The Aspiring Oppressor
I witnessed something funny yesterday. A driver took the wrong side of a one-way route and as he drove, a guy inside a loading Keke tapped his car and asked him why he was being stupid. This driver parked properly and came down and went to accost the dude inside the loading Keke. I was not close enough to hear the verbal exchange that ensued but I imagined it went something like this;
Driver: Are you mad?! Why you dey bang on my car?
The man looks to where the guy was parked to confirm he was who he thought he was. He seemed genuinely surprised that the driver had the guts to come back and harass him.
Man: You blind? You no know say na One-Way you pass?
Driver: That na why you dey bang my car? Oya, come down from this keke!
The driver goes around to the side of the Keke rider in an attempt to seize his keys. The poor Keke rider is seriously confused. Just as I was wondering what kind of balls the driver had to confront someone who chastised him for doing the wrong thing, the guy in the Keke came down. He was a monster of a guy; heavy set, big stomach, burly and looked like someone who could handle himself compared to the tall but lanky guy who was the driver.
The heavy set guy moved with such speed that I had to crane my neck sharply to catch his swift movement. In a flash, he had tossed the car driver like a piece of paper who was harassing the innocent Keke rider.
The car driver is shocked and as he staggers to recover his balance and prevent a shameful fall, but the heavy set guy follows up with a barrage of lightning speed slaps. I see a weak splash of water as each slap make contact with the driver’s face. He finally loses balance and falls but he jumps up immediately with a shocked and embarrassed look on his face that I interpret as "Who send me message".
He quickly glances around to see if anybody noticed the small drama that had just happened. Our eyes meet and I let him know that I know that he just got played.
His smirk reveals his embarrassment. The heavy set guy has long returned to his Keke and as the ride is full, they move on. The driver mutters something and points menacingly at the moving Keke in a last ditch attempt to save face.
He endures the long walk past where I was buying pears under the full glare of my mocking stare to where he parked. He quietly entered his car and drove off.
The deceit of a self-exhaulted status though intoxicating can be very misleading. This is the general problem with some Nigerians. The pursuit of power and success is motivated by the desire to exchange the usually imposed role of the oppressed with that of the oppressor.