I have not written in what to me seems like a while. I had initially set a target of writing at least once a week. I would love to blame school work but then I think I have been procrastinating on my writing. I have let school work, a budding social life and a general addiction to sports and TV get in the way of my writing. Also I did not feel like writing a Valentine’s Piece or about Whitney Houston (RIP).
To the topic at hand, Nigerian/African/Colored People Time. To give a little background I would say that I am one of the most punctual people you would ever meet if I can help it. I arrive in class 10 minutes ahead of time, prefer to go to social events such as parties and concerts ahead of time to scope the venue and relax before the crowd gets too much. General exceptions are when I am with a group of people. There is nothing that really pisses me off like trying to coordinate a group of people. Absolutely nothing. That is why some of the best time I have is going out solo. I am not that weird. I do like meeting new people, what I am not particularly fond of are people I already know who will show up late and act like it is the most natural thing in the world. Which brings me to the definition of Nigerian/African/Colored People Time,
In Nigeria it is called Nigerian time, I have even heard of Kenyan time, There is African time and in the climes of the USA there is Colored People Time. (a) – I really think the term Colored is antiquated and might give a clue to the historical origins of the term, (b) – If Colored refers to people of Color then it is surprising that the stereotype is not also associated with Asian people
Nigerian/African/Colored People Time is a stereotype created by God knows who (perhaps an observant racist?), which shamefully has some basis in fact that states that a group of people be they Nigerian, African, Black have a propensity to be fashionably late even when being fashionably late is undesirable. If you have an appointment with a person of the above stated group and the person is anything beyond the normal accepted limit (Normally up to 30 minutes) without a plausible apology then my dear friend you might have just witnessed Nigerian/African/CPT at work. The same concept applies to events where the organizers start the event sometimes 2 hours after the scheduled time without an explanation. You know what, I think Black People must have found out the secret of time dilation/travel or something because if someone shows up 2 hours late doesn’t that mean that they are already in the future while you are still mad that they weren’t there in the past on time (warped logic?)
It is a damn shame that this negative stereotype is one of the things I have observed that we of the African/Black diaspora seem to have in common. This is not to say I believe all people of color tend to be late, that would be racist against myself (or self-hating) but it is one of those things that make me shake my head anytime I witness it. It is absolutely unprofessional and frankly classless for the most part.
I actually started writing this because I went to a D’banj concert and I was pleasantly surprised that the event started an hour and a half after the doors opened. Now I do not know the protocol on these things. I just think that it is a shame that I have come to expect tardiness at Nigerian/black events that when something starts less than two hours after the announced time, I get excited. I find that I have become more forgiving of this behavior. I have subconsciously made a mental note never to arrive at a Nigerian social event before time. The best you will get from me is right on time. If it is a professional event, I would be there before time.
In general I have a principle that works for me when it comes to appointment and events. I arrive on time in case of any unforeseen problems. If it is a date. I rather be there 20 or 30 minutes ahead of time to make sure I find the right place. If it is possible see what the menu prices are so I am mentally prepared. Scope out the neighborhood and get comfortable. I might even get a drink before my appointment/date arrives. This makes my life easier and instantly puts me at ease. When the person arrives, being there on time shows that you cared enough about the person to be there on time. If you ask me not only is CPT unprofessional it highly not sexy or attractive.
If you are Nigerian/African/Black, do yourself a favor do not be late to things you are making all of us look bad. Be a positive role model of how things should be. Rep your hood and I mean that in the most positive of ways. Its 2012, America has a black president, a lot of African countries have black president. So can we try to be on time? Thanks.
In the end, life is short. Make the best use of your time. You never if you have just 21 seconds to go.