Tuesday, May 2, 2017 3:54 pm
By Ifedayo Babalola
Interviewer: You are the Senegalese Information and Culture Minister.
Minister: Thank you.
Interviewer: Sir. During the campaigns, you were very visible and vocal. However, after the elections, you have been very muted, only coming out to make occasional statements.
Minister: You miss me for sure. That is what happens after elections everywhere. You know why? Because elections are very stressful. After each one, you have four years to rest. I am even trying. I still make appearances. Where is Olisah Metuh? And even Hillary? So. We are having a bit of rest. We will be back. Fully.
Interviewer: In that case, we must be grateful to CNN for bringing you out from your rest?
Minister: There are invitations you can’t resist. Besides, having The CNN talk to us is further proof that Nigeria is really out of recession.
Interviewer: You were asked who makes the best jollof rice? Why did you name Senegal?
Minister: It was trick question. You cant win with any answer. Even if I mentioned Cameroon or Ghana, you will still complain.
Besides, you don’t know these Oyinbo people. Before you know it, there will be news all over the world that Nigeria has no more crude oil and that we only depend on oily jollof rice for forex. Jollof rice for forex! Can you imagine that? They want to disgrace us; but I’m smarter than them.
Interviewer: But why Senegal?
Minister: No reason. I wasnt expecting the question; and when it came, Senegal jumped out of my mouth. Time was tight, no time to consider all three options.
Interviewer: If you had the chance again, would you answer differently?
Minister: Maybe…. If they make it a multiple choice question. Or if I have as much time as we are normally given on Nigerian TV to answer.
Look. We have ended up helping a fellow West African country. Senegal has got a mention on CNN…Probably for the first and the last time, and they are grateful for it.
Interviewer: They told you that?
Minister: They have… They are….They will. I’m sure they will come to thank their big brother.
Interviewer: You were full of praises for Nollywood.
Minister: That is a different matter. We are proud of Nollywood.
Interviewer: I understand we are making much forex exporting Nollywood —
Minister: Oh yes. But we can make even much more.
Interviewer: Can you let our readers have an idea of government’s plan?
Minister: Simple. We’ll make much more by exporting the actors and directors. We’ll send them abroad. Let them go and work there and send Dollars home.
Interviewer: You think they can compete with those at Hollywood?
Minister: Don’t misinterpret me. I didn’t say they will go to America to direct and act. I said they will go to work like their brothers over there and send Dollars home.
Interviewer: Where is Mr. President?
Minister: What do you mean who is Mr. President? Are you having a Babachir moment?
Interviewer: Sir. My question was ‘Where is Mr. President?’
Minister: Aren’t you people tired of asking that question? As for me I’m sick and tired.
Interviewer: Sorry sir. Can we offer you a glass of water?
Minister: It’s not a water matter. I will be be okay if everyone stops asking me that question. In any case, The Presidents health is not in question.
Minister: People have made so much ado about the idea that he will be working from home. Doesn’t everyone work from home these days? Especially you bloggers. For example, when end up posting the report of this interview, do you have to go to your office to do that? If you ever get to the top, you will find that there is little difference between blogging and governance. There are even softwares you can use these days to shake hands from home.
Therefore, you should credit the president for joining the young, modern generation of work-from-homers. After all, we have delivered in our promise to bring Nigeria into the next century.
Can I have some water now?
Minister: Thank you.
Interviewer: Hmm. Quite impressive. It’s also on record, sir that The President promised to lead by example and–
Minister: Thanks for reminding me. Oh yes! But don’t be in a hurry. In a little while, the whole cabinet may follow suit.
Interviewer: You mean?
Minister: Work from home of course. Actually, many of us do that already.
Interviewer: Your caps sir. A lot of people have been wary of the crescent insignia on them.
Minister: What about my caps?
Interviewer: What does it represent? Wouldn’t it be better, since you love images, to replace it with the map or flag of the nation?
Minister: Logo is different from map or flag. Look very well and read between the lines. I have the logo of Nigeria on my caps. If was not so, you think I would be allowed to wear them?
Interviewer: Finally sir. Some other cabinet members have disagreed with you……They say Nigeria’s jollof rice is best.
Minister: Hahahaha! Well well well. Who is the real Lair now? Eh? Go figure!
Interviewer: Thank you, Mr. Minister.
Minister: You welcome.
Ifedayo Babalola, writer and satirist, writes from Ibadan.