Welcome Guest

You are viewing this forum as a guest therefore You are Not Allowed to Post and Reply and You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login


* Search

* Recent Replies

SEO for my wordpress news page by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Oct 19, 2016]

adding a login page and registration page to a site by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Oct 12, 2016]

Questions on website building. by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Oct 08, 2016]

site review by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Oct 08, 2016]

Question on links by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Oct 08, 2016]

Implication of CBN Governor's statement by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Oct 04, 2016]

Adsense did not accept my request by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Aug 04, 2016]

What is Revenuehits by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Aug 04, 2016]

Get Paid to Write an E-Book by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Aug 02, 2016]

netcontacts real or scam by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 29, 2016]

How to Start Amazon affiliate marketing by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 29, 2016]

Can I use One website for Adsense, amazon and Information Marketing? by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 29, 2016]

Traffic generation for clickbank offer/product by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 22, 2016]

installing simple machine forum to once site by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 13, 2016]

Link not working by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 07, 2016]

Website Showcase - Drop Your Website Link(s) Here by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 07, 2016]

My weblog wasn't accepted into adsense by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jul 05, 2016]

Guest Posting by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 28, 2016]

Social Networks Addresses - Drop Your Link by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 22, 2016]

65 Website Traffic & Link Building Techniques by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 22, 2016]

No place like home by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 07, 2016]

Are PAYER and PAYONEER the same? by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 06, 2016]

Please help me...i just made $1.5 with adsense since 2014 by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 02, 2016]

Donwizy by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 02, 2016]

confused about promoting my first amazon product by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 01, 2016]

How to get the best Nigerian web hosting by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 01, 2016]

Amazon registration in becoming an affiliate 2016 by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 01, 2016]

Please help by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[Jun 01, 2016]

identification using without national id or drivers license by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[May 26, 2016]

MBE 104_7_Building a Forum. by [Not Shown, Login to View]
[May 18, 2016]

Author Topic: Celebrating Mediocrity  (Read 160 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline [Not Shown, Login to View]

  • Forum Guide
  • Level 4 (Dedicated)
  • ******
  • Posts: 1052
  • Respect: +266
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Ibadan, Oyo State of Nigeria
  • 1st Chamber
  • My Rank: 84
Celebrating Mediocrity
« on: Apr 02, 2013 »
I used to think corruption was Nigeria’s biggest problem, but I’m starting to doubt that. Every time I probe into one of the many issues this country is encountering, at the core I find the same phenomenon: the widespread celebration of mediocrity. Unrebuked underachievement seems to be the rule in all facets of society. A governor building a single road during his entire tenure is revered like the next Messiah; an averagely talented author who writes a colourless book gets sponsored to represent Nigerian literature overseas; and a young woman with no secretarial skills to speak of gets promoted to the oga’s office faster than any of her properly trained colleagues.

Needless to say the politician is probably hailed by those awaiting part of the loot he is stealing; the writer might have got his sponsorship from buddies he has been sucking up to in hagiographies paid for by the subjects; and the young woman’s promotion is likely to be an exchange for carnal knowledge or the expectancy of it. So some form of corruption plays a role in all of these examples.

But corruption per se does not necessarily stand in the way of development. Otherwise a country like Indonesia—number 118 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, not that far removed from Nigeria’s 139—would never have made it to the G-20 group of major economies. An even more serious obstacle to development is the lack of repercussions for underachievement. Who in Nigeria is ever held accountable for substandard performance?

Since I started using internet, I have been on a futile search for a stable internet connection that does what it promises. I started with an MTN Fast Link modem (I consider the name a cruel joke), and then I moved on to an Etisalat MiFi connection (I regularly had to keep myself from throwing the bloody thing against the wall), and now I am trying out Cobranet’s U-Go. I shouldn’t have bothered: equally crap. And everyone knows this. They groan and mutter and tweet about it. But still, to my surprise, no one calls for a class-action suit against those deceitful providers.

A one-day conference I attended last year left me equally puzzled. Organization, attendance and outcome left a lot to be desired, if you ask me. But over cocktails, after the closing ceremony, everyone congratulated each other over the wonderful conference—that started two hours late, of which the most animated part was undeniably lunch, and in which not a single tangible decision had been made. This left me wondering whether we had attended the same event.

I thought these issues to be unrelated at first, but gradually I came to see the connection. Nigeria is the opposite of a meritocracy: you do not earn by achieving. You get to be who and where you are by knowing the right people. Whether you work in an office, for an enterprise or an NGO, at a construction site or in government, your abilities hardly ever are the reason you got there. Performing well, let alone with excellence, is not a requirement, in fact, it is discouraged. It would be too threatening: showing you’re more intelligent, capable or competent than the ‘oga at the top’ (who, as a rule, is not an overachiever either) is career suicide. It is an attitude that trickles down from the very top, its symptoms eventually showing up in all of society, from bad governance to bad service to bad craftsmanship.

Where excellence meets no gratification, what remains to be celebrated is underachievement. That is why it is not uncommon to find Nigerians congratulating each other with substandard results. It is safer to cuddle up comfortably in shared mediocrity than to question it, since the latter might also expose your own less than exceptional performance. Add to this the taboo of criticizing anyone senior or higher up and it explains why so many join in the admiration of the emperor’s new clothes.

The hardest thing to do in Nigeria is to continue to realize there is honor in achievement and pride in perfection. I imagine the frustration of the many Nigerians who do care for their work, who take pride in their outcomes and who feel the award is in a job well done. When you know beforehand that excellence will not be rewarded, you are bound to do the economically sane thing and limit your investments to accomplishing the bare minimum. This makes Nigeria a pretty cumbersome place for anyone striving for perfection.

Best regards,

Aare MacFally

Knowledge Is Power – Seek For It


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
Last post Mar 17, 2014
by [Not Shown, Login to View]

TinyPortal © 2005-2011
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal