Once upon a time I was a little long throat. The type of kid that sits near you when you want to eat, eyeing your meat. My mum had warned me several times but did I listen? So one day after eating my own food, my mum carried hers and I went to sit near her, hoping for meat. I started dancing around her, going around and around. Then she dipped her hand into the soup bowl, like she wanted to cut a piece of small meat for me. I opened my eyes and was peering in, ole like me, only for her to sprinkle soup into my eyes. Eternal lesson I learnt that day. I was permanently cured from my long-throat.
Fast forward, I was standing somewhere in Oshodi, waiting for a friend when this very chubby man walks up to me and starts speaking scattered pidgin. What I deciphered was that he was a businessman, who came from Cotonou, and that he was looking for someone to help him count naira. I didn’t say anything. Another guy standing beside me, came closer and asked, “why you nor help the man na, na JJC e be o.” I was still quiet. Then this new guy asks the man, “if we help you wetin you go give us?” The chubby man forgot he was not supposed to speak pidgin and replied, “I go give una Blackberry, laptop, money sef, I just really need help.” At this point, I wanted to play the game with them, to see where it would lead, but a news headline flashed in front of my eyes: “Girl found dead in Oshodi.”
So I just walked away.
A few months after this incident this being a few days ago, I was on my way home in the evening, it was raining. Lagos mammy water dem blocked the road again (because I don’t know what else causes traffic when it rains), so I got to my bus stop and was walking home, when this elderly man walked up to me:
Him: My daughter, abeg where Mavis Plaza dey?
Me: (thought for a while) I don’t know.
Him: No be Ogba bus stop be this? Dem say if I reach here make I ask anybody.
Me: Oga I don’t know
I continued walking; he walks up to me again, by now I was already irritated. “Abeg wetin mi mo mean? People don dey tell me that thing, I no be Yoruba.”
By now I still thought I was talking to a human being and replied, “I don’t know.”
God come catch them. They now went and spoilt their script. A younger guy walked up to me and said, “Why you nor help that man na?” That’s when my brain clicked. The older man joined us again, gave the younger guy a foreign note (I don’t know which) and walked on.
Ah, I was sad o, old man like this, looking for whom to scam. I am sure he saw a small person and thought I was a kid, gullible enough to fall for his age, he even took the “my daughter route.”
The younger guy continued talking, “Chai this man na mumu o, he just give me dollars because I give am direction to Mavis plaza, help am now.”
I just put in my ear piece and walked faster. He must have gotten the message. But I would think about them later. How many people have fallen prey to their scam, allowing their greed to get them into trouble.
This Lagos is a very dangerous place, especially for long-throats.