I was minding my business, going from bank to bank because of BVN. I was walking from GTBank to Ecobank, the sun was in my eyes, making me squint. I wanted to get back to the office sharp sharp and so when I walked past a mini taxi park, and heard ‘hey hey’, I didn’t stop. Besides, my mother did not name me ‘hey’.
At the bank, a loud mouthed man who said he was a lawyer was going on and on about how BVN is illegal, how if he had time we would have sued the CBN, and he was seated there registering for the BVN. Arrrgh, Oga shut up, but he continued. The lady doing the registration was engaging him, wasting my time. Finally Oga ‘Sue CBN’ finished and left, and they attended to me. Yay. BVN done! Back to the office.
On my way back, I walked past the taxi park again. I don’t know where he came from, but one of them held my hand, pulled me back and said ‘You passed here before, we were calling you hey hey, you did not respond, how can you pass seated men and not greet them? Is it good? Your mother did not train you well?’ I saw red. I eyed this man up and down, eyed the rest of them as they were nodding in agreement.
Shey I should do like the Malawian President abi? Because, home training.
I yanked my hand and swallowed, twice, because if I had opened my mouth then the man would have known I wasn’t trained at all, not to talk of trained well.
As calmly as I could, I said ‘Oga I am not obligated to greet you, don’t be dragging people on the road demanding for greeting.’ Shock made him mute. He opened his mouth and couldn’t say nada. He had expected me to say sorry and greet. I could have done that but abeg not every day, ‘sorry sir; I did not see you’ or some other random excuse. I was not in the mood, greeting is not by force. Shikena. As I walked away, I heard the others laugh and Mr ‘Greet Me’ cursing his head: small girl like you, no home training, useless girl, and some other Yoruba words followed. I should have just kept on going, but I had to, so I turned back and stuck my tongue out at him.
By Lucia Edafioka