Lagos to London review: part II


We were not going to comment on this any further – tired of Lagos to London now. But Viva Naija has been tagged on the famous post by Ayo Akinfe no less than 7 times and asked to comment.

So, we wrote our own:

Fact is, the programme was aired by Channel 4, not by the BBC or any other equally balanced channel. Channel 4 gives us Wife Swap, The Joy of Teen Sex, and How Clean Is Your House. Are we to assume when we watch these programmes that everyone in the UK is either swapping wives, engaging in teen sex or living in filth? No, but there’s a market for it.

Would it have been cool to see a show based on stocks, bonds and how they were investing wisely in case of a rainy day? Yes. Absolutely. But would you have watched that for one hour? No.

Should there be a documentary about how our wealth has been plundered for generations and is being blown by the rich and famous? Yes, but you’re looking at the wrong channel for that sort of bleeding heart liberal carry-on.

Should people feel comfortable about spending so flagrantly when there are many hungry people? Possibly not. But nobody died and made you or I the moral compass. People can, should and WILL spend their money as they see fit.

I don’t understand this moral outrage. When I was on minimum wage, I went to bargain basement shops in search of shoes and hopped on 3 buses to get across town to the Clarks’ Outlet store and bought shoes for their durability value as opposed to their aesthetics. Today, I shop from the comfort of my home and think nothing of spending £40 and upwards on a pair of shoes. Now, imagine if my income is exponentially that which it is now. Should I go barefoot because there are people suffering? That’s silliness. But if you see me in my £85 Dune shoes, would you know that I have paid for a boy’s secondary school fees from start to finish before?

The UK is full of pockets of abject poverty, but I have never seen Wayne Rooney in TK Maxx hunting for a bargain. Nobody is clamouring to make him the president of Oxfam or decreeing that he give some of his money to Amnesty International. But wait, what did people think rich people spent their money on?

In the same vein as Real Housewives, MTV Cribs and Made In Chelsea, the show fulfilled its remit. If it were about the social responsibility of rich Nigerians, it would have been called “Nigerians And Their NGOs – A Dream Makers’ Story” although I suspect such a show would have received only a fraction of the views that “Lagos to London” did.

For a people who park Range Rovers outside of council flats and think nothing of spending £150 on aso ebi that they will probably only wear once, I cannot imagine what the affront is about. We’re spenders, flaunters; garish and gaudy in our ways, and will think nothing of inconveniencing an entire street in order to mount a canopy for a party. Is the outrage because it is at a level that we are unfamiliar with?

I stand with Alexander Amosu on this matter: none of us are hearing the names Otedola or Mbadiwe for the first time and therefore, I don’t think this programme was for me. I certainly have no immediate desire to encrust a phone with diamonds, never mind a Blackberry (although I certainly feel many Nigerians WOULD if they COULD.

No, I prefer to view this as a programme that said to non-Nigerians: don’t let the blue collar jobs fool you; we know how to have a good time.

When you make YOUR millions, spend it as you see fit. Call Channel 4 and have them follow you around as you empower and enrich your country. Be the difference you want to see.

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