So yesterday I was robbed.
This probably isn’t news to most of my fellow Lagosians but believe me, until it happens to you, it will seem as a trailer from a movie you watch on Netflix or FOX. It was quick, as though it was a rehearsed play for the stage. I didn’t see it coming, but before I could say Bangdadadang…the deed was done. The annoying part is that I was broke and a thoughtful friend had just handed me some money I could use to survive until the next pay day. All I could do at the end of it all was feel angry. I kept thinking, how did that happen? Why are people so wicked? I was mad but that’s as far as it goes.
I joined a colleague who agreed help me to convey my just purchased refrigerator home. The rain decided to show its talents today and that resulted in leaving the office late. I had heard tales of the famous Ladipo and its awon hustlers but up till this point, it was a myth. We were stuck in traffic (as with everything else that happens when it rains in Lagos), I was all chatty with my colleague when they came. Two young men, standing on either side of the passenger door.
“heys’ dem no they rob for here, o… but bring your money”
At first I almost laughed, which money and for what? Security fees? And where are your security uniforms?
The other said something in Yoruba, I did not understand so I responded saying;
“I don’t understand Yoruba, what are you saying?”
His partner obviously was not interested in what I had to say because he yelled again.
“Oga, madam I say bring your moni!”
My colleague turns to me and says;
“please do you have any money bring, lets give it to them”.
I was baffled. Maybe because being a guy I expected him to pull some macho stunt (please excuse me for the sexist line of thought, but a girl ocassionaly needs a knight in shinning amour, abi?) however, I reach out and search for some money. As I stretch out to give him the N500 note I could find. There is a very visible frown on my face but guess what? agbero don’t care ‘cause he threw it right back at us.
“Your moni never complete”
Excuse you? Was this a price haggling session?
My colleague repeated the same question again and I couldn’t understand why he was doing that so I yelled… “why the heck are we giving them money?!”
anyway, to save you the stress of the unpleasant conversation, we ended up giving them Ten thousand Naira (we both contributed). Just like that! Money that I did not have. Nna ehn, I was mad. The traffic wasn’t helping matters. We had to turn back to the office, hoping that the traffic would have cleared up much later. It was almost 8pm at the time.
I was shook, my colleague took time to explain what had just happened. We had just been robbed. A modified style of robbery I must say. I couldn’t say anything till we were almost back at the office. My colleague said I should be thankful we even had the money to give them and that the society was to blame…really? Please does this society have a face, because I’d like to ask for a refund! In the end however, I had to agree with my colleague, it could have been worse, they could have taken more than they did and even harmed us but didn’t. So for that, I am thankful.
It’s funny how fast it happened, how people and every other thing around us seemed unruffled by the incident. In all of these, one thing is certain, this firsthand experience in addition to the many stories I have heard has taught me a few lessons for living in Lagos and ‘imma carry it around like a manual.