What Is Difficult In Keeping To Time?

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Must there always be a problem with keeping to time especially in African societies? I grew up to hear and know that there is something called ‘African Time’, which simply translates to ‘lateness’ from as many guests as possible to a programme.

For those who indulge in the act of perpetual lateness to every occasion, the importance of the event does not matter; be it a wedding ceremony,  a dedication service or a business meeting. It is  so bad to the point that  some people  even go late  to their own wedding ceremony, thereby causing unnecessary tension with their act of indiscipline with proper time management.

At two different instances, a groom and a bride actually took away the glamour of their ‘D-Day’ by arriving the ceremony very late. Their excuses were not tenable because they did not manage their time properly, or did not consider that it was bad enough to keep the officiating ministers and the guests waiting, let alone their spouse.

In the case of the bride who went late to be joined to her groom, she wanted to look her very best and she was sure that her groom would wait for her. She assumed that if her groom could wait, every other person should too, but the Reverend Father started the Mass in her absence. Rightly, he said the Church was not under the bride’s authority and would not be subject to acts of indiscipline.

So many people have failed to keep to time for business meetings. They get terribly late for such appointments that they virtually run into the meeting, looking as horrible as their act of lateness. It gets more disturbing with the endless pleas for forgiveness and excuses for coming late.

When it began to look like people did not bother about what time they arrived at programmes, invites started bearing the caveat ‘African Time Not Allowed’.

While perpetual lateness to appointments is condemnable, these tips could help:

Agree on a reminder from a friend who is time-conscious; a call or a message in an hour earlier could help.

Conclude all preparations for the event on the previous day; this way, you will not be under pressure to meet up with time.

When you are not sure of the state of your vehicle, plan for an alternative means of transportation.

Determine never to use traffic situation as excuses for being late. You know your city (like Lagos), leave your home at least two hours to an event since no one enjoys being kept ‘on hold’.