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Friday, 4 March 2016


I was enjoying the moderate speed of the keke until a someone flagged it down. The driver pulled over to pick the new passenger. I turned to look properly; she was an old lady, very old and frail. There were at least a million lines of wrinkles on her face, sprinkled with signatures of poverty and hardship. The keke driver asked for her destination. “My son, please help me. I want to drop at ****” The keke driver was not going that direction so he replied her: “Madam, I no de go that side.” She was still in need of his services. She asked pleadingly if he could help drop her along the road somewhere that would be closer to her route where she could pick another vehicle. “Please help me my son, my waist is aching badly, I can’t stand for long,” she pleaded. “Madam, I say I no de go,” he replied impatiently and was about zooming off. “Wait,” I said. I pulled out a hundred naira note and handed to the old woman. “Please Ma add this to your transport fare.”  I handed the money to her and she thanked and blessed me before we moved. On the way, the keke man started a conversation with me.
“Do you know that most of those old women on the road are witches? Nigerian films have taught me a lot of things. They can use your help to harm and frustrate your life.” I couldn’t help chuckling at his display of fear and suspicion towards the old lady. “I was only helping an old woman in need. That’s what my Maker says we should do; not to withhold good from another when it is in our power to help. If she attempts to use my help to cause me harm, then she’ll be heaping red coals on her head.” He couldn’t debate further so we continued the ride in silence.

The mentality of people, especially Nigerians have been seared by events foretold, overheard, experienced or imagined to the extent that no one can be trusted, helped, or assisted, even in situations that affirms the cry for help is genuine. There’s always that paranoid feeling of doubt, fear, suspicion and self-protection that on so many occasions, we shield ourselves from the rest of the world, living in a cocoon of self centeredness, in the process, depriving ourselves the essence of existence, sometimes, even depriving ourselves of disguised golden opportunities. Sometimes, we don’t even have anything to lose but that thing in us, that shell around us tries to block others out of our lives. To some extent, it limits the ability to socialize and widen our circle of connections.
There are so many other instances asides the old lady case. So many times, while travelling, if I happen to be seated beside a fellow young mind, I usually like to start up a conversation to keep the journey enjoyable. I’ve made few nice friends from such avenues. It’s often easier if you’re seated by a guy, the whole conversation thing is not that difficult but good lord, let it be a female and you’re most likely in for a big show. When you say a “hi”, she acts like she didn’t hear you the first time until you repeat. Then, you see the way she configures her face and rolls her eyes in a way that says, “Guy, I know what you’re up to. Y’all are the same. You’re wasting your time” before she reluctantly replies your hi. Dammit girl! For christsake, I’m not gonna ask you for sex. I wonna introduce our blog to you! Open the f**k up! 
I recall how reluctant Catherine was when we first met in a bus from Aba to Uyo. I know she’ll be LOLing now while reading this. Even after stealing my window seat, she was still uptight over keeping a simple conversation. After a while, she opened up and then she realized how useful I was to her immediate needs. Today, we’re still good friends.

Nowadays, mothers lock their kids indoors with television and nannies, barring them from playing with neighbouring kids for fear of harm. I wonder what harm had befallen me when I used to run around half naked with many other kids, playing, climbing trees and struggling for fruits. Nowadays, the fear and suspicion of fellow men is the beginning of wisdom.
The level of suspicion and absolute fear of relationship is so high even an elderly lady on the road wouldn’t give her load to a young man willing to assist, except in a rural setting. When I watch western movies, I like what I see. You can see a fellow at a train station holding a cigarette. He walks up to another guy and asks for light. You see the other guy handing out a lighter readily. If it was a Nigerian situation, the guy asking wouldn’t even bother doing so because he’d be suspected of being a pickpocket. Hey, I know not everything in movies is real but it can’t be all that’s unreal. Some actually reflect cultures. I also came across another advert from Mentos on Facebook. I loved the concept of the advert but I really laughed at how frustrating it could have been in a Nigerian situation. I’ll drop the link at the end of this article so you can also see the clip.

Back to the matter; suspicion, yeah, actually, I’m not blind. The days are evil and wickedness has encapsulated the hearts of men. We have serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, criminals, ritual killers and all you could name. Notwithstanding, you still got to know that love is the greatest. Perfect love drives away fear and irrational suspicion. Don’t be too uptight towards helping others or opening up to others. There are several benefits. In case you forgot, life itself is a risk so take that step now, get out of that shell. Stop living in fear of that previous harsh experience and be useful to yourself and humanity. 
So let’s start by meeting; “Hello my name is Nickz, what’s yours?”

Here’s the Mentos link: 

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