Inspiration

The World Does Not Operate On Nigerian Time

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Never go late to anywhere in the world’

Chika Onyia

1 month before I travel, I am already packing I am already weighing my bags, I have booked a hotel, airline tickets, health insurance, my passport is renewed even before I have a plan to travel. All this last minute something is not me. When I am in Lagos, I like to leave hours before my scheduled flight. I don’t care if there is never traffic at that time, I don’t care if the venue will be closed if I arrive early. You don’t understand. If I ever fail, it will never be because I did not do my best

Every time I have flown by myself, I have arrived at least 6 hours before my flight. Yes o, I will sit at the airport, uncomfortable seats, but if I miss my flight it will not be because I was late. Every time I have flown with others, I have lied about flight time, so that “when” they arrive late, at least they arrive on time. I have volunteered to get the hotel room paid near the airport and even helped pack. I am not missing my flight because you have no value for time and if I ever do… Good luck dealing with me when I craze for you as a result “Nigerian Time” (Lateness) is one of the most annoying things I hear, it is not an acceptable culture for me.

See, this post is not just about standing people up, keeping people waiting, not showing up, not meeting deadlines, even though that is also important. Don’t be that person.  Maybe you are getting away with that because the people in your life either don’t value themselves enough or they love you too much they rather you are late than never. People who are always late, most are because they think you will always be there waiting for them to show up… hehehehe and they can always explain their way back to your existence. You may be letting them get away with that, but one day they will come face to face with someone who has zero tolerance for that behaviour and will rather be alone than take that BS (because that is what it is) and they will be left there, staring into nothingness

No one is ever late for a moving train. If that time slot was the only opportunity they had in their lifetime if it meant they would never get another shot, trust me, they will be there on time!  But I digress, I take punctuality personal because time is all I have to refuse to build competence in lateness, certain doors will never open for you because of this and even when it does… will you make it in time? Many people have lost opportunities because they were late once or twice, there are levels in life that even your expertise will not save you, you are not there, you are not there, period. No one gives a damn who the hell you think you are.

I spent a lot of time in the entertainment industry with brand-sponsored events who literally tell artists who miss their slots that they can no longer perform, no one cares that you have been paid. I remember twice, after payment, an artist arrived late and Tuface who was meant to close the show was already on stage. The late artist wanted to perform after Tuface. He begged, gave excuses and the brand manager said “No one performs after Tuface, he is the final act and if he could arrive 2 hours before, you have no business here”

You would think that they will allow him to perform, after being paid 1M naira, twice… well he had been paid anyway, even though he did not perform (probably felt like a baddo for being paid to do nothing but show up late) but he never got called again and also missed the MTN Ambassadorship. He also never got called by any other agency (that host events for big brands) to perform at any event, even the free. He was simply bad for business Don’t go and put yourself in an unredeemable adventure.

What happens when you miss the Sunrise? You may think “oh I’ll just wait another day” Before you get excited that you can pick up tomorrow, understand the world we “don’t” know does not operate with a clock, it does not have morning, afternoon or night, there is just time. You don’t know when the sun will rise again So when the opportunities come, you better crush the life out of it Because the world does not operate on Nigerian time.

Love, MH

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