Saturday, 5 March 2016


Driving through Maitama in Abuja in the evening, I came across quite a number of white people at different times taking a run, I could not help but notice the physique of these people who needed to take this exercise; tall and slim, with slim being a more constant appearance. Like a typical Nigerian, I could not help but wonder why they needed it. “Wetin this lekpa people dey find sef?” was a more apt expression. Still in my thoughts, I came across my first black guy (supposedly a Nigerian) you could tell from his build that our local carbs had done a number on him. Short and stocky, sweating profusely as he struggled to get that frame moving.

As I drove on, I saw majority of my fellow Nigerians milling around their office entrances (just closing from work), around eateries (getting their evening meals), or just gathered together gisting and gossiping. Then a thought struck me and immediately the situation presented me with the reason for this disparity, all the white people I saw jogging where not doing it because they needed a slimmer frame, they were doing it so they could maintain themselves, while my Nigerian jogger obviously needed some long overdue exercise.

The maintenance culture is one that is still yet to gain a strong foothold in our society. We see a lack of it in government and privately owned establishment and also in our private lives. We spend a lot of money procuring items, cars, phones, and other gadgets only to allow these things fall into misuse, disuse, and fall apart due to a lack of maintenance and or management. It is so bad that even the small progress we make in certain aspects of our lives, are soon lost due to mismanagement.

When was the last time you went for a health check that was not necessitated by an un-well feeling? Many of us carry illnesses around that we never know about until it takes its toll on our body, and we start fighting an advanced stage. This hit home recently when I lost a friend to diabetes, a condition he never knew existed; an avoidable loss of such a promising young fellow.

Every aspect of our lives needs to be maintained and managed properly, its only in doing so that we can learn from our mistakes with a view to not repeating them and also carry on to greater heights the progress we occasionally make.

We have national edifices like the National Stadiums in Lagos and Abuja, National Theater in Lagos, and many more, as relics instead of icons; especially when compared with similar projects built at the same time in developed countries. All these simply because we cannot spend the required time and funds necessary for maintenance and or proper management.

Maintenance and management is even more relevant to us here as it is better to pursue the prevention option than to chase the cure option that is usually more elusive in our society.

If the older generation missed it, we cannot afford to follow suit. Now more than ever it is pertinent to our continued survival that we indoctrinate the maintenance culture in ourselves and our children. Our natural resources and their application to us and the environment have to be managed properly, this may be singing an old song but it’s a song that needs to be sung. Global warming, environmental issues, socio-economic upheavals are just a couple of glaring examples why this must happen.

Let us in this part of the world not think that the effects are far from us, they are much closer than we think. We need to have a paradigm shift and start doing what is necessary to adequately manage ourselves and teach those around us how they too can do same.

We can do it.

God bless Nigeria.