Wednesday 8 June 2016

Opinion: Lagos to London: Britain’s New Super-Rich

And so
I really had no intention of writing anything about the mockumentary that was shown on Channel 4 last night titled, Lagos to London: Britain’s New Super-Rich, but I was asked about it at work this morning.
There are a lot of Nigerians in the UK, my association with the UK was borne of the fact that my parents were here as students in the 1960s and I came along, born in the UK, but of Nigerian heritage and I am proud of that mix and makeup of my life.
Now, the Nigerians that appeared on that programme are rich, wealthy, educated in some of the best English schools, but somehow seemed to have missed a quality of educational finesse that combines the understated with sophistication.
They had cash, they were brash, they had lots to flash and very little class. It goes without saying that that essential component of comportment seems to have evaded their sensibilities by a country mile.
Of sensible Nigerians
There are Nigerians who graft it here daily to make ends meet, there are other Nigerians who are professionals of high repute with exemplary accolades and dare I say, probably the majority of the unseen Nigerians have more sense than money and I think that is a good thing.
The best education I got from my parents is one of contentment, this gives me the perspective and grounding to live my life successfully and happily without the encumbrance of trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Looking at some of the commentary on Twitter last night, some people were carried away with the acquisitive hedonism, the ostentatious show of wealth that has people groomed for appearance with little or no substance. Life has a lot more to it than that.
Indeed, we would all love to have the means to do anything we liked, yet we have a self-awareness, a sense of responsibility, considerable consideration, discipline and perspective to what we do that is a function of our stability and salvation from depression borne of envy, jealousy or covetousness.
The butler comes
Now, of the people who were showcased on this meat rack of vulgarity, one can commend Alexander Amosu for rising from a council estate to hobnob with the outrageously rich and he has apparently cornered a market to feed the constant one-upmanship that consumes people of that ilk.
Yet, with all that association, the minutiae of essence that comes with knowing was evident, limousine, chauffeur, sharp suits, gleaming cuff links and the ultimate faux pas; a matching tie and pocket square. Class is probably passed down and there is only so much finishing school can do.
Kids on the skids
On the matter of the daughters of the billionaire oil tycoon and the twins with a law degree from some midrange university, whoever sent them to public school should be asking for a refund with interest, none of the English norms seemed to have rubbed off on them, they spoke like silver spoon braggarts.
Many of us would rather keep our inflective Nigerian-English accents than to decline to a South or East London accent, especially after that kind of education. Come think of it, I seem to have gotten more out of my Nigerian-based multi-cultural education than they did from public schools in England. Their spoken English was quite below par as to be somewhat appalling.
The Daily Mail had a spread on the girls and one look at the comments shows they would always be celebutantes of the Kardashian or The Only Way Is Essex genre of trashy reality television until they find a vocation that is of service rather than self-serving.
The twins who spewed philosophy like it was going out of fashion, were planning on making their mark as lawyers, I won’t scoff, but whilst they looked good for a posse, looks do not a respected advocate make. Much privilege and given to spoilage, one might aver.
Beyond the zoo
Like I said before, there are a lot of people of Nigerian heritage in the UK, very few of us would like to be paraded as vacuous showpieces of opulence bringing on disgust. It was a mockery of the uncultured without a filter for self-restraint.
They do not represent the, as it were, sensible Nigerian, not in any way. That show was a zoo and one visit to see the animals was enough.
Prince said it about style, there was much on show and nothing that resembled style.
Style is not something that comes in a bottle
Style is more like Jackie O. when she was doin' Aristotle
Style is not a logo that sticks 2 the roof of one's ass
Style is like a second cousin 2 class.
Style – Emancipation (1996) – Lyrics

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