Understanding the import of ‘boyhood’ from Ngige’s outbursts – By Okechukwu Nwafor

Some weeks ago, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige directed an uncontrollable tirade at James Faleke, a member of House of Representatives, who was questioning him over an alleged breach of a presidential directive. Ngige said, among many other things, that he is a ‘VI boy’ while Faleke is a ‘Mushin boy.’

For those who do not understand the import of the comparison, these two paradigms represent a stark class distinction. ‘VI’ is the short form of Victoria Island which was the highbrow elite neighborhood in Lagos built by the Colonial administrators and named after Queen Victoria. It was the colonial settler neighborhood, in Lagos Island, which ensured that the postcolonial city of Lagos is gentrified along the poor Mainland and the rich Island. Mushin belongs to one of these impoverished mainlands.

Ngige, therefore, employed this dichotomy to show that he belongs to the rich, upscale Victoria Island neighborhood while Faleke belongs to the impoverished Mushin mainland. In his erratic outpouring, a Mushin boy, obviously a member of the ignoble underclass should not provoke a VI boy, a child of a privileged parentage.

There is a deeper metaphorical signification that comes out of Ngige’s attack. It is not his weird comparison of class using these polarized Lagos neighborhoods but his employment of the ‘boy’ metaphor to illustrate this class.

The import of the boy metaphor reflects Ngige and Faleke’s overall immature outbursts. Ngige indirectly suggests that he and Faleke are still ‘boys’. The meaning of this is that governance in Nigeria is still left in the hands of boys instead of mature men. The reckless trading of invectives by the political class during the House Committee interrogation is an endorsement of this boyhood.

Boys are deemed unripe, incomplete, juvenile, childish, puerile. These are all qualities that presently characterize the Nigerian political class. Ngige is right, after all. Nigeria is still at the mercy of inexperienced boys who lack the maturity and sophistication required for leadership. We are still held captive by rascally adolescent boys who lack the mental and emotional capacity to lead a nation

The Nigerian political leadership is populated by ignorant errand boys who make impulsive decisions that have devastating consequences on us. They also make outrageous outbursts like Ngige and Faleke. Their superficial conclusions have had negative repercussions on the lives of Nigerians. I urge all boys in government to mature into men and stop referring to themselves as boys. Obi cannot continue to be a boy every day. Please the Obi here does not refer to our dear Peter Obi, the best governor Anambra has had so far.




– By Okechukwu Nwafor

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

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