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Oma: The Good People Of Lagos

Oma

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Every society has the good, the bad and the ugly, which is why I wonder why visitors are quick to judge Lagos on the bad and the ugly. They tuck away the goodies that they have taken away from Lagos and begin to enumerate and spread the news of their bad and ugly experiences.

I am a fair being and so, I need you to know that most Lagosians have a large heart and when you are in trouble, you can count on them. Organisations and groups like Lost in Lagos try to highlight the beautiful things in Lagos.

A few years back, as I prepared for my National Youth Service Corp, I collapsed in Balogun market while shopping. It was such a dramatic experience that got my entire family worried. I was already working at the time and the distance from Lagos to Abeokuta and vice versa on a daily basis, wasn’t a trip that didn’t come at a cost to my health. I guess that was the result of my collapsing in Balogun market though the doctor diagnosed me of dehydration and stress.

I had just finished buying some items from a woman’s shop when I felt the need for water. I quickly beckoned on a water seller to satisfy my thirst and before I could even sip on some, I fell on the floor and became extremely weak. My tummy was biting me and I could no longer feel my legs. I was still conscious of my environment but could barely say a word to anyone.

The women in the market gathered around me and began to ask me questions that could help them decide on what next to do. I requested to ease myself and the youngest of them all volunteered to carry me on her back and take me to the nearest loo. Unfortunately, I got there and couldn’t stand the sight of the place and asked to be taken away.

While all this was going on and they decided to rush me to the clinic in the market; one of them picked up my phone and searched for numbers of my folks. I am one of those very traditional kids who store their parents contacts with Daddy and Mummy and since I get to talk to them a lot, they are always on my last dialed calls. This made it easy for them to get the contact and reach out.

By the time my parents showed up, I had been taken to a clinic and the initial deposit for my treatment paid by the market people. My parents were so moved at the kindness of these people who didn’t leave me to suffer in pains. They took me as though they knew who I was and took care of my needs even before any familiar person came to my rescue.

When I came around, the human nature in me came to the fore as I panicked thinking that all I had shopped including the money that I had on me was gone, but I was wrong. Not a single item was missing as the market people gathered all of my things and brought them to me in the clinic.

This action of theirs touched my heart. It gave me a different outlook to life in Lagos and Lagosians in general. Not everyone you come across should be treated with disdain just because someone you know or yourself has had a bad or ugly experience in the hands of a very few inhabitants of Lagos. My story is proof that most Lagosians are  people with a heart full of love and care.
This is the attitude which the spirit of Lagos I presume is trying to preach. I see a slogan of theirs that says, ‘change your thinking’. If all your thoughts has been soured by the assumptions you have made, it is time to drop those thoughts and purge yourself of whatever contempt you hold against Lagos.

I did mention in my Wish List Vs Shopping List, that Christmas is a time to love, care and heal. I can already smell Christmas with the trees being set up and the markets getting congested gradually. I attended the sales of Bvlgari Man in Black, and you should see the amazing turn out of people picking bottles of the fragrance and other fragrances of the brand that ought to put a smile on the face of their loved ones this season. But amidst all the goodies for your loved ones, make a stranger out there smile. The women in the market put a smile on the face of my parents and I, by making sure that they saw to it that I was well taken care of. Let your Christmas be a time for you to stretch out your hands and help others that have no one to help them.

What good experiences have you had with the people of Lagos?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Editorial

Oma

Oma Ehiri is a lifestyle blogger and a Digital Media Consultant. She is also a Talent Manager with Ascend Talent Management and the Media Brand Ambassador for Veba Textile Mills.Life is her source of inspiration as she curates her thoughts on her website, www.sotectonic.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @oma263.

19 Comments

  1. ms lala

    December 17, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    They are beautiful with large hearts…..I have experienced a similar situation and it brought me to tears to realize people are still good. I came back again and this time brought them small little goodies, am also now working with them to help give them a proper platform to have their issues heard by the local government. #beautifulwomeninlagos

  2. chi-e-z

    December 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Like yeah, I really hate when people always point out horrible stuff about Lagos. True, I’ve witnessed some horrid things but also some of the kindest and helpful people I’ve been blessed to meet in this world are naija people in or from Lagos.

  3. bruno

    December 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    What good experiences have you had with the
    people of Lagos? NONE.

    just because u had one good experience in lagos that doesn’t mean anything. not only lagosians but nigerians in general are extremely mean people, very aggressive and wicked. if you blink, they cheat you immediately.

    I have had a million bad experiences that I can’t even remember one good experience I have had in lagos. 0.1% good experiences, 99.9% bad experiences.

    • Dame

      December 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Dear Bruno…..i understand that in your stride to become a popular on this platform does not mean you should not always apply a little wisdom
      The writer merely stated ONE experience does not mean that is her ONLY experience .
      Take a deep breathe and lets live

    • bruno

      December 18, 2014 at 11:31 am

      @dame. I know when you see my name @bruno, it peppers you and u cant not stand it. sorry oh.

      im not commenting for you, I am commenting for the bruno naijarians. you better stop hating and join the winning team. be-yatch

    • Nahum

      December 18, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Bruno no vex but I just had to laugh at your comment. lMAO

    • derhmy

      December 18, 2014 at 11:54 am

      so in your mind now u have followers…..hahhahhahhhahahah bruno naijarioans kooor abdég comot for road make we see better people

  4. Damola

    December 17, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Well said!!!Lagosians are good people..its just that there are bad people everywhere #ProudLagosian

  5. Sisi

    December 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Personally I haven’t witnessed any harsh treatment maybe its because I do not live in Lagos but I believe that even among wolves there are still some angels.

  6. INYAMA

    December 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    As a leader u should spend most of ur time working in ur areas of greatest strength. people are more productive and more content to when their work is within their natural gifting and strengths.

  7. Nakoms

    December 17, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    My dearest sister!

    Hold on to that love in you for therein lies your strongest protection! The Love that you preach and spread comes back to you a thousand fold. It can never be otherwise. If deep in your spirit you see good and expect it of others they have no choice but to react accordingly.

    Lagosians are a good lot.

    I have hundreds of experiences of genuine kindness from total strangers in this state. From the fellow driver who would pull over to help out when my car stops due to overheating, to the boys who abandon a football match to help my daughter when she had a bicycle accident. From the driver who would stop and beakons with a smile for me to cross when I had a bad leg, to the market woman who would leave her wares to take me to the shop where I can get original delta crayfish.

    I am a businessman who does installation work for various clients. Some of my biggest jobs have come from help from “lowly” security men and cleaners who during my marketing rounds let me on to opportunities.

    Men! Lagos I owe you!

  8. Glowing Sapphire

    December 18, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I’ve had really terrible experiences but also some good ones. An Elderly Man gave up his seat for me, a young lady to sit, in a BRT bus! And guys before you say there was some intent, it was genuine goodness from a man’s heart as it was a lengthy trip and the available transport was to stand in the bus to save time. I really appreciated his kindness because the unpredictable traffic on that day was fierce. He was older but strong. I was deeply touched.

    At other times, crossing the road can pose a bit of a challenge especially on an express way where no bridge is in sight. After waiting for some minutes without the speeding vehicles stopping, a random driver will just slow down deliberately for a waiting crowd that had built to go across, making other drivers wait as well. Little deeds but great impact.

    • olsoi

      December 22, 2014 at 9:05 am

      That’s very kind of him, but IMO, you shouldn’t have taken the seat (if you did).

  9. www.thelmathinks.com

    December 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    There are good people everywhere, just like there are bad people too. In truth when I hear people complain about Lagos I never take it to mean that the people are bad, I always think in terms of over population, traffic, the fast life, the hustle & bustle etc… I’ve lived in Lagos all my life and I cannot honestly tell you that Lagosians are “good” people. In fact, the fact that they’d rather die than let you drive ahead of them alone ruins it for me… I don’t know about Lagosians but I love Lagos!

  10. sussy

    December 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

    eko oni baje o

  11. Hephzibah Frances

    Frances Okoro

    December 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Awww,this made me smile.
    I am a firm believer in the fact that we still have kindhearted people around us and yes, even in lagos.
    And this have been the sort of persons I meet.
    What you think is what you get.
    I have had someone who gave me his umbrella and decided to walk under the drizzling rain at falomo bridge.and no, he didn’t ask me for my number to toast me, it was a kind gesture.
    I’ve had someone walk me to a bus stop when I asked for directions and yes, both happened in lagos.
    This is not to say that rude and terrible persons don’t exist, but ultimately, what you believe, you get.

    imperfectlyperfectlives.com

  12. Vera

    December 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    @dame,don’t mind him/her.Does bruno sound matured and civilised on her/his comments,No……..

  13. D

    December 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    It is only in lagos that i have experienced people chase me down in their cars to tell you that you don’t have the lid on your gas tank or something is wrong with your car. I tried it in obodo oyinbo…person look me like I am crazy, yet their gas tank cap was off and wide open. They will tell you “Aunty your underwear dey show” lmso o… you see people hear walking with tissue stuck on them and no one will say anything…not in Nigeria .

  14. Chinolla

    December 19, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Just spend two weeks in Lagos on a business trip. Am German, live in Germany and heard all those bad stories before, people warning me to take etc etc. I had the most beautiful experiences wandering the streets of Ikeja and Ketu. I felt so good with among the warmest and most welcoming people I’ve encountered in the world during many trips. Lagos is a great place, most amazing city with so great and kind people !

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