Troy’s Monday Bants

​Monday 29/05/2017 | 21:15

By Clement Troy Okolie

Clement Troy Okolie

Lol. Its rather unhealthy to start one’s piece with those three letter words, but please for the sake of laughter, pardon my beginning.

I am just trying to figure out why some of the things I have witnessed continue to happen and people fall victim to them. 

First of all, have you ever been stopped by a young person, probably below 30, well dressed, a manageable command of English and maybe holding a folder who asks you for transport fare? I know it is a common sighting in Lagos and it doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. I have had recourse to pass through Obalende on a few evenings and this same guy just walks up to me and asks me for money. He says he’s going to Ajah and does not have any cash with him. He shows me a folder and says he lost his money on his way to an interview or church or something remotely religious. I am not one to be easily fooled, so the first time he approached me, I gave him N100. I believe I was quite generous that day. But then the next time he appeared, I just couldn’t help myself but burst out into laughter. Here I was talking with one fine girl and this bobo came to ask for help. I’m sure he believed he would get some cash from me since I was with a girl and I wouldn’t want to “fall my hand”. Unfortunately for the Ajah bound fellow, I laughed and walked away with the madam.

There’s another who used to come to my church with the same excuse. After about 3 years he upped his game and started dragging on leg as he walked. They say if you tell a lie long enough, it’ll become your truth. That’s exactly this man’s story. I see the man these days still dragging the leg he started dragging 7 years ago.

There are really sad ones. One boy who grew up in my neighbourhood. One day, he just decided that living with his parents wasn’t good enough for him so he left home with a wrapper and a bowl in hand. He’s been begging ever since. He has refused to take his bath nor brush his teeth. Just another consciously crazy fellow on the streets of Lagos. 

What would make fully-grown men without any physical impediments take to begging eats my imagination. It cannot be for a lack of common home training. I refuse to tow that path. No parent wants to be ridiculed or even derided by passersby about the state of their children. The cause of this for me, is a lack of self-respect. The inability to see beyond ones sorry state. The lack of hope and belief in hardwork and dignity of labour.

I agree that our circumstances are different, but I know a fellow who I grew up with. I was older than him so I watched him finish primary school. When he was done, he refused to go to secondary school. I remember he told his grand mother who he was living with that he wanted to learn a trade. He was sent to learn capentry. Its been over 12 years now since he went to learn that trade. He hasn’t hit it big yet, but he still does his duty albeit without a smile on his face.

I’m sure we all have stories to tell, but some of us like to play “the saint” and act like we are doing those people a favour. No, you are spoiling our society. You are making it impossible for those who work for a living to see what they do as being the proper thing to do. 

These guys for me are con artists and must be seen as such. I don’t even have the energy to rant this evening. 

See more bants on Troy’s blog: mirrormyeyes

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