Sunday, 13 November 2011


One of my relatives *Mr Ike lost his wife some months ago. As is typical in Igbo culture, my father and some of his kinsmen decided to go and pay him a condolence visit. The proposed visit happened today. My younger brother *Obinna went with them because he did his Industrial Attachment (IT) in *Mr Ike's company. When they were almost there, my father decided to call to inform him that they were almost at his house. *Mr Ike responded by saying that he is in South Africa. They exchanged some pleasantries and condolence messages over the phone and my father and his kinsmen reversed and started the journey back to our house.

Obinna gave me the gist when they got home. Apparently, my father and his kinsmen were not happy that *Mr Ike was not in the country when they decided to visit him. They were discussing among themselves and saying things like "A man in mourning should not step out of his house for a period of time, not to talk of travelling out of the country", "It is not proper according to our tradition", "People would say that he did not  mourn his wife well", bla bla bla. All that one did not concern me. *Mr Ike has buried his wife over a month ago and what  if he decides to go chill out and mourn her in South Africa. Whose business is that. What made me laugh and shake my head was the fact that none of them thought of calling *Mr Ike first to be sure he would be at home, before going to pay him a visit. I have seen this happen time and time again and I keep on wondering at people's behavior.

Once I was at home, and a relation of mine came with his wife, their baby and his mother to visit my father. Let me digress a bit. I live in a block of flats and I stay at the topmost flat. You will have to climb about fifty (50) stairs to get to my home. Yep, no lifts at all. It's not as terrible as it sounds :-). I see it as a great form of exercise. I usually run up and down the stairs instead of walking. Okay, back to my gist: When I opened the door and saw them, I felt sorry for them, but at the same time, wanted to laugh. :-D. My dad wasn't home and they were looking tired probably from climbing up the stairs. The following conversation ensued between us:

Che: Ahhhh, good-afternoon, welcome (smiling warmly)
Them: Thank you (They have a seat). Is daddy at home?
Che: No, he traveled.
Them: (Looking crestfallen). Really.
Che: Don't you have his number?
Them: We do, but we thought he would be at home.

I served them drinks, they rested for a while and left.

My people, what is the essence of having a phone if you can't call first before going to visit ehnnnn? I can't believe in this day and age of mobile phones, someone will stress himself (especially in Lagos) and embark on a journey to visit without calling first. It doesn't make sense to me at all. Even if it is a very good friend or family member that you want to visit, put a call through first. The person might have other engagements for the day and you could arrange to visit some other time or the person might just want to rest and not want to receive any visitors that day.

Can you imagine leaving your house in Surulere (whether in your own car or public transport) and going all the way to Satellite town to visit someone; only to get there and not meet the person. Chai, with the traffic and time wasted, that is just crazy. I value my time and hate stress and know people do too, so I always call first before visiting.


  1. Can't help but feel bad for the family that came all the way up the stairs.
    Our people are really good at using time inefficiently by choice.

  2. Poor family, i pity them but really there is no excuse, even before cell phones, i had a nitel card and used to line up at phone booths to call before embarking on a visit to places that were far from me ..lai lai

  3. lol @ the stair the kinda person that takes pre-informing very serious.............even if its my boyfrnd... u must still tell me.

  4. Its all Naija mentality 'lets not call, lets just visit so they'll have no choice but attend to us, if we call now he might ask us to book an appointment for another'.... in the end, they'll still have to come another day, spending more time and money!!!

  5. is just one of those cultural things that is just soo funny. Sometimes, my mum does this deliberately and as far as she is concerned, it is the thought that counts.

  6. che,nice one...i feel sometimes we ve to recognize our culturalbackgrounds..dats our originality..dats wat makes us unique..ik

  7. @ Think-About-It: I felt bad for them too, but hey, they made a wrong choice that day. Thanks for stopping by.

    @ Jemima: I remember the days of using Nitel cards too. Thank God for mobile phones now.

    @ Luciano: Babe, even your boyfriend. lol. I feel you dear.

    @ P.E.T Projects: I have missed you on blogsville dear. Hope to read an update from you soonest. Yeah, I think it's really Naija mentality.

    @ HoneyDame: Lol @ your mum doing it deliberately. That's the kind of thing I could do too, but with a bad motive. I could chose to visit when I know the person won't be in cos I really don't want to see the person. lol.

    @ Anonymous(IK): Thanks dear. i agree with you that it's part of what makes us unique and all that. But I still wonder at how some people will put themselves through so much stress.

  8. Me thinks sometimes people do that in order to surprise the people they want to visit but end up being the surprised ones...smh!

  9. @ Priscy: Nice way to put it. lol @ the visitors being the surprised ones.

  10. It is a cultural mentality and even though we know that telecommunication has improved people still like to visit. More a case of, if i dont meet them at home, then they will be the ones owing me a visit. But these days it backfires. You rarely find people just sitting at home these days. On a different note, I love the stairs and I agree with you it is a good form of exercise.
    Thanks for the love and visiting my blog while I was away.

  11. It is a cultural thingy and some people believe if they call you, you will probably lie, so why not just meet up with the person without any announcement.

  12. 50 stairs?? and at least 2ce everyday?? gurl, u must be very toned.

  13. @ Okeoghene: You are right about the mentality of "they will be the ones owing me a visit". *Smh* at people. You are welcome dear.

    @ Lara: People that show up unannounced are on a long thing o cos it sometimes backfires(no one @ home). Thanks for stopping by. Going over to your blog now.

    @ Toinlicious: Lol, no be small toned my dear; am also forever slim. :-D. Once I step out of the house, I try to do everything I want to do and visit everyone I chose to visit that day. You can imagine how annoying it is when I run all the way down the stairs, only to realize that I forgot something important and I start the journey upstairs again. :-(.

  14. the trend was an acceptable one in the days of "no mobile phones" but not now that technology have advanced oh!!!
    but to be candid, what if i just want to surprise my host/ess? probably its his/her birthday or something?
    also, if d person I am going to visit is my debtor and i know that there are so many lies that can be told with these phones of a thing, abeg, i wont call oh....

    nice one sis, following already!

  15. @ omoba-adeteju: I understand your drift and I'm especially in support of visiting your debtor unannounced. As for the surprise birthday visit, I love doing that to my friends too; but I will confirm from someone else to be sure that they would be at home. Thanks for following back.

  16. @Che

    My African sister , I am so enjoying your stories at the bank. I used to live in Surulere when I was in Nigeria.

    No blame them now, our traditional elders don't think like we young ones, I cannot imagine going to your place and climbing all that stairs. I would call

  17. @ YNC: I'm glad you like the gists. I stay in surulere and might know where you used to live. Yep, our way of thinking is way different from the ways of our elders. Thanks for following back. *hugssss*

  18. I wanted to say you're wicked o,but considering the fact that you're actually right,i won't.I don't go visiting without calling first.Except if i am going to see more than one person in thesame house.

  19. Well, its just the way we are - Nigerians. We feel everyone should sit down in their homes on the days of rest so that when we get to their homes, we will find them there! LOL. Anyway, i have an uncle who is VERY STRICT with his philosophy of 'call me 1st before you get on the road to my house'. We have over the years, learnt the hard way that he isnt joking about that. He had turned my aunty and her children away who went from Aba to Nsukka to visit him cos they didnt call him to say they were coming!!! (yeah go figure) They had to sleep in a hotel and start their return trip the next day. They 'carried face' for him for a while but after some time, they let it go. After that gist, all of us use our fones for what its meant for (at least when its about that particular uncle) before we go a-visiting!

  20. @ A-9ja-Great: I'm not wicked o. I just get amused atimes by people. I try to avoid stress in every possible way.

    @ Amaka's Notepad: Ewo, Nne, that ya uncle di mean biko(spoken with an igbo accent). He could have at least accommodated them that night(considering they were coming from far) and given them his rules and regulations about visiting unannounced. Now that is a bad way to learn a lesson.

  21. I avoid going to events because of the traffic..bad habit I know, but the traffic in Lag is mad!
    Cant actually imagine going to see someone without letting the person know sha...

  22. @ Ema: Lagos traffic can be mad, but i can't afford to miss out on events ooo. I love them, so I leave my house very early to start the trip. And my friends that invited me wouldn't find it funny at all if i don't show up.