March 16, 2013 – My Oga At The Top Poem By Charles Novia: Nigerian Movie Producer Shares Perspective On Obafaiye Shem
Popular Nollywood movie producer and critic Charles Novia recently shares his own take on the viral My Oga at the top comedy that started last week on Channels TV breakfast show.
Lagos state commandant of Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, Mr Obafaiye Shem has been suspended for a professional blunder he committed on live TV after he forgot the name of his boss and the website address of his organization.
Read Charles Novia‘s take on My Oga at the top below
As hilarious as this may be to millions of people, it is also a sad reminder of our societal genuflection as a people. The whole apparatus of the Nigerian administrative organogram is strangleheld by so many ‘Ogas on top’. An effective ‘checks-and-balances’ system which works seamlessly in other climes is made impotent here in Nigeria by a wicked system of administrative despotism. Nothing gets done except the top guns approves, even your visiting the restroom!
It’s more shameful in the political landscape where there are so many ‘Ogas on top’ that no one ever knows who the buck stops with unless it comes to sharing money looted from the national till.
‘The Oga on top’ syndrome is really not new in Nigeria. It has always been there. It was just given a new colouration by Commandant Shem and found a new acceptance by the vibrant and active social media crowd who are always looking out for catch-phrases. Within a few hours of the short clip being posted on youtube, a hurriedly produced song had been streamed with the phrase as its chorus and now T-shirts with the emblazoned phrase are being sold! It is good to see how Nigerians in mirth have accepted the phrase, which is a stark portrayal of the drudgery of our social and political aspirations.
Someone told me this morning that the phrase seems to have caught on among the market women. His wife went to the market to buy Catfish and the seller in trying to catch her attention screamed; ‘Costomer, come buy my fish for your Oga on top’!
Another fellow sent me a mail this morning in which he narrated that while driving along Sanusi Fafunwa Street in Lagos last night after closing from work, he could have sworn the call girls standing along the road called out. ‘ Honey, stop naa! My oga on top, come naaa’! God help us.
Perhaps soon, in wedding ceremonies in Churches and registries, the marriage vows would be rephrased to ‘ Do you promise to marry your ‘oga on top..’ and to love and cherish, till death …’ Perhaps, we just might have another phrase for a ‘Madam on top’ and I don’t think the meaning of that would be far removed from the bedroom, if the missionaries stop making their positions known on this matter. All pun intended.
So, who really is this nebulous ‘Oga on top’ we joke about? It is that innate fellow in you who believes the world must stand still if you are not a factor in getting things done. Everyone is just an ‘oga on top’ that you really wonder who then is the person below. No one wants to accept full responsibility for either personal or collective failings. Everyone is just an Oga, down to the clerk in the office.
How about this poem I just wrote: and if any you are going to lift this poem, kindly credit it to the original author; me.
My Oga At the Top Poem By Charles Novia
‘My Oga on top
Make you chop so me sef fit chop
Nor finish the water for my cup
Or wetin I go drink if you nor stop?
My oga on top,
nor drive pass my bus stop
becos you dey Aso Rock.
Nor forget say me sef wan chop
from dat national sower sop.
My oga on top,
Nor chop cake come give me lollipop
Or else your show go flop.
I don warn you, my oga on top.’
[By Nollywood movie producer Charles Novia]