“Do you know who I am?”
If you’re Nigerian, you’ve probably said this to someone or someone has said it to you at some point.
Meant to intimidate, to silence and to generate deference to whatever unsavory and/or illegal act from the maker of the statement.
That is the language of the Nigerian. Intimidation.
We speak it, we understand it, we use it, we do not question it until we become the victims.
And then, we turn around and do it to the next person. the bullied becoming the bully. We do it to each other.
Someone owes you money and you pay a couple of policemen to arrest your debtor.
Someone critiques your work of art and you remind them how much money you make.
You jump the queue at the grocery store or at the bank, someone calls you out and you scream “do you know who I am”?
You threaten employees and subordinates with a sack each time you’re displeased because you have to “show them you’re the boss”
It’s not enough that you’re respected, other people must be made to feel small, insignificant and be obsequious to you.
It’s not enough that people have to beg you to do what you’re being paid to as a service provider, they have to grovel and slip you “a little something”.
Intimidation. Default Nigerian position.
Why are we the way we are?