Opinion: How to celebrate your birthday in Nigeria

by Vincent Nwilo

Happy birthday

If you live in a public compound, you would understand this: your neighbours rate you according to the friends who come to visit you. The friends you are inviting should dress properly.

You have finally added another year to your many official years. That is a great feat. First, you have to go to your Facebook page and like all the birthday wishes that has been abandoned there for your attention. A lot of retards will write “HBD” on your wall. Don’t fret. It means “Happy Birthday.” Most of them are quite busy to type the actual words so you have to learn how to oversee these trivialities. No cause for control, everything is under alarm. Some very shy people will send you long prayers via inbox. It is not out of place. Go there and write “Tanks”. It is the new way of saying: I do appreciate you. That phase is done. The next is the actual celebration.

Draw a list of your very loyal friends. You know those people who are always there for you, inviting you to drink a beer when you are too broke to afford any. Yes. Those are the friends I am actually referring to. Get them invited via SMS. It’s cheaper that way. Be selective in your invitation. Don’t do it out of excitement. There are friends who are heartless. A round of food does not satisfy them. A bottle of beer is just a starter for them. Please keep those friends at bay. Invite only those who you can monitor – those with credible track record. Life is too hard in Nigeria to invite such outrageous spoilt Nigerians who are inconsiderate. Yes. That is the term, inconsiderate.

You can’t do without a birthday cake. No. The ritual will be incomplete and very unbalanced without a cake with your name branded on it. There must have been a sister in your church or around your neighbourhood who had given you a call-card, showing tiny pictures of cakes and other services she offers. You must contact her and argue price with her on the phone. Remember, it is your birthday, you don’t negotiate, you argue it out and she would consider you, maybe her first customer, and she would give you a discount, after vowing that the icing would not be added due to the small amount you have finally agreed to pay. It does not matter. Who needs icing on a cake anyways! Are those things not for kids, those fat kids who you see on TV? You can do without it. There are many more important things and icing is not even on the list. Thank her and drop the call. That part of the day has been treated. Move on to the next item.

If you live in a public compound, you would understand this: your neighbours rate you according to the friends who come to visit you. The friends you are inviting should dress properly. They should Iron their shirts and Jean trousers. They should put on cute suits even if the sun is hot. The sun has nothing to do with clothes in Nigeria. I am sure God has blessed you so much to afford an “I-Pass-My-Neighbour Generator.” And you have an industrial fan too in your two-rooms-apartment. Don’t be worried. That will take care of them just the way the wind would. Just arrange the seats in the best place, in front of the fan and their problems will be over.

You need to buy frozen chicken and fish. Call one of those boys who greet you every morning on your way to work, who is a self taught expert in roasting. That is called barbecue. Yes. Let him add some sauce and arrange the fish or meat so fine over the fire so that it will come out tasty. People will respect you once this is done. I would also advice you get a Disc Jockey. You already have a ‘Home Theatre’ sound system in your house so you don’t need much. There is that stray boy who has refused to cut his hair on your street. He adorns himself with the so-called Rastafarian colours. He will be useful. Nowadays everyone has the Virtual-DJ software on his system so be guaranteed of a bumper party. Life is great, I tell you.

The party has to last till the wee of the morning. Make sure that there is enough fuel in the generator. Don’t send anyone to buy it. Please go get the bloody fuel in person so you are not cheated. You have to act wise so people will classify you as discreet and meticulous. All these words are not in vain. They make you outstanding on the street.

You know that staying alive in Nigeria is a big project. It is an uneasy task. You battle with air pollution and incessant black out. You struggle to get drinkable water. You virtually fight in the bank to collect your own money from the counter where the female worker would intermediately eye you for tips, push forth her exposed cleavage to you so you can see how much she is worth or she ignores you for life once you can’t detect her pulled strings. So you have survived all these traumas, you need to celebrate well.

There are the ever efficient Boko Haram b__tards everywhere, even in the Nigerian air. They kill anything, humans and animals or insects. God has protected your head all these years. Your relations have had no reason to cry and throw cuss words to God and the government. You probably made trips across Nigerian states. You saw accident scenes or you heard them through your effervescent friends on Facebook and Twitter, those who share horrific videos and pictures without remorse and compel you to share it or type a ‘yes’ to watch a magic unravel or be cursed for life. So you see, you are a lucky Nigerian chap, don’t mind the bad-belle people who will tell you that you are jobless. Ignore them. Oluwa is involved and he needs to be properly appreciated.

The party must have been on a Saturday night so on Sunday you would be in church. The church is very vital. That is the place where you will have to speak all the new words of the English language during your testimony time, all the words you have learned during the year. Yes. You have to give a testimony of how God had saved you from the hands of a woman who probably denied you of sex throughout your one week relationship but kept demanding money for Brazilian hair and money to get a Black Berry Z20. Your testimony will help other brethrens to be at an alert. You must be a wise man. It is your birthday so the pastor will expect you to come for offering as many times as possible. So you must have broken down the One Thousand Naira note into 20 equal places to enable you beat his expectations.

During the offering, you have to dance so much that you would reveal your belt. Yes. You must have bought yourself a brand new Louis Vuitton belt. Whether fake or real, it is shiny so you don’t have to cover it up. Expose it the way you would expose your new shoes or wrist watch. Life is good. Happy Birthday!


Vincent Nwilo  tweets from @saintvinny


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (4)

  1. very funny, but with much idea. thanks so much!

  2. gosh! u r d best…up Nigeria!!!

  3. OMG! I can’t stop laughing. Funny but real. Rugged Naija, we always look at the brighter side. Am so glad to be a Nigerian.
    Big ups Vincent.

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