Chinagorom Martin: I & Our – Two Wings of a Bird

I am never in a hurry to enter Lagos buses. It is usually at such places – crowded Lagos bus stops with buses flashing their ubiquitous yellow and conductors hanging by the doors summoning passengers – that I am conscious of our individuality.  Here, no one knows you and I like that it is a huge contrast to the society we live in, a collectivist society conscious of solidarity. Here, we become like single broom sticks from a bunch of broom – scattered, each one now on its own. But on this day an event reminded me that it is in that shared capacity for singularity and communality that ‘we are’, that we are branded Africans, Nigerians. And that while Descartes had said “I think, there I am,” we should counter like we would have done a faraway time ago, “You are, therefore I am.”

So on this day I boarded a bus at Cele bus stop going to Oshodi. The fare was fifty Naira. Few other passengers got in and in a bit the bus joined a throng of cars toward our destination, a typical Lagos traffic. At the various bus stops between Cele and Oshodi, people got off the bus and more people got in, faces coming and going. Shortly, we got to a bus stop where a boy and an infirm old man flagged us to a halt and they got in. I assumed the man was the boy’s father. Their entrance seemed to have sparked off a volley of arguments and Yoruba words rent the air, none of which I understood. Not long after, the driver stopped the bus and the boy and his old man got down. There was a look about the decrepit man’s face that showed a million emotions that I was soon to understand.

When the driver continued on the journey few English words were spoken so I had an idea of what had just transpired.The boy and his ailing father had begged the conductor to accept their 40 Naira instead of the 50 Naira that was the due fare. It was all they had, and the conductor had agreed. Somewhere in the bargain there had been a bad communication and hell broke loose when the conductor realised that they intended to use a seat, one of them lapping the other, instead of two seats that would have fetched him a fair 80 Naira. The driver who was having none of it had promptly stopped the bus and ordered them away.

In those few English words and in the consenting gestures I could figure out that accompanied the Yoruba voices, the driver and his conductor were being blamed for acting heartlessly. I thought, how convenient! My unasked question was, was there no one in the bus at the time who could have offered the 60 Naira or 10 Naira difference and blessed these less privileged with that momentary comfort? How was it no one saw what they could have done to help but found it appropriate to apportion blame? I imagined where they got the justification. My inability to understand the event as it unfolded due to language constraint did not feel like justification either. I wondered if, in the case that I understood what was going on, I would have helped or if like the other passengers I would have felt it was not my business. As the short journey continued and the noise died down I felt a gnawing sense of loss. I realised how slowly but steadily we are drifting to one end of this polarised elements that make us who we are, choosing to embrace the ‘I’ over all else.

We assert our ‘I’s’ and neglect our ‘Our’s – me over us. By itself this assertion is not out of place, only it becomes an aberration when we it is an ‘our’ situation.

A friend who lives in Lagos was amazed when he visited Enugu and noticed that people still greeted strangers in buses. He made a joke of how people would think you were short of transport fare and warming up to them for help if you did same in Lagos. As incongruous as the instance is I look at these cities and I see how they typify our situation, where we used to be and where we are. Enugu style becomes so yesterday, and the Lagos style is chic.

Growing up in the now dreaded, tout-infested Onitsha town it would be a thing of honour and joy if you helped an ailing old woman across the traffic. Try it now and you would have to explain which shrine you planned taking her to for money rituals. A lot has changed.

Being who we are and from where we are it would be belabouring the obvious to say how important these aspects of our lives are, for not only do they brand and make us, they are the simple solution to many of our societal issues. How many things would really go right if for instance our brothers and sisters in Abuja would, for just a year, balance their ‘I’s with our ‘Our’s and forgo tipping the scale to one side? In our society and for its purposes, it is like the two wings of a bird that gives it balance aflight. And in that forlorn look of that aged man, I saw that one of those wings is grossly impaired.

Photo Credit: wiki.washjeff.edu

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Chinagorom Martin Emeka is a without-job graduate of philosophy from the Pontifical Urbaniana University Rome. He grew up in Onitsha Nigeria where he now lives. When he’s not reading he’s trying to dance or trying to write. He’s available on martinchinagorom@yahoo.com.

54 Comments on Chinagorom Martin: I & Our – Two Wings of a Bird
  • Queen of Everything November 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Poignant piece and a lot has definitely changed.
    I was raised to help an older person when their load seemed too heavy or if someone drops something and you’re closest to it, you pick it up.
    but these days you seem like the odd one when you try to help a stranger. such a shame

    one thing though the quote should read: I think, therefore I am (‘fore’ was left out)

  • niyoola November 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Word! I usually find it quite amusing when a random
    stranger greets me on the road, if it’s an elderly person, my first
    thought is that if I reply, my voice will activate whatever jazz
    they plan to use on me. -_- I would have paid the transport fare
    for the needy guys though (if i could afford it). You see, we all
    assume everyone is flush with cash because of packaging. On the
    days i look my best, i probably have just 500 Naira in my purse,
    hoping the fuel in my car takes me to & from wherever i
    intend to go (special prayer made to the god of lagos traffic to
    bless me with free roads), no flat tyre, no need for pay-parking
    …… My point is the people in the bus may not have had money to
    spare.

  • 45 November 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    nice read!!!! BM we need more!! thank you

  • 45 November 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    BN^

  • primebabe November 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    you, my “new” friend, have just described the problem with Nigeria. So many evils would be averted if there was more of the us and less of the I.

  • Noni November 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    The point it’s trying to make is nice and all but there are times this article lost me, particularly in the introductory paragraph. The allusion to Descartes confused the hell out of me and even after thinking about it for a while I still have no idea what that sentence means cos as far as I know, Descartes is talking about existentialism.

    That being said, yes people need to care more about others but not everyone will because humans are selfish.

    • Ready November 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

      It was probably the omission of ‘fore’ in the Descartes quote that threw you off. “I think, therefore I am” speaks to charting one’s own course in life..basically individualism. He’s saying it should have been countered with “You are, therefore I am” which is collectivist; that I am here because of the community/society. Thinking along the lines of the latter, he posits, is the better alternative for the country at large. #RecognizeMyGrammar Heheheheh. I loved the piece though. Giving up a bus seat for an elderly person is now viewed as mugu behavior…meanwhile the oyinbos who glorify survival of the fittest still do it. I don’t think this should be a collective reorientation thing though. It has to be personal…at least for me, it was a personal decision borne out of asking what kind of human being I want to be. Do I want to be the kind of person who ignores a pregnant woman struggling with her bags on the road? Nah…so I made a conscious decision to be a better person in hopes that others will join.

    • ISIDORE November 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      I think by Descartes Existentialism, “I think, therefore I am”, impliedly can be associated with the article because by your existence, you do not do live in Isolation rather in a community which is made up of people and by living in consciousness of ”I” as against “We” is an aberration of that existence.

    • Noni November 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      “I think, therefore I am” is not about individuality, it’s about proving the fact of one’s existence. It simply means ‘the fact that I have consciousness (as proven by my thinking) means I exist’. Even if there was some way to twist that into the message of collectivisation, it’s really reaching far beyond a blog article (or really anything outside a philosophy journal) should reach.

      • Martin November 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        Maybe you don’t get the parallels drawn by the writing but “I think therefore I am” is far larger than existentialism. It isn’t even basically existentialist. Philosophy is taken that way my dear.

    • Martin November 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Maybe it lost you cos of the little error in that sentence. Actually Descartes was using that statement as an introductory background to his deconstructionist rationalism but then you can’t deny the tenet of individualism in that trite. And in all its intents and purposes it is a western thing. It goes against everything of communal African heritage stands for.

  • Frenchie November 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Having spent the first twenty-something years of my life in Lagos, you can imagine the culture shock i got relocating to another African country, albeit french speaking. Positive, shock though. Strangers greet strangers, and if you happen to be an acquaintance, then, its kisses on both cheeks, and if you are a friend, then expect hugs, kisses and many long words of greetings! lool!!! and of course, as an ex-Lagos babe, i found this bizarre,….and sometimes hilarious! All I can say, please, Lagosians, take life easy, nobody is planning to eat you up if you as much as breathe!

  • Tess November 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Well spoken! If only we cared more about others, we would not be in this rot. Sadly it seems even the youths have the same selfish attitude.

  • bee November 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Sometimes we should blame lagosians when they act the way they do. Lagos is filled with all sorts… from stories of One Chance Buses to being Jazzed-up just by responding to a simple greeting.
    People are just trying to live their lives as best as they can…. not that i don’t support being kind to each other but we also have to look at the reason why most lagosians mind their business

  • Confused November 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Noni, well said. The article was confusing and I have studied Descartes. Just get to the point and stop trying too hard. General message was clear in the end.

  • jinkelele November 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    food for thought
    By the way any reason why you described the writer as a ‘without-job” graduate

    • ozyy November 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      someone might see it and decide to employ him..No one can tell where help comes from these days.

  • Hian! November 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Pontifical Urbanania……….. hmmmmmn

  • BA November 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Fortunately, I have been in buses where people helped other passengers in need… from not having change to not having money at all to pay the fare or not having enough. Niyoola made a good point too, there is a huge chance the passengers actually did not have extra to spare. On the other hand, someone should have communicated in pidgin English to make other non-yoruba speaking passengers understand and probably offer to pay the fare. Te old man and his boy probably got help from another bus driver/conductor or set of passengers. Lagosians may be very wary of how they offer to help strangers considering the funny things that happen around but they do help when they can.

  • Mz Socially Awkward… November 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Chinagorom, I loved the message of your article. It hurts my heart that the old man didn’t have the 40Naira extra to pay for his son’s fare. Lord, the poverty around us.

    I laughed at what you said about helping an old woman and being suspected of being a ritualist but you’re right about people not even recognising a good deed when they see it these days. A couple of weekends ago, was travelling on a really packed train back to the city I live in (note to self – never book train journeys on a weekend when sports fans are returning from a rugby match). The train must have come up from London as well so it was heaving with bodies. I got to my seat and this older lady was travelling with a young woman with special needs, there was only one seat available after I’d taken mine and the older lady gave it over to the younger one, intending to stand for the rest of the journey. I promptly stood up and told her she should sit down while I stand instead and you should have seen her lack of comprehension, it really didn’t occur to her that I’d be willing to give her my seat. I was halfway down the carriage and she was still not sure if I’d actually given it up.

    Kindness for the sake of itself is almost unrecognisable nowadays, whatever part of the world you live in. I pray that you get a job soon or some other rewarding source of income.

    • Fashionista November 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Lol Mz. S.A I get that a lot as well on the tube and bus in London. Countless times I have offered a seat to an elderly person and they are just baffled by the thought that someone would. Even a pregnant woman has declined my offer of a seat before, that one even annoyed me. Anyway I think in England, it is mostly down to their nature of “DIY”. same reason you see those old people bent over their trolleys in the aisle in Sainsbury’s.

      I heartily agree that true and pure kindness these days is misconstrued. BTW did I mention that I heart you and your comments on BN? hehe

      • Jeanie November 14, 2013 at 1:54 am

        Hmmn, Fashionista I would not say the same..just recently
        came to London and on the bus I was not really paying attention to
        people coming in only for thisnot so elderly lady to tap me with an
        ingratiating smile on her face asking infact telling me to give up
        my seatt and *Not be selfish* Lie I was so shocked cos on a normal
        day I’ll willingly do so without being asked. Long story short I
        jejely stood up to avoid a scene.

  • Abby November 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Lovely article, i understand why these days people are cautious about helping strangers…cause you hear all sorts of stories and money being used for voo doo purposes lol God help us all

  • Abby November 6, 2013 at 7:29 am

    i understand why these days people are cautious about helping strangers…too much voo doo out there lol God help us all

  • Aibee November 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Hmmmm. This Article reminds me of the other day I passed a young man at Bolade bus stop in Oshodi. I’d passed him before I realised he had a white staff/walking stick – the type used by blind people. So I walked back to him and asked if he needed help crossing the Agege Motor Road express and he said yes. So I took him across, helped him get on the bus to his destination and paid his fare. When I crossed back to continue my own waka, someone asked me how I knew the young man was blind and needed help. I explained that blind and visually impaired people use white walking sticks. So many people had passed that young man that day, traders plying their trade all around him but for some reason, no one knew or thought to ask if he needed help.
    Some other times, people know but just refuse to help. Case in point, on my way to work in the mornings, my bus goes through Iyana Oworo and most times a group of school children get on the bus and try to lap each other, inconveniencing other passengers for their trip to Ogudu where they get off the bus. A lot of times , the passengers around them complain, no one offers to pay the N50 fare for one of them to sit or even volunteer to lap one of them. I began paying their fare or lapping one of them a couple of weeks ago and now they are familiar with my face. I smiled this morning when they waved to me at the bus stop – they were already in another bus.

    Point of my whole story? Be aware of your surroundings, help out when you can, even if it means going out of your way.

    • JO November 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

      God will reward you soon

    • I formerly known as Miss Anonymous November 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Nice! I think sometimes we get caught up in this whole rat race to notice others around us who may need our help, or we just become insenstitive over the years through bad experiences.
      Two years ago, I went to the VFS office to renew my visa one Friday afternoon and luckily I was the last person on the queue that day. After waiting almost two hours I discovered to my horror I didn’t have enough money for the visa fee and I would have to return the following Monday. One of the officials whom I didn’t know from Adam, but had merely greeted with a smile loaned me the difference without my asking and gave me his bank details so I could refund the money afterwards. Kindness still exists.

    • culturebedamned November 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      I am willing to bet that those kids who lap themselves in the bus, their parents most likely gave them the transport fare but they spent it on snacks during break or after school. I know because I did that way back in school so did many of my mates especially if we are all going in the same direction. lol Not saying you shouldn’t help those in need when you can though.

    • Martin November 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Heavens bless you.

    • Ngobeke November 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Hmmmmm, this brought tears to my eyes. We never know how little deeds of kindness go a long way..

  • Anonymous November 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

    i agree with u Aibee some time let give it a trial me as a vincential i do help pple when u do God will keep protecting u frm d evil one that is it.

  • frances November 6, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Nice read,very true.
    I have greeted some pple in Lagos that never answered and on asking my friend why,she said”why u greet them b4,go on ur way”.
    That they too are scared,incase I put juju for mouth as its not out of place.
    Even when u do good,ur motives are in question.
    Can we go back to the days of no ulterior motives behind our helping others and replacing our with “I”? I wonder.

    imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  • iHeart November 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

    God Bless You!

  • iHeart November 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

    God Bless You Aibee!

  • @Survivor17 November 6, 2013 at 10:06 am

    This is why i try my best to spread the message of love and giving around. There is so much we can do for ourselves if only we would stop and care. These helps usually don’t cost that much on us yet they go a mighty long way to the recipients. Let us be #AllHeartsAlways as we go about. Let us genuinely ask people how they are faring and do our best to help them. “Every little helps”. #AllHeart

  • Toden Engel November 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

    A very profound piece if I must say. But this was predicted in the bible that “during the last days, the love of many shall wax cold”. Nobody shows love anymore, but it may be because of the negative repercussions of past good deeds, like a chhild being kidnapped for rituals just because she helped someone out with the time or something, and ts Lagos that is known for such things, hence the inhabitants have adapted for survival by learning to mind their business

  • Izeeq November 6, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Yes if only we could replace ‘I’ with ‘Our’, things will
    definitely be different(in a better way that is). But Lagos is a
    big crazy city and things do happen here. Sometime last year, I got
    a part time job @ Ikeja so I had to ply one route daily from Ikeja
    to festac. I noticed that there was a lady who would enter every
    bus enroute festac from Ikeja daily only to beg for money and just
    b4 d bus wud leave d bus-stop, she’d get down and enter the next
    bus on d queue. So due to this kind of situation, people or often
    discouraged from helping cos it might just be a strategy to beg for
    alms. That not withstanding, its still good to help the less
    privilege. Good Job Martin

  • my love November 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hmmmm. As long as it’s Lagos, it’s operation help no one.
    The last time i tried it, i was robbed of all my belongings
    including my certificates.

  • oche November 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Hmmm….. A realy sad,emotional n unfortunately true
    situation we hv found ourselves! Dese days wen u help, pple believe
    u hv uterior motives-its either U r showin off,tryin to b a flirt
    or jst too naïve yet to knw Y u shuldnt.somehow,I doubt tins can
    eva get any better n I hate for us to tink of it as a govt blame
    wen we individualy own d keys to our kind nature. God will help us
    all

  • Zayt November 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    @ my love I feel you on this one. the last time sum1 asked me for direction and I replied, I was kidnapped, jazzed, tortured. Still surprised they didn’t rape me. But they stole everything I had. Helping someone in Lagos is not it, most times. The best thing is to keep to yourself in public. Though most likely if I were on that bus, I would have paid!

    • I formerly known as Miss Anonymous November 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      Yeah giving directions in Nigeria for me is a no no!
      Guru Maharaji once stopped to ask me for directions and I thought to myself “if you are lord and master of the universe” like you claim you shouldn’t need directions.

  • tobee November 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    @ Aibee,you re a darling,your reward is arnd d corner.though I can relate to d kind of hostilities pple in lagos dish out cos its a place wia a lot of unimaginable things happen but dat stil doesn’t stop 1 frm identifying to hlp pple who need hlp especially wen its not harmful.the case of payin fr d tfare of students in d vehicle nd dat old man nd his son is somfin dat isn’t harmful atal.may God hlp us. I remember 1 woman I met in an hospital environ wth my ex last year,she was crying nd luking soo helpless wth a baby in her hands,d baby had a complication after birth nd d husband was no wia to be found,I got so emotional nd couldn’t hlp but hlp her wth d frail baby in her hands so dat he wudnt fall,I thot of wat to do but I dint ve cash on me,so i just told my fiance to hlp me wth some money dat I wud pay back as soon as I cud get an atm.wen we left d hospital,inside d car,he started ranting nd sayin thins like I needed o be careful dat I shdnt ve carried dat womans baby,wat if he dies in my hand nd bla bla bla,I knew he wasn’t exactly happy wth me givin d woman some money but but he tried not to say it. I told him I dint regret hlping d woman fr any reason cos any1 cud ve problems.thnk God we re no longer to 2geda today.

  • fiesty chic November 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    @ tobee and I am sure that your fiancee would be a serious church member of whatever church he goes to. mscheew

    the problem of Nigeria and not being our brother’s keepers started with the advent of the various mushroom fanatical churches and the proliferation of their ideologies in Nigerian movies. When we were younger, we had gbomo gbomo and the rest but people were still good at helping others. Now with the various evils that they have spokked people with, we are now afraid to even help our own family memebers for fear of jazz and the rest.

  • fiesty chic November 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    @ tobee and I am sure that your fiancee would be a serious
    church member of whatever church he goes to. mscheew the problem of
    Nigeria and not being our brother’s keepers started with the advent
    of the various mushroom fanatical churches and the proliferation of
    their ideologies in Nigerian movies. When we were younger, we had
    gbomo gbomo and the rest but people were still good at helping
    others. Now with the various evils that they have spokked people
    with, we are now afraid to even help our own family memebers for
    fear of jazz and the rest.

  • Jess November 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Fact, Martins. I was carried away bt emotional 4 d old man
    n his son. Bt d truth b told hw many of us wud replace d ‘i’ wif
    ‘us’ wn dey r opportuned 2 b lyk our brodas n sistas in Abuja. We
    wud do same i tel u no mata wat or even worse. Cos wn u gt thr, tho
    u wnt a beta Nigeria bt u wil fend 4 ur family n 20th generation 2
    com. Lol dats a Nigerian 4 u.

  • tobee November 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

    @ fiesty chic,yes o,u re so damn rite,he is just like wat
    paul described in his epistle to 1 of d churches;having a form of
    godliness but denying d power thereof……..may God hlp us to Love
    as we shd,exactly d way christ taught us to love.

  • Ezenwa November 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Martins made a conscious effort to re-educate and re-orientate many who still have “virtue/human kindness” in their hearts. I won’t like to join the scholars here to dissect the grammar or meaning of the words used in the write up rather I must dwell on the thematic message of this refreshing epistle from Martins.
    I grew up in a village, where fetching water from a 10km river and collecting firewood for the aged within the neighbourhood once or twice a week was part of our daily chores and our parents encouraged us to do that. Sometimes, we had to go further to show that kindness, to sweep the house, compound, etc, without looking for gratification. The joy of it all comes when the aged ask you to stretch out your hands for blessing. You can’t imagine how happy and fulfilled we were with such rare divine impartation. The blessing of those days has paid off today.
    Ideally, I assist anyone who desires my assistance where I know I have such opportunity even if it is at the expense. Though some turned out to be regret but the question is “Why should I stop doing “good” to others because of one person’s ungrateful return? Do all you can to help others in need; live as if today is your last day on earth…you may not cross this road again. My bosom pal Martins, definitely, you will get a Job and fulfilment of your heart desires. Thanks for bringing the reminiscence of yester years to bear with our present realities in cities/society of today that has been enveloped with materialism, fears of the unknown and Godlessness.

    • jaguarnana November 12, 2013 at 12:00 am

      wow ezenwa… you took some of us down memory lanes of experiences we never hard and I was touched but trust me lagosians are not gripped with fears of the unknown. The fear is real and the unknowns are out there for real because I encountered some of them when I answered the question of a stranger on the road & my world was changed for ever. I am still amazed I came out of that experience alive but I will never trust anyone and any stranger again. I still help strangers out when I am approached but to me it’s like playing russian roulette because I have encountered similar acts again at CMS bustop (on the bridge) Note they always ask a benign qustion like “what is the time?” followed by “isn’t that pastor so and so?” “he/she is very blessed and powerful we should go & greet him” & down the rabbit hole you go.
      it’s a tough call but trust me the fears are known and are out there especially in urban cities. & short of throwing the change at them I miss my innocent days.

  • Bobosteke & Lara Bian November 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I enjoy helping people. In fact I would have gone the whole nine yards before it occurs to me to be cautious. I am the sort of person who you would borrow money from and upon returning I would ask if you still need it. Of course I need the money and I work very hard for every dime. But for some reason, I am always content even when I have nothing. Perhaps because I know something will still come. I remember once I was lapping my sister on a bus and the conductor was harassing someone who could not afford his fare and I paid while my sister gave me the ” Sister, please are you stupid?” look. I give up my seat for pregnant women and I pay for school children or lap them. I fight regularly with conductors when they harass the kids and I declare they should not lap and pay for all of them, even almost chop slap sef which would have sent my glasses flying. The conductors always yab me in Yoruba after collecting the money. But as a Lagos geh, I understand every word.

    However, I want to talk about the times I could have helped but did not. Like when I took the BRT in Lagos the other day and there was woman who sat on the floor of the bus because of a bad leg. The bus was heaving with humanity and I stuck my face out of the window throughout the trip. I did not offer her my seat because I felt she was being too dramatic with the whole thing. I cant say truthfully if the leg did not have issues, but the drama with which she stood up and bent sideways was more than Super Story could feature. Upon the bus empting itself, she got a seat and dramatically again brought out some ointment and dramatically raised the leg to dramatically rob it down. Of course I felt more than a twinge of guilt even though I was not the only on the bus, but a little honesty in her actions and I would have given up my seat in a heart beat even though it would mean having to inhale unholy BO’s. Or like when kids walk up to you smiling and say “aunty please I forgot to collect motor money from my daddy”, or my daddy did not give me money to school today” Or my favorite “Aunty your dress is fine. You are very fine, please give me money to eat” I just cant juxtapose the need to help with being gullible. Or the times God saved me from ritualists when some pregnant woman wanted me to help her in the market and I just refused for no reason which I could not understand until I saw the pregnancy was a fake and the women around her looked weird. Or when some dude wanted us passengers to help some woman in the front seat who (as she claimed) her husband wanted her to sleep with a dog and film it.

    Truth is people prey on the humanity of a kind heart since time immemorial and it could go either way. We all just pray to be highly discerning.

  • Shona November 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Wow..@Lara Bien,scary stories dere…I stil feel really scared helping especially when I am alone or talking to ppl in buses..evn conductors sef.The rate @ which strange tins happen dis days,one cant help but be careful…from d peeps dat pretend just to get money from you..Once,I met dis “beggar” at Sanya bridge while visitn a relatve,offered him money,d next day,turns out dis guy is just a criminal,he walks but pretends to be crippled…What he does is come to d brigde really early @ about 6am….Lagos no be am abeg!

  • mental November 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    i got up for an old woman to sit down in a brt bus and people started lookin at me funny like i was from mars
    i totallly undestand u ma sis… God help us in naija

  • Jeanie November 14, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Hmmn, Fashionista I would not say the same..just recently
    came to London and on the bus I was not really paying attention to
    people coming in only for thisnot so elderly lady to tap me with an
    ingratiating smile on her face asking infact telling me to give up
    my seatt and *Not be selfish* Lie I was so shocked cos on a normal
    day I’ll willingly do so without being asked. Long story short I
    jejely stood up to avoid a scene.

  • jaybee March 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I also try to pay for students when i can..and i agree with you all Lagos is filled with all kinds,and like bobosteke said,may God give us all d spirit of discernment.May we not fall pray to evil hands in our bid to help..

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