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Bobosteke: The Brother, the Banker & the Barracks

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dreamstime_m_11683471Everyone loves an absolutely gorgeous “How we met” story. I have one that personally stands out. It still makes me smile till today and I will be smiling for years to come. Sometimes, remembering that moment is the only glue that keeps you two together when things get rough: you remember the innocence of feeling and the magic of possibilities.

That said, my focus is on a trend that I find somewhat disturbing. It is when people, who in the ordinary course of business, have access to your information, and use it to get in touch with you in a personal capacity to make romantic overtures. Some have met the love of their lives this way and have had no cause to regret it. Some would have been lost in the oblivion of ‘had I known’; missing out on an opportunity to have and to hold someone they would have absolutely adored. But do we because of these reasons, betray the confidence and trust reposed in us by our employees, to pursue matters of the heart? This information and the positions, are given in trust with the implied expectation that you would not abuse it. Take note that this person must have had some form of physical contact with the would-be recipient of l’amour to warrant the trickling of feelings, so what happened to a good old fashioned face to face “Hey, how are you doing?”

So consider when I stood up as a first timer at a church I attended close to a friend’s house where I was staying. I don’t why on God’s green earth I stood up, but I did. We were called out, prayed for, and told to follow an usher to a room where we were welcomed by a Greeter and given a Welcome Card to fill our details in.

I went back in for Sunday School after which I tried to make my way out of the church when I heard someone call out my name. Turns out to be the Greeter. He was speaking with this lady and he asked if I enjoined service to which I replied the perfunctory ‘Yes.’ He asked if I would be coming back to which I gave an unequivocal ‘No.’ He asked why and I informed him I was visiting folks around and would be returning the following day to my station. He gives the usual “It-is-well”; “The-Lord-be-with-you”; “See-you-when-you-are-in-town-some-other-time” semantics.

Two weeks later my phone rings. Turns out to be the Greeter. Immediately, he informs me he is calling in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the church and jumps right into the getting to know you questions. I was appalled. Like you took it for granted that I would want to hear from you at all and you have the temerity to assume that it was an okay thing to do? The slickness with which the whole thing was executed made me want to suspect it was not his first time. I asked why he hadn’t gotten my number personally. He told me the lady he was speaking to at church was his colleague at the office and he could not excuse himself to speak with me. I told him it was because he felt he could conveniently get my number from the Welcome Card which was why he didn’t take the bother. I believe you could see your colleague anytime anyway, and you both appeared to be just gisting and she even joined in our conversation. I, on the other hand, was on my way out of town, with a you-are-unlikely-to-see-me-again-meter-reading. What do you mean, really?

Consider also when I walked into the bank in my Khaki, feeling very annoyed and restless. I noticed the Manger was staring at me from behind his desk. Looking is not a crime and besides, I was in a hurry to get back to the NYSC office to submit my account number. After the hassles, I hurried out, only to find the Manager outside in conversation with someone. As I walked past, he called out and asked “Are you a Corper” The insipid look I gave him said it all. Next thing I heard was “Can I have your number?” Before I could even think of a response, the statement I heard was “Don’t worry, I would get it off my System”. And truly, he did, because I got called, over and over again.

On another occasion, I went to the Dental Hospital in one of the military barracks. The stop and search was at its height at the time. When I went in, it was with very little drama. I finished my business and decided to leave. On getting to the gate, I was immediately corralled by two soldiers: a male and a female. The female moved close to me and directed me to the gatehouse that she would like to speak with me. Then she told me I was very pretty that she liked how I looked. She said she was shooting a music video and would want me to be in it. I’ve heard of people asking absolute strangers at airports to be on their bridal train but my level of shock was still unprecedented. Not to knock a sister’s hustle, my response was very vague, but I gave her my number all the same.

Later that day, I decided to get a new suit for my sister who was going for a job interview, just to boost her morale. I was wandering from shop to shop when I got a call. “This is (Fill in a rank) XYZ from ABC Barracks. I was the one who told them to get your number for me at the gate”. What in the world? I was completely @#$%^^^! My naiveté at the point never made me suspect the motives of the Officer who had stopped me. Please note that there are about three gates out of the barracks that I know of. Did he have to call all three to ensure that my number was obtained?

Women (most) love attention. We love it when men try to get us to notice them and vie for our affection. It’s an entrenched part of the mating game. But there are lines which I feel should be maintained and respected. Attention can easily become trespass, abuse, and even stalking.
Perhaps menfolk may also be under pressure to pull the most amazing how we met story for future reference. Just the same way proposals are beginning to require a Grade “A” Hollywood script, with Spielberg directing skills to get a good sound bite. Maybe I’m making too much out of nothing, but tell me, what do you think?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

19 Comments

  1. newbie

    October 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    The brother? why am i not surprised? Shebi they said judgment will start from the house of God? Sneaky bastard.

    The Banker? Shock horror. Deplorable. Sackable offence but then again, isn’t it Nigeria? His bosses will congratulate him sef.

    The Barrack? Erm unless you truly were looking to be discovered to launch your career in music videos- why did you share your number? But then again these our power drunk sojas can decide to shoot you for refusing to, and concoct one trumped up charge against you. So maybe it was fear. Their oga at d top with remote control? I don’t expect anything more civil from him, so no surprises there.

    • PLATOON

      October 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Lol. Brothers have been hiding behind the church to launch their manifesto since 1886. From campus fellowship to camp grounds, they are everywhere. In my own church, loads of the single guys want to join the ushering department. They know they are usually the first point of contact, they can gauge the ladies, engage them in conversations and eventually launch their manifesto. They often ignore the Jesus wey dem come church come serve.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 7, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      El Oh E;l!!! @ “Oga at the top with remote control” and the subsequent description of brothers “launching” manifesto… Kai! Wetin ear no go hear…

  2. Buttercup

    October 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    It’s very annoying,mine was NYSC in Ogun state, he got my file, got my details, showed up where I lived (I dint even know this guy) I was furious, afraid, and all sorts of mixed feelings. Thank God I wasn’t living alone. It’s been 2years and dude keeps calling.

    This is totally unrelated, I just finished watching narcos, I know Pablo was evil, but why do I feel so sad and sorry for him? Especially for his wife and kids and to think they are still alive and will forever live with the stigma. *sigh*

  3. Liz

    October 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I can totally relate ehn.. My most annoying experience happened last year. Went to a bank to deposit money, so I filled out a deposit slip. The next day I got a phone call from a strange number and when I enquired as to who was speaking the person said “you don’t know me, i was beside you at the bank yesterday and I copied your number from your deposit slip when you were not looking. Please I want us to be friends?” I did not say anything, I just cut the call and blocked the number immediately.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 7, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      Damn. This your own and buttercup’s stalker above don pass joke, waka enter real dangerous sumtin… Hian!

  4. Tru

    October 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    What about a customer service rep calling you back personally, then sending poorly worded texts that “You sounds so sexy on the phone want us to be friends”?
    It is well. They do say Love is found in the strangest of places sha ?

    • Sally

      October 7, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Mine was a fedex driver in Maryland who called me about my missing package. The customer service rep had told me on the phone that the driver would trace the package and might call so he could deliver it to me personally, as it was a laptop. The driver (Nigerian guy) indeed called and he asked if I was Nigerian and I said yes. Next thing I knew – you have such a sexy voice oh. Are you married? Before I could answer, I know you naija girls, you will say no because I’m a fedex driver abi. But let me tell you, I’m also at the University of Maryland oh studying IT. So it’s not like I’m just a nonsensical somebody like that.
      I was just thinking to myself, just one call to Fedex about harassment and this guy could lose his job.

  5. Onalighternote

    October 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    @Bobosteke Calm down girl, it is not that deep.

  6. Asari Tokunbo

    October 6, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Love this write up. The Nigerian society of today is one with zero discipline. People have no respect for others’ time, personal/intellectual property,private space, and information. Unfortunately, our laws are not necessarily actionable, when it comes to trespass,invasion of privacy and unwanted sexual advances. In countries that “function”, your explicit consent is required before any human being/institution can use your personal information albeit for the intended purpose only (not to toast you). It is mandated by law.I pray Nigeria gets to that level before Jesus returns.

  7. Mr. Egghead

    October 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Great article, Bobosteke.

    Oddly, I almost pulled a stunt like this.
    I went for a health outreach. There was this fine sister I attended to. Smart as a whip and she made great banter too.
    I kept on procrastinating the proverbial “can I have your number” until she slipped into my blind spot and I didn’t see her again.
    Afterward, the devil kept tempting me to search the registration records, find her number and call her up.
    But nah.
    It felt very tacky.

    • ogo

      October 8, 2016 at 12:07 am

      Are you an optometrist @Mr. Egghead

  8. Bee

    October 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Na wa for these new generation babes sha. Straight up ‘can I have your number’ you will say no! now the guys are trying to be innovative and its now ‘sickening and irritating’. Just say the guys were not your type shikena. Cos I’m sure if it were one suave bloke pulling those stunts the BN
    Wedding caption will read… ‘ he pulled a smart move to get her number… and the rest they say is history’. Abegi lef matter jare!

    • Tosin

      October 6, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      i’m with you
      sha vote for Hillary, all this 2016 oyinbo feminism 🙂

  9. Dinma Caruso

    October 6, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Thumbs up, Bobosteke for this wonderful article. At least you were even stalked by people you met. How bout when you accidentally miss a digit from a number and end up calling a total stranger, who already concludes you are his soulmate, because he thinks your voice is nice? Even after telling this dude I dialed a wrong number, this guy still kept calling, a week after. Nkan Be!

  10. Nunulicious

    October 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Me I like attention from opposite sex oh. Even better when they go the extra mile to reach me. But at the end of it all, i will cut you off like deadweight if I don’t want to deal.

  11. The real D

    October 7, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Uhmmm, at least the brother just called you. Me na follow dem follow me reach house. I went to a church in obodo oyinboo ooo. I don’t go to 9ja church oooo or even african-american church. This was 100% oyibo church but. a small church so they knew i was new.
    Secondly, I did not stand up in the church when they asked for first timers. I did not fill out any paper work but the next day as i was driving home from work, i saw this person standing in front of my house, i drove past ooo…i kept on driving….I was not planning to eat out that night but I had no choice. (Can i hear … stalkerizoid)!!!!, this person MUST have followed me home after service on Sunday. I never visited that church ever again!!! Ki lo de gan, to make it worse the very next church i went to another oyibo church too na so one bros chase me as i dey leave church that he wants to take me out for lunch, i even use style tell dude say i get a man I was engaged to, bros say he no care he wants to take me to lunch. I had to become mean o when diplomacy and tact were not working with this dude. These guys were Caucasians so no be only 9jerians that act inappropriately and in church too.

    I have also been amazed about how Nigerians freely give out their phone numbers even posting it on social media, I am always like these people no care? I will never put my phone number or address on a church new attendee form (naaah) things should be on a need to know basis…if I feel you should have no need for it i am not giving you. What is a church to do with my phone number?? (other than stalk you that is). I was so shocked about the barracks story, first that the geh said she was doing video and needed girls and you gave her the right number too. abeg that is time to start switching numbers around and then i did not see the end coming that it was for a dude….yuck!!! so dude did not have balls to even ask himself.

  12. Mz Socially Awkward....

    October 8, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Bobosteke ohhhh!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Chai, thank God for Friday nights and chill time – how did I miss this earlier?

    And that one of Naija churches sometimes misusing their access to personal information of first-time visitors… I have a friend who will always remain very sceptical about a particular church in this city because of her experience after a first time visit.

    She arrived as a student and decided to visit this Nigerian church; following the meet-and-greet session, she was given a card to put down some information, including any prayer points she had… babe was quite honest and just wrote down her heart’s desires, including completing her master’s degree with a good result and hopefully meeting The One.

    Na im a few weeks afterwards, some strange bloke just blocked her somewhere and was being quite familiar… ah, she come dey think how she take know am. Only for bros to introduce himself as one of the people in the meet-and-greet team and then he proceeded to say that he’d read her prayer point about looking to meet a bobosky – was she still single and searching?

    My girl just cut him off and abandoned the conversation… but she said that she was mortified – no be prayer dem suppose use that information for? E tire person.

    [Disclaimer – hopefully, such shenanigans don’t dissuade those who truly desire to have someone pray for and with them, when they visit a House of Worship. They say the church is like a hospital & not everyone has fully responded to treatment… but God can lead you past the other “patients” to real and genuine counsel 😀 )

    • "changing moniker"

      October 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Hahahaha

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