It seems like a movement, sorry am running late, he’s not on seat. Today I got thinking, why are Nigerians known for chronic lateness? The more I think of it the less certain I am about the answer, or rather, the answers to why we are consistently late to everything and anything. Everyone is late one time or the other with genuine reasons, but am talking of the habitual late comers who shows up an hour after a scheduled meeting, or when its almost time to serve buffet and share souvenirs at event. Nigerians are known never to keep to time, most at times for no reason, it’s just a norm that has lingered overtime and has eaten deep into the fabric of every aspect of our existence, from presidential elections, to government commissioning projects, music concerts, universities, churches etc. It’s so bad that couples even come late for their wedding, keeping guest seated even the officiating minster and such tardiness is always excused away as being ‘African Time’.
Attitudes that makes us late?
- The notion that people would always come late makes us chronically late
- The uncertainty that Nigerian events never takes off at the scheduled time, makes room for lateness, so they prefer to be late than have to wait
- Lack of respect for one’s time, although they don’t do it out of disrespect
- Tardy arrivers enjoy the attention they get from making entrance
What’s the way forward?
We need to change this culture of lateness amongst us. Firstly, is to begin our meetings without the latecomers. We can begin ceremonies whether or not the late guests have arrived. If this happens to a late comes ones or twice, he would be early next time. This attitude is flourishing because we tolerate it and it’s about time, we get rid of this cloak tardiness.
Simple tips to arrive early
- Wake up to your alarm and start preparing
- For those of us who takes forever to get ready, pick your outfit before time
- Check your clock and stat preparing, estimate how much time you need to get going and thus what time is needed to arrive at your destination. At intervals, check your clock more often as the time approaches to keep up the pace.