Isé kékeré, owó ńlá: Obinwanne Okeke and our crazy culture of ‘BLOW’ | By Sayo Aluko

Obinwanne Okeke - Nigeria's Problem with Wealth

So, kasala burst this past week, FBI’s morning rose early on a Nigerian Forbes’ fraud, and most of us have remained stunned. Obinwanne Okeke, our illustrious son!

However, we should know though, that while Obinwanne ‘Invidious’ Okeke is just the vomit, our epidemic culture of “blow” is the actual cholera.

I shine pass you.

Na ordinary Camry sef e dey drive, common pencil.

Big man like you dey here dey do fish farming.

You are there doing salary job.

You wan sue, you wan clear your name? On top this small thing?

Ha ha ha, na Education she read for university.

Your mates don dey…

You wan resign your job to follow your passion? What yeye passion?

Peju’s boyfriend bought her iPhone XS Max.

My God is not a poor God.

Stupid POOR man, foolish POOR woman.


This is us. All of us. Everything above.

Our culture now says Wealth ONLY, is health.

BLOW aka ‘If You No Get Money, Hide Your Face’.

What we have in our hands in today’s Nigeria is a culture of BLOW that has successfully undignified dignity.

A culture that sufficiently celebrates greed and dethrones grit.


The other day, I learnt that a new trend among the crop of Instagram celebs is to stage fake birthday surprises of exotic cars for themselves all in a bid to create that illusion that outshines another.

This is the choleric culture that has birthed and keeps birthing many Obinwannes; and I reckon it has found home in a quite common apothegm.

Isé kékeré, owó ńlá. Little effort, big money.

I’ve always had a problem with this apothegm and prayer that has been ingrained in our cultural and religious lingo.

I have a fit of thought when people say it or say it for me.

My parents have said it. I’ve heard pastors pray it. I’ve seen Imams chant it. Fathers to their daughters, mothers to their sons. We have all either said, prayed, or heard it.

To be fair, the line is an apothegm with probably an unsullied intent to pray bliss and fruitfulness on anyone’s work and efforts. Its intention arguably cool, but its coinage just looks too faulty.

Today, it is the song on the lips of every yahoo yahoo boy, the prayer in the heart of every lazy lass and lad who craves to build a mansion in Ikoyi before age 18.

Its original intention, whatever it was, has now been skewed into becoming a perfect alibi to skip dignity of labour and never to trust (a) process.

Isé kékeré, owó ńlá is now the theme song for a culture that craves so MUCH today today by investing as much as NOTHING in yesterday.

This culture has its enablers, situations that gives its grease to the elbow of our society. Top 3 in my mind:
(i) our huge quantity of songs albeit with slim quality
(ii) the new age penteCOSTals
(iii) the psychiatric greed in the political class.

We have successfully created a society that whips dreams for all of us from a pressure cooker.

No yawa.

We should just know, as long as we all are in this rat race to blow and lick #Gelaaato in the streets of Italy, Obinwanne Okeke is our own, our offspring, our shit, our symptom;

…until something gives, Obinwanne is us. Deal with it.

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    • Dolapo Odubanjo exactly right. Because he is a brilliant guy, already doing well. I’ve seen an interview with him. These expectations to “hammer” push people into nonsense.

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