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