Tag Archives: True story

Introductions!

I was in a gathering of both men and women. We were asked to introduce ourselves.

I introduced myself by my first name. The others did as well.

Then, it was the turn of a particular lady; she introduced herself as Mrs……

We all got talking and even though what we were discussing had nothing to do with the family; Mrs. informed the rest of us that she had kids. I smiled.

The facilitator of the meeting had initially introduced herself to us by her first name but when she was asked to repeat her name; she repeated it as Mrs… I have no idea if the change in her introduction from her first name to identifying herself as a Mrs. was a result of the initial Mrs. who introduced herself but well….
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A few social gatherings I have been a part of, I have noticed a few women do not want to be identified as their first name. I am yet to understand why.

Does calling them by their first name belittle them? Or does it reduce the bride price that was paid by their husbands?
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To my fellow married women, how do you introduce yourself in a social gathering?

To my single friends, what is your take on introductions?

Do share your thoughts below.

Parenting Manual

“Please write down your name sir.” I said to the man seated in front of me.

He took the pen I offered him and began to write. His daughter stood by his side. She was probably about four or five years old. I smiled at her.

Maybe it was the smile that attracted her, I have no idea but she decided to walk round the table. She stood beside me as I continued to attend to her father. She opened my side drawer and took out the milo sachet I had bought the previous day.

She walked back to her father with the milo sachet in her hand. What I heard next was definitely not what I was expecting.

“Did you say thank you?” Her father asked her.

I looked up at the man with unbelieving eyes. The milo sachet was the medium family size not the mini ones.

“Say thank you.” The man said to his daughter.

The little girl shrugged her right shoulder in defiance.

“Say thank you.” The father repeated but his daughter ignored him.

I was done attending to him and I handed him what he had come to pick up.

 

As father and daughter walked out of my office with my milo sachet, I shook my head. I also had kids but it was not in my place to tell a father how to train his child.

If the father saw nothing wrong with his daughter taking what was not hers, then I had no words for him.

The “say thank you” and the defiance showed by the daughter was also a source of concern but well….

If at that age, her father was unable to exercise his authority over her, I wondered what the future held for both of them. Parenting is the most important job anyone with kids would ever do. There are no perfect parents but there are bad parents; parenting definitely does not come with a manual.

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.co.uk

Desiring Diseases

As I drove into the car park of the departmental store, I saw a young man squatting down by the driver’s corner of a Honda Accord. I looked closely and noticed he was administering a local pedicure to a “healthy” man. The first thing that came to my mind was HIV. I shook my head and hissed. The kids noticed and asked what the problem was.

“I don’t believe that that “big man” cannot afford to go for a proper pedicure.” I said to them. I explained to them about the risk of infection using unsterilized instruments.

I was still conversing with my kids when I saw a woman discussing on her mobile phone. I saw her walk up to the man in the car. The look on her face was that of shock. She stood close to the man while she finished with her call. After she ended the call, I saw her scold the man in the car as she shook her head in pity.

Did the man care? I have no idea as I couldn’t see his face but the local pedicurist continued with his duty.

The woman walked away leaving the man to his fate and I wondered if three thousand naira or less was too much for a man driving a Honda Accord. He may be uneducated, who knows? But even at that, is it that he has never heard of the risk of contacting HIV through unsterilized instruments? Or was his health so unimportant to him that he would rather expose himself to a life altering disease? Or was he one of those who had the “something must kill a man” mantra?

Hmmm….I rest my case.

——-

Photo Credit: http://www.wikivisually.com

Oshodi – For the brave-hearted only

During the era of the old Oshodi, I remember driving home from work one evening. It was about 7:30p.m. I had just driven out of Mafoluku area and turned into Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway when my car decided to die right at Bolade bus-stop on the fast lane.

Not now, I sighed. I knew what the problem was, I just needed to wait it out. My windows were always wound up almost to the top with a little space for air to come in; can’t be caught napping in Oshodi. All doors were always locked. If the central lock does not work, I take my time to lock all doors individually.

As I sat in the car, I looked into my rear view mirror intermittently and stayed conscious of my environment. Cars zoomed past as I waited for the engine to cool off. A few minutes into my wait, an area boy came towards the car and stood beside me. He tapped on my door. “Open the bonnet make I help you check am.” He said in his croaky voice.

“Thank you.” I replied through the wound-up window but I refused to pull the lever to open the bonnet. I ain’t letting any area boy touch my car at this time of the night; I said to myself (especially as I was sure of what the problem was).

Soon, another area boy appeared by my right. He tried to open the passenger door and realized it was locked. “Open the door, make we help you push am comot for road.” I looked to the left and to the right; an area boy on each side. I began to pray in my heart that the engine would cool off on time. There were no street lights and the only source of light was from cars passing by.

“Open this door, ah…ahn, abi you want make I break your side mirror?” The guy by the driver’s side said as he tried to open my door.

I turned the ignition and the engine roared to life all of a sudden. The guy beside me realizing what had just happened made an attempt to pull my side mirror. I swerved the car to his side, he jumped back and I immediately swerved to the right towards the other guy before zooming off. As the car screeched and raised some dust in the air, I drove off heaving a sigh of relief and saying a silent thank you to God.

Oshodi – A place in Lagos where your courage is tested.

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Photo Credit: https://www.adromeda.com.ng

Lagos madness

It was a Friday. A family event was taking place that evening. I asked for permission to close an hour earlier to be able to participate in the event. 5:00pm, I drove out of my office on Awolowo road, Ikoyi. I should be home in two hours, I said to myself.

The traffic on third mainland bridge snaked all the way from the beginning to the tail end and I began to wonder if I would still make the journey in two hours. 7:00pm, I arrived at Bolade in Oshodi. I did a mental calculation. In an hour, I should get to Iyana-Ipaja.

8:00pm, I was still at Bolade. 9:00pm came and met me right on the same spot at Bolade, Oshodi. It had rained earlier that day and for those who understand Lagos; rain and Lagos roads are like sworn enemies. I was extremely tired and my feet were hurting. Driving a manual car in traffic a’int attractive. Movement was at snail speed and I kept switching off and switching on the engine to ease the stress on my feet.

In my tired state and my feet on the brake pedal, I lost traction and bumped into the car ahead of me. Oh Lord, not now; I thought. A man stepped out of the car. He looked at me and bent to look at his bumper. I tried to signal an apology to him but the man just turned and went back to sit in his car. I guess he was too tired to get into an argument. I immediately switched off the engine to avoid a recurrence.

“Hello ma’am, you look extremely tired. Can I join you and keep you company?” A guy who had been standing at the bus-stop with other passengers as they awaited a bus asked. I looked at him; a total stranger but at that point I needed company to stay awake.

I unlocked the passenger door and he eased into the car. He introduced himself and started talking about the traffic situation and various issues. I listened and his conversation kept me awake.

At about 10:30pm, some army men emerged from God knows where and decided to help our situation. They began to pass traffic and as we moved forward, we realized that some cars going towards Oshodi had decided to face oncoming traffic; thereby causing the total lock down.

As usual in Lagos traffic, immediately the army men passed their vehicle out of the traffic, they zoomed off leaving the rest of us to our fate. Moving ahead became a survival of the fittest game. Thankfully, I scaled through without a scratch. I got to the GRA Ikeja junction and we saw traffic still ahead of us. At this time of the night, I thought as I shook my head. I wondered if I should go ahead or make a detour. My new found friend asked what my intention was. After 3 hours on one spot, I was not ready for another long wait.

I turned into GRA Ikeja and manuveured my way through to Oba Akran through Mobolaji Bank Anthony way. It was a smooth drive and I was glad I took that decision. Driving out of Oba Akran, I decided to pass the inner Dopemu road parallel to the Lagos-Abeokuta express way. As we went on, we could see the tail lights of cars in slow movement on the express way. I smiled as I congratulated myself on the smart move. I dropped off my new found friend at his bus-stop which was on my way home and he was full of thanks. I was more thankful because his conversation actually helped me stay awake on the steering.

I arrived home at a quarter to midnight. The celebrator for whom I had closed from the office one hour earlier was already sleeping peacefully in bed.

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Photo Credit: http://www.ABC7.com

Insane Driving

The road was a cross junction and I waited for the grey Toyota Corolla in front of me to drive into the street ahead. There was another car; a white Honda Civic in front of him. The driver in the Honda Civic noticed that there was a road block down the street caused by a religious gathering. He hesitated for a few seconds probably considering his options of an alternative route.

Cars behind me began to honk and I ignored them. If the driver of the white Honda did not make up his mind, we were all stuck. Suddenly, he began to reverse. I watched in horror as the driver in the grey Toyota Corolla honked continuously but the driver in front of him reversed all the way and bumped into him.

The driver in the white Honda Civic got down from his car and walked up to the other driver. “Kí ló selè nau?” (What happened?) He asked the driver of the car he just bumped into.

“What do you mean by that? You hit my car and you are asking me stupid question.” The other driver said.

“You no see me? You no see say I dey reverse?” The Honda Civic driver asked.

My jaw dropped as I watched the exchange. Was this guy for real? I thought. By now, there was a spill back of traffic and I tried to see if I could pass through as my final destination was before the road block.

The driver in the Toyota Corolla got out of his car in anger. “Ó dàbí pé o stupid? (I think you are stupid). Ojú è fó ni? (Are you blind?)

“Ojú tì ë ló fó?” (You are the one that is blind). The Honda Civic driver responded; spoiling for a fight.

I maneuvered my way through and as I got close to both men, I rolled down my window. “Oga, how can you reverse without looking back?” I asked the driver of the Honda Civic. “And you can apologize because you are wrong.” I continued.

“Can you imagine? He hit my car and he is claiming right again.” The driver of the Toyota Corolla said to me.

“Madam, mind your business. Wetin be your own?” The Honda Civic driver said to me.

“Haba! Who reverses without looking back?” I asked.

“Abeg, carry your car comot here.” The Honda Civic driver shouted at me.

I looked at the Toyota Corolla to see the damage done. There were a few scratches but no lights were broken. “Sorry.” I said to the driver of the Toyota Corolla. “I doubt the guy is okay.” I continued.

The Toyota Corolla driver hissed as he also looked at the damage done to his car.

I shook my head as I drove off thinking;

What would it cost the Honda Civic driver to apologize for his obvious wrong? Why do most people behave insane once they are behind the wheels?

I just wonder.

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Photo Credit: http://www.spareaze.com

The Baby Thief

It was a Vigil and the pastor asked everyone to stand up and pray. While some closed their eyes for full attention on their heart desires and to avoid distractions; some prayed with their eyes open. The prayers were going on for a few minutes when suddenly noise emanated from outside the church auditorium. Many who had their eyes closed opened their eyes to find out the source of the distraction.

A woman was carrying a baby, who was about six months old. The baby was sleeping peacefully, unaware of the commotion around her. A young girl who would probably pass for an eight year old was standing beside the woman. Another woman, clearly agitated held on to the woman carrying the baby. She was screaming at the top of her voice as she refused to let the woman go.

“Give me my baby.” She cried.

Her screams attracted stares from the congregation who sat at the far end of the hall and the church security operatives swung into action. Prayers were still ongoing; so they moved both women, the young girl and the baby away from the prying eyes of the congregation.

“Give me my baby. She’s a thief.” The woman kept shouting at the top of her voice as she attracted more stares.

“Madam, is this your child?” The security operatives asked the woman carrying the baby.

“No, she is not. I saw this girl carrying her and I was wondering where she was taking the baby to; so I accosted her and collected the baby from her. I was going to meet the security when this woman started calling me a thief.”

“It is a lie.” The second woman shouted as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I put my baby on the floor beside me while I was praying. By the time I opened my eyes, my baby was no longer there. I searched everywhere to know maybe she woke up and crawled away. It was when I looked outside the hall that I saw this woman with my baby. She stole my baby.”

“I did not steal your baby.” The first woman said.

The security operatives looked from one woman to the other; unsure of the true situation of things. “Do you know this girl?” One of the men asked the second woman.

“No, I don’t know her. I have never seen her before.”

The security operatives turned to the first woman. “We are just outside the auditorium. Which other security operatives were you going to meet?” They asked her.

While they questioned her, one of the security operatives took the young girl aside to interrogate her. He knew that if she worked with the woman, she would probably refuse to say anything while the woman was beside her.

 

A few minutes later, the mother walked into the church auditorium holding tightly to her baby. She knelt down; her baby on her left shoulder and her right hand lifted up in thanksgiving. Members of the congregation who had witnessed a bit of the drama tried to stretch their necks to see how the security operatives would handle the woman and the young girl; but they had been taken away from prying eyes.

The incident gave the biblical injunction “Watch and Pray” another meaning.

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Photo Credit: http://www.shuttershock.com

THE AGE DRAMA

As the driver moved the bus forward, the conductor shouted his destination. Passengers at the bus stop flagged down the bus as they walked briskly towards it. The conductor tapped the bus asking the driver to pull to a stop to pick them up. Among the passengers about to embark was an elderly lady. As she was about to get into the bus, the conductor shouted; “Dúró, arúgbó ni o.” (Wait, she is an old woman).

The woman got into the bus, faced the conductor and asked; “Arúgbó báwò o? Mi ò kí n se arúgbó o. Mi ò tí ì pé 70.” (Old? I am not old. I am not yet 70).

I looked back to catch a glimpse of the old/young woman and she was an elderly woman even if she wanted to refuse the “old” tag.

This however, got me thinking.

When a child is born till the age of about three, the child’s age is calculated in months. You hear parents especially mothers say “Oh, she is 13 months or 18 months or 28 months. You hardly hear he is a year old or 2 years old. The child’s age is graded in months.

The child becomes a toddler and till the age of about 12, conversations on a child’s age graduates to; “He is 9 plus or 6 plus.” Plus becomes an additional appendage to the age at this time of the child’s life.

From about age 13 when the child becomes a teenager, the plus is dropped and the age becomes fast forwarded. So a 15 year old will probably tell you, he is sixteen even if he hasn’t had his 16th birthday. This happens till about the age of 40/45 when we want to feel older.

Fast forward to the age of 50 upwards, we don’t want to be seen as growing old. We want to be seen as still young and if possible compete with the younger generation. Our age becomes our actual age. No additions, no pluses.

I have always wondered why there is a bit of drama with our ages and the scenario in that danfo bus highlighted my thoughts again.

You think you have an idea or an explanation, drop them in the comments section and let us hear from you.

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Photo Credit: http://www.playbuzz.com

Wedding Chronicles – The Promise

She had gotten the new job in the same month in which her wedding had been fixed. She thought about deferring her resumption date till after the wedding but she realized she needed the extra cash. Besides, instead of a long break prior and after the wedding, she was advised to make it short so as not to seem insensitive. The company was solely run by her boss and she had been recruited to assist her. A junior colleague who previously worked her job put her through everything she needed to know about the company.

A week after resumption, she informed her boss that she was getting married at the end of the month and would appreciate if she could be given a five-day break (one day before the wedding and four days after the wedding).

Her boss had been happy for her; or so she seemed. She congratulated her and wished her a happy married life. Her boss asked her what she would love as a wedding gift and she became confused. She hadn’t thought about it. Her boss noticed her confusion and told her not to bother; she promised to get her a microwave.

Even though she was happy about the offer, she made up her mind to hold on to it with a pinch of salt. She was aware that people made promises but fulfilling them was always a different story. She was granted her request and she made sure she put in her best on the last day in the office prior to her wedding. She stayed back to work long hours ensuring that nothing was pending.

Her wedding went smoothly and five days after as agreed, she resumed back at work. She however, got a rude shock when at the end of the month; she received her salary less five days. She smiled as she read the letter which had been typed by her boss stating that her salary had been prorated. No explanations were given and she did not bother to seek for one.

Her salary was barely enough and now, she was getting a pay cut. She remembered the microwave that she had been promised but knew that getting one from her boss would only happen in her dreams.

She shrugged as she counted her salary. Tomorrow was another day and it definitely held promise.

——–

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Who do we trust?

I stood at the bus-stop waiting for a tricycle (Keke marwa in local parlance). It had been a long day and I was tired and wanted to get home quickly. A young boy probably in his late teens passed by me with a girl also in her teens. I did not take note of them until he walked back and stood before me. “Please ma, we need money to go home.” He said.

In situations like this, I always prefer to follow my instinct. I looked at him and said; “Sorry, I do not have what to give you.” I had two notes in my bag. One fifty naira note for the marwa I was waiting for and one five hundred naira note.

He turned and started walking away. On second thoughts, I decided to call him back. “Where are you going?” I asked him.

“Ikotun.”

“Ikotun?” I said almost screaming. Ikotun was definitely a long way from where we were standing. “Where are you coming from?” I asked.

He looked at the lady who was standing away from us. “We are coming from our mother’s place at Orile. We did not even meet her and…..” He was saying and at a point I could not hear him again. Either he started talking quietly or the noise from the moving vehicles drowned his voice, I couldn’t say.

I looked at the “sister” and noticed that she neither looked in our direction nor did she make an attempt to come to where I stood talking to her “brother”. I was still contemplating on what to do when I heard someone call in the rude naija style.

“Heeeysss, heeeysss.”

The boy looked in the direction of the call and I was forced to look there as well.

“Helloooo sister, don’t mind them.” A marwa driver on the other side of the road with passengers in his vehicle called out.

That caught my attention and I looked at the marwa driver and listened intently.

“That is how they go around. They are lying. Don’t mind them.” He said to me.

He then looked at the boy who was standing beside me and said; “Ë ma se ara yín. Àwön ömö oní’ró òshì.” (You will meet your waterloo, silly lying kids).

The boy looked at the driver and acted confused. I tilted my head as I asked him; “So people already know you?”

“I don’t know what he is talking about.”

“Really?” I asked him. “How come he is so sure it is you? Do you think I have met him before?”

The boy couldn’t give me a response. He turned and started walking away.

I looked away and concentrated on the search for the marwa to take me home.

As I eased into the marwa and was driven towards my destination, I couldn’t stop wondering about the young boy and his supposed sister. How long had they been at this tactic of getting money from unsuspecting people on the streets? This is one of the reasons why people are wary of helping people on the streets; because how do you differentiate between people truly in need of help and the liars? Are the young ones now so lazy that they would rather beg than work for a living? I shook my head as I imagined them wasting their lives and destinies for peanuts.

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