolade.

    1. Very true…sometimes we are so quick to try to remove the speck in our neighbour’s eye while carrying a log in ours. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Very spot on, a lot of us Nigerians are so deluded, with some sense of superiority over the other. But you’ll be surprised to find this doesn’t only happen in Nigeria…i think it’s humans generally.
    Once we feel we have some sort of superiority over another person we tend to forget our manners. Take for instance this : In front of me in line at a cafeteria just yesterday was an older woman, she tenders her card and the cashier advised her that her card was declined for her $5.50 meal. She stood there and yelled for her friend/family and the lady responds “So what do you want me to do?” I gave the cashier $10 for her and the cashier said “that was awful sweet of you” this old woman said nothing to me but instead turns to her friend/ family and said “never mind someone paid for it!” I sat across from them, stared even but nothing! It never came! This lady did not make eye contact with me talk less of a nod of acknowledgement or even a smile! She could not bring herself to say “thank you”! I finished my meal and walked pass the cashier who ushered me close and said “honey listen, some folks got reserved seats at a table in hell, you keep your heart pure, don’t let that bigot change who you are!” I smiled and thanked her and kept on my way! Amazing!
    Now why this lady couldn’t bring herself to say a simple thank you is beyond me. I started to ponder, could it be because my skin color? Which I refuse to believe was the case.

    Oh and I laughed out loud at this “. A girl would have told fibs about living in a mansion in Ikoyi only for a colleague at school to bump into her crawling out from what could pass for a cesspit in Ijora Badia!”

    We all need a mentality revamp in that country

    Good job!

    1. Honestly, your story shocked me! It’s even worse than my experience…I guess delusion is the way of the world then. Thanks Laporshe.

      1. Nice piece lolo. People will always be deluded. Pride they say goes before a fall. If we all r humble, we will fear no fall but the truth is we can’t all be. It’s a human thing and I guess a good upbringing can help curb it.

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