Today, I attended Sunday service at my usual parish, St Francis Church, Lt Lonsdale. When I walked into the church I observed that some pews had reserved signs placed on them, which meant that they had been reserved for some people. I have a spot on the pew where I usually sit. There was no reserved sign placed on that pew. But when I tried to sit there I was told by a man who looked like an octogenarian that the spaces were reserved; he had reserved the spaces for some people, perhaps his family. I observed that he was not the only person who had reserved sits for some people.
As I looked for another space in another pew to sit, I said to myself, “so Oyibo people too reserve seats in church in Oyibo land?” I was not the only person who was deprived of a (desired) sitting spot, other people too experienced the same as I did. They did not get mopey about it- which tells me that it is something that is usual- rather they looked for available spaces.
In Nigeria, I have seen people, particularly those people, who think that everything works perfectly well abroad because they have lived or visited abroad, throw a conniption fit in church over seats that are reserved for some people. I have heard people say that it is only in Nigeria that seats are reserved in church. Comment like “it is only in Nigeria that such things can happen” is very popular in Nigeria. If you are not careful in your rationality you will fall into the trap of belief that Nigeria is a place where anything wrong exists.
I have observed in that parish that some women keep their handbags in seats while others are unable to find seats, hence stand while the service goes on. And those women who use their handbags to occupy seats will see people standing, yet they will do nothing. When I look at those handbags, I usually expect to see names like Fendi, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Hilde Palladino, or Marc Jacobs, perhaps that may explain to me why such handbags should not be kept on the floor, but I see names that even Google does not know they exist. No doubts, some women do this in Nigerian churches. If you have witnessed it you may have heard such comment like “it is only in Nigeria that it can happen.”
The truth is that many of the things Nigerians think do not happen abroad, hence exist only in Nigeria actually happen anywhere in the world. It is just that Nigerians feel comfortable to associate anything negative with Nigeria, especially when things do not go their way. So, next time something happens around you and you rush to conclude that it is only in Nigeria such a thing can happen make sure you have traversed around the globe.
Happy New Month!