It was a hot morning sometime in 2016 abi 2015. Maybe 2014 sef. I was in Uniben then, that I remember clearly. I had gone to Ikeja to shop for back-to-school stuff.
Our bus stopped at the designated point, close to the bridge. We got down and I checked to make sure my wallet and phone were still in my pockets. Drop your guard for just a split second and Lagos people will steal your soul.
Immediately, I entered Computer Village, this guy walked up to me, holding out a Blackberry Bold 5 phone. “You want buy phone?” he asked.
I was using a Blackberry then, Bold 2. I had been using it for so long the letters and numbers on the keypad had wiped off and I was typing blind.
New and upgrade phone no go bad at all.
“How much? “ I asked the guy.
“Fifteen p,” he said.
Fifteen ke? This looked like a good deal.
“Fifteen thousand naira,” he said.
I took the phone from him and turned it over in my hand, bouncing it lightly on my palm, switching it off then switching it on again, testing its weight in my hand. Before they sell me fufu like the first time I bought a phone there. One mad guy chopped my 5k and gave me this Motorolla phone that didn’t work once I got home. And at that time, 5k was like 80 percent of my salary. If I knack somebody swear like this, people will say “You wan kee person pikin because of ordinary 5k.” Which ordinary 5k!
Anyway, back to our gist, the phone looked like legit, felt like legit and thus I said to myself “this is legit” and decided to buy it.
Now, here’s the thing with buying at Computer Village/Ikeja underbridge, as you are buying something, you are either praying or chanting incantations. Especially when you are buying from those roadside boys. They have so mastered the art of deception and packaging that even if you shine eye like torchlight, if they want to get you, won ma gba e neat.
Lagos boys will cheat you in the presence of your father and your father won’t even scold you because him sef wey dey dia dey look no even see the scam. Those guys have no single joy of the Lord at all.
Anyways. Back to our gist. I told the guy I would pay him the money and insisted on holding the phone all throug. It is not me that they will sell phone that they switched as I was counting money. At that time, I was familiar with some of their tricks. They would have a replica phone in their pocket, swap it with the one you checked out as your attention was diverted (usually by a second man) and next thing you are on a bus, heading home with foolish pride in your chest thinking you held your ground. Not knowing say boys don commot carpet from under your leg and you no even know.
“Let’s go to a safer place where you can give me the money,” the guy said.
We were walking to the said safe place when I noticed a second guy following us.
(To Be Continued)
Won ma gba e neat : Dem go chop you clean.