Inspired by truth, injected with healthy doses of humour and imagination. Sade breezed through the hot airport checks and settled at gate E63 awaiting the boarding call for her flight. She only vaguely registered the officials scattered around the airport enthusiastically wishing her a happy Sunday or asking if she had anything for them. She…
Inspired by truth, injected with healthy doses of humour and imagination.
Sade breezed through the hot airport checks and settled at gate E63 awaiting the boarding call for her flight. She only vaguely registered the officials scattered around the airport enthusiastically wishing her a happy Sunday or asking if she had anything for them. She was accustomed to this behaviour from Nigerian officials so she smiled kindly or shook her head in response.
It was more amusing to watch them ask other nationals, especially non-Africans, if they had anything for them; the initial look of confusion that would give way to mild irritation or in some instances, amusement or annoyance was more entertaining than the resignation or blatant annoyance openly demonstrated by other Nigerians. Sade understood their embarrassment, anger and shame. She just didn’t think much could be done about it. So why make so much noise and burn off better-used energy?
She settled in at the gate and put in her earphones hoping for some rest and comfort. She looked at the monitors and thought better of it. This is Nigeria after all. The monitors weren’t as informative as they should be. They only held the same information about flight times. She doubted that it would be updated to show that boarding calls had begun. She took her earphones out so she would hear the mangled sound of the Nigerian making the boarding announcement in a barely intelligible accent.
She settled for being entertained by her fellow Nigerians: those dealing with ill-mannered children, the cute newly-married couple in and co. attempting to be polite about their PDA, those whose blue or red-coloured passports could not fit into their bags much like the MAC users who seemed to share some secret understanding that a MAC is a handheld device. The passports, loosely held, would fall a number of times and then take a while to be picked up so the others do not miss it and can realise that we’re not all mates here after all.
Then there were those having telephone conversations with the entire room, speaking in Igbo, Yoruba or some less popular and therefore undetectable language but always switching to English when they have to mention their trip to Dubai last month or the good old days in Europe or how this would be a short trip because America beckoned next week.
With the supply of entertainment, time flew by and soon enough, she had boarded and settled into her window seat. She was soon joined by two white guys with enthusiastic “Hi”s and accompanying bright smiles. She smiled back, preferring them to the Nigerian alternative whom she would owe conversation about Buhari, the bad food because these people cannot even cook sef, or how the drinks were always too small – “We paid for it afterall”.
When the plane was up in the air and the fasten-your-seatbelt light turned off, a thin, middle-aged man in a graying suit two sizes bigger and a beat-up leather coat probably in anticipation of cold weather, stood up. “Good evening my brothers and sisters, I would like to use this opportunity to talk to you about our Lord and Personal Saviour, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the only Son of God. But before then, let us pray for a safe journey.”
The Nigerians exchanged knowing smiles while the foreigners looked on or away in shock, dismay, confusion or amusement.
Sade plugged in her earphones and began to look through the entertainment options as a member of the cabin crew made her way to him.