Kuli-kuli and garri sustained our stomachs every Saturday afternoon at Ijesha, Surulere, Lagos. It was our single option. In the bowl of Ijebu garri, on any given Saturday, I located chicken laps soaked in yellow bell peppers and inside the kuli-kuli, I saw steaming jellof rice made rich with blue-band plus Maggi star. Hunger can make you describe food anew.
To get this delicacy, I walked from Ijesha Market to Adedeji bus-stop, that’s a mile under the sun’s embrace. The best deal came from one Aboki under a particular almond tree at that bus-stop and he usually added jara for every purchase I made.
Our reality was survival.
Those days crept into my mind as I read Mr. Bayo Onanuga’s facebook post where he said certain Nigerians need to appreciate the fact food is “cheap” and further stated that blogs and newspapers paint false images about Nigeria.
To say these “hypotheses”, as he calls them, are dumb is simply not enough description. His position that Nigerians can afford seven hundred to one thousand naira meals is stunning. I know there are a lot of Nigerians who hardly eat and starvation is on the increase in certain parts of the country.
His post paralysed me. It brought painful memories back: the long walks to get that kuli-kuli every Saturday, eating watery soup for weeks and eating once daily. Obviously, Mr. Onanuga lived a rosy life and that’s why he can sound like a brat.
His recent post only highlights the reality of certain elites. They see through gold-tainted glasses and they expect us to live like them. It’s a shame that he analyses Nigeria’s present reality from the back of his golden horse. He needs to relate with folks in certain areas in Lagos, I wouldn’t mention areas but he should do his research.
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