Leadership Lessons on a Friday Night
It was the 2nd day of November, in the year 2012. I was at the redemption camp. I had been there for two days for the on-going Leadership Training Program, and this Friday night was Holy Ghost night, so the camp was packed full with people and cars as is usual on nights like this.
The time, I think, was between 7 and 8pm, as we were getting settled for the night’s program to begin, Joshua and I strolled to the side of the arena to get some water, sweets and gala. On our way back we met Dupe going to get some food. She was walking alone, and we, looking to be gentlemen, decided we walk her.
So we turned back and went with her. As we went, we searched with our eyes for a place we could get food. She wanted somewhere she could buy food and take away.
Soon we found one. The setting was cool. Open air, comfortable seats and tables arranged like you would find in gardens. Pretty. We walked to the counter, and I was impressed at how organized they were.
You get on a queue and the guy at the cash register takes your order, and when you pay, get your receipt, then you pass it to the attendants on the other end of the counter who take your receipt and serve you.
I turned to look at ‘Dupsy’, who nodded – we were both impressed. Josh wasn’t close enough to join in the nodding. She even told how she has always had plans to set up something like this; her plan though had an extra touch of organization that I wouldn’t share here.
Sincerely, this place impressed us.
Then, it started taking forever to get our tickets to the guys across the counter. We might not have noticed too much had it not been for this very fair man, who I’ll be calling Mr Ben, smartly dressed, just ahead of us on the ‘supposed’ queue.
Supposed because apparently, people stopped queuing when they got their receipts, and once they got to the counter, just stretch their tickets across, not minding whether anyone had been there before them.
‘You should attend to those on the queue’. He said in very British accent. ‘When you run a place like this, you should be organized.’
‘When people come, ask them to join the queue.’ He added.
The attendants didn’t seem to mind him, then he started calling for the owner of the place. No one seemed to want to claim to own the place at that point because the man was obviously upset, one woman then walked to the man and asked to take his order, but he refused, saying, ‘serve this woman, she was here before me’.
As all of these ensued, most people kept mute and watched, while others, as is typical of us, started whining about how Nigerians can only be helped by God.
In one man’s words, ‘Nigeria! Only God can help us’
Mr Ben replied him and said, ‘you don’t do the right thing and you’re waiting for God to help you’, he added, ‘is this what Daddy G.O. preaches?’
‘We fly expensive planes and go to other people’s countries and follow the rules there, but immediately we get back, we return to doing things wrong’. He continued, ‘If that’s not shameful to you as a Nigerian, it’s shameful to me’.
At that point, something snapped inside me; here is someone pained by his nation’s shame.
We eventually got our food after him, but I couldn’t take my mind off all he had said.
I left there with a resolve to be a Nigerian with a difference. A responsible Nigerian.
Too many of our problems exist because of a little impatience here and another there. It’s then up to you if you’ll be a part of the problem.
Note: conversations here are not quoted word for word