A careful look at ourselves will show you how gifted we are in this country. We are so gifted, when presented with a gift we retaliate with a gift. Just so the account is balanced or like they say in local parlance "1-1 goalless draw". Otherwise, you will then owe the person who gave you the gift and that could be dangerous. Because, people who we owe favours do not quantify the favour they gave when they call on such favours. You will find a man that gave you a lift from your office on a rainy day when your car would not start, 10 years ago, call on that favour by asking for a loan of N10 million! As as how?!!!. Kila gbe, kile ju?... Meaning, one good turn deserves another... Not a head on a platter of gold!
Recently, a guy who gave me A BUS TICKET when I forgot mine in the hostel, to ride from Emuado to the main Campus of Bendel State University, Ekpoma, in 1988, called in for his favour and guess what he wanted? A N1MILLION LOAN. He even brought the ticket issue up while he was trying to refresh my memory. To him, the times he slept in my room, back then on the main campus, during exams and when he had an early test or lecture the next day did not even us out. It got me thinking... How much is a single bus ticket as a gift+interest?
Gifts by definition are supposed to be unsolicited things. Not anymore. Some girls will beg one guy for the sim card as a gift. Cajole for the blackberry as another gift fron another mugu. Beg another maga for the Credit and BIS... But when they ask for a return of the favour.. It becomes, "because you buy me ordinary phone?" e ordinary na him you no buy am yourself?!!!!!
Good example of where people expect to get a gift in return for a gift they give, is a wedding. Believe it or not, some people have been known to take their gifts home when it was clear that the couple or their families were not giving gifts or souvenirs to guests. Some even do it just because it was only moi moi they had all through the event. It has to be mentioned that the gifts at weddings have gone from clocks to the most unthinkable. When I say all sorts of gifts I mean aaaaaaaaaaaasssall sorts. From ridiculous to shocking. Was at a wedding the other day in Kano, part of the gifts shared to guests were mosquito coil. Had to check my card to be sure it was not a roll back malaria program. Funny thing is, people reach out to collect them. Some even grovel and beg for them. To think that at a time in this country, I used to ask where all the women kept the plastics (bucket, bowls, parkers,fans, trays,etc)!
Come to think of it, did you know some men, and sadly, women, think that their gifts are tools for making someone date them? What happenened to plain toasting? This kind of gifts for love if often peculiar with rich Men and women who think money is everything. If you watch AFRICAN MOVIE MAGIC, I believe this would be stale gist. The part that then becomes unthinkable is how the person who offered the gift behaves when they discover that the love interest did not respond as expected. Can you beat that? I know an NNA guy who asked for the refund of all the gifts he had given a Female banker... Unknown to him, she had kept all. She detested him that much. I can not describe how embarrassed he was when he saw all the gifts returned.
Still on the issues of relationships, I bet you know, if you also watch NOLLYWOOD movies, that a girl can be given as a gift to a a man as wife. You didn't know? I surprised you didn't know. Even wives I hear, in the middle belt of Nigeria, could be given to some distinguished guests as a gift for the night. Now I wish Jay-Z was from that part of the country... The line of special guests will start from Otukpo and reach Arondizogwu.
Even in politics and business. Its now the norm. Pardon me, I think its now generally agreed that politics is business. So its now a case of, You rub my back I rub yours or the back of anyone to whom the favour has been transfered. If I give you a gift of $620,000.00 I expect you to exempt me from anything that would cost me billions of naira. It may be through a sting operation, but when the poopoo hits the fan, it usually doesn't sting, it bites. And when it bites it could as well cost you your hard earned reputation. Assuming you had any. Call it whatever you want. Bribe, egunje, deve, settlement... Same same.
If you want to know how generous we are with gifts in this country, watch out for how people congratulate Nigerians who are made MINISTERS or heads of very vital organisations. Before the newscaster finishes the name of the person, cars and new furniture would be on the way to the house of the new appointee. AS A GIFT!!! Just to congratulate him or her for the new office... Yeah right!
In all honesty, there are usually gifts that are given to people for genuine appreciation. These are the types that the giver would not be expecting anything back. In fact, should not be. Like Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga or Femi Otedola giving me a gift... If they expect anything in return, nothing for them. If they nurse that thought they would be sleeping on a bicycle. Some have attempted to reciprocate the kind gestures of Big Men... Sorry, Your gift will just end up being a recycled gift. A friend had bought her boss a wristwatch. Only for the man's driver to be wearing it one day when she visited. In all fairness to the boss, he just may even have forgotten that it was a gift. He opens the wardrobe with all sorts of gift items and blesses anyone with whatever he feels. And your gift happened to be that.
Wait o! Have noticed some people always come to some parties and make others look bad buy bringing a gift? As soon as they appear, the others that did not bring anything begin to feel bad, you think? MSCHEEEEW!! Feel bad my foot! My invite did not say bring a gift! Over SABI people.