During the week, news made the rounds that billionaire oil magnate, Femi Otedola, has taken up the bills of veteran actor, Victor Olaitan, who has been down for some time now.
The Tinsel actor has been suffering from health complications after he had an accident two years ago. I can bet that his life savings, that of his family members and close friends must have gone into his treatment.
Still, he needed a whopping $50,000 more to settle his medical bills. I cannot even imagine how frustrated his family must have been before they decided to go to the public to ask for help.
A GoFundMe account was opened for him just before Otedola heard of his plight and offered to pay his medical bills. Great guy!
Honestly, I am happy for Victor and his family but which way Nigeria? How many Otedolas are we supposed to have out there who would be willing to help out? And how many people can Otedola pay medical bills for?
What sort of country is this that we are all one major illness away from GoFundMe? If it was a joke before, it’s no longer funny. It could be anybody. You fall ill and watch your life savings go down the drain.
Health care is so expensive because most government hospitals are not even operating up to half of their capacities, so people have to use private hospitals and rack up bills equivalent to the cost of an arm and a leg.
A few days before Victor’s story broke, a young man who got admitted into the Law School couldn’t afford his fees, so he came to the social media to ask for help.
In a few hours, the money was complete with many ‘kind-hearted’ Nigerians donating their widow’s mites; the young man was overwhelmed with joy and posted his appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him out.
There are hundreds of cases like that on social media, every day.
On the family level, it’s the same thing; some relative gets sick or needs fund for school and everyone has to contribute or ‘add something’ to the local GoFundMe account.
Just last week, on my way to church, some area boys stopped us and asked us to contribute to the fixing of our street road.
The entrance to the street was badly damaged and it had been so for a long while until the boys decided to fix it themselves after waiting for eternity for government to do ‘something’.
We all contributed whatever we could: N50, N100, N200, N500, all join. By evening, they had started work on the road, and now we can all use it in peace.
But at the end of the month, my salary will be deducted for tax, and Ambode’s face will be smiling down at me from the Lekki Toll Gate advert space saying, ‘your taxes make Lagos work.’
How long are we going to crowdfund everything? Why does nothing work in this country? Is it health care? Education? Infrastructure nko? Common electricity sef, we don’t have.
The only thing we are good at is to win Jollof rice wars with Ghana and Senegal.
It’s such a shame!