Wait, don’t hiss and turn away. You are part of the problem. Did you not just hiss? That’s razz behaviour. Just hold on, even if you don’t agree with the title, you can still read what I’ve got to say. That is the only fair way to go.
Let’s do a quick definition of keywords and if at the end of this post, I have not proved to you that we are razz and that is the problem then you can type in the comment section that I just wasted five minutes of your life. Deal? Good!
So let us define the two keywords: ‘middle class’ and ‘razz’.
According to one survey the Nigerian middle class earns between 75,000 and 100,000 (These days they earn more, sometimes up to 300k/month) in monthly salary; 43% use the internet; most have a university education; a large percentage send their children to study abroad. Also most of them are below the age of 40. They have other features, but if you can read this, it means you can also use google to find the survey (Yes, razz me!)
Now the unconventional dictionary of pidgin grammar gives razz various definitions.
Razz (n)1. Bush
Razz (n) 2. Lacking in manners or acceptable social behaviour; uncouth
Razz (adj) 3 : Not showing finese
The Nigerian middle class are razz and I shall prove it to you. And after I do, you will come to understand that the middle class’ razzness is our major problem. Eliminate the razzness and we shall birth a new people.
We shall take the definition of razz and match them with the behaviour of the middle class you see daily.
The average middle class man acts bush. No, I dont mean the bush man of the Kalahari a la ‘The gods must be crazy’. Afterall the average middle class person is educated up to university level. He won’t stop and stare at a TV or some other tech equipment trying to figure out what it is. In fact, he may own a number of highend phones and a laptop. But in spite of this, if he owns a car he would be ready to jump a red light if there is no law enforcement in sight. Is that not razz behaviour?
Let’s stay with the car owning middle class person for a while. He will not be willing to stop at a zebra crossing for a pedestrian to make it across the street. No, he’s late for work or that meeting he should be attending. He will curse at other drivers and exhibit all sorts of animal (read bush) behaviour while driving. He hoots unneccesarrily and is generally a nuisance. Do you not meet them on the streets daily?
They don’t all ride cars. They are of the BRT buses in Lagos and other such schemes in various parts of the country, and you find more of them in public transportation. They are the sausage roll eating and soft drink drinking individuals you meet in the buses who are seated next to the waste bin but still drop plastic containers and wrappers on the floor of the bus without any qualms. Tell me please, is this not razz behaviour?
They do not think twice before tossing out sachets of ‘pure water’ out of an open car or bus window nor does it bother them that all the dirt they pile up could block the drains. They wouldnt care to join in environmental cleaning exercises. They would rather lie in bed and hook up with friends in social media. Afterall, they didnt go to the university only to come here and be doing manual labour. Is this razz thinking or is this razz thinking?
I’m not done yet. Don’t ask me to stop. They have great accents some acquired through stay abroad and some required to belong (some sound…oh well, razz). Yet, they lack in character and finese. They do not allow other people to have an opinion and when they see they are losing out in an argument, they will resort to name calling and attacking characters anyway they can. They are totally intolertant of any views that run contrary to thier own. They can and do read but woe betide you if you have written something they disagree with.
But even more profoundly bush is their mob activity. They do not stop to ask themselves pertinent questions this middle class. They will kick against anything that will cause them the slightest discomfort without considering if it is for the greater good. Think of the massive turn out during the anti-subsidy removal protests and the uproar when Fashola banned bikes on major roads in Lagos.
Did I say they can and do read earlier? Well, that is probably not totally true. Most of the time, they refuse to read even though they can! They would rather rely on interpretations and hear say and you can rest assured that they will act based on hearsay. Remember all thje crazy blackberry broadcasts? Who do you think circulate them? Who do you think can afford blackberry phones? So ask: how much more bush can you be if you can read but choose not to?
Do you want me to continue?
Time will fail me if I continue to talk about how the middle class have been so uncouth as to lose their identity, or how morally bankrupt they have become as not be able to tell that bad is bad if it is a friend that is involved. Can anyone get any razzer?
Okay. My time is up or maybe I have been so bush as to not to notice that time is money and so when I say five minutes I should stick to it because people actually have other things to do with their time. I know…razz me! But then again, aren’t we all middle class razz? Yes! We are the problem.