Another Nigerian phenomenon

Image courtesy of Channels TV Nigeria

Oga — Nigerian term for boss.
Earned as a result of status or wealth. Typically well to do and at least of above average means or with assets or access to using or acquiring assets.

I remember the day our gardener in Ikoyi “Baba John” first called me “Oga Victor” it felt weird. The gardener was a man who knew me as a kid while still in school, and he was now referring to me as “Oga”. I shrugged it off until I started hearing it repeated by the security guards and others. I later realised what it meant; I was expected to play the role and “perform” by giving out the rewards of achieving that status.

“It was never wise for a ruler to eschew the trappings of power, for power itself flows in no small measure from such trappings.” — Melisandre, Game of Thrones.

With all of these issues, why do people still crave the “Oga” title or position so much in Nigeria? Why do some people want it so badly that they commit crimes or even go bankrupt to keep up appearances? It is because being an Oga also has its perks. A lot of people build major fortunes by doing things others cannot question because “Ogas are meant to be respected.” This power distance is very important for the Nigerian ego. It is also why a lot of Nigerian organisations are grossly mismanaged and why cronyism remains pervasive in society.

I eat Nigerian Jollof and I write things. That is what I do. Chief Fanatic @ Manchester United FC.