There is this little boy who begs on the Ikeja road to the airport. He twists his right hand to look deformed. Not a very good attempt, if you ask me.
It cracks me up really.
Maybe I should take a photo.
I have looked at him closely, there is no burn or deformity there. I have even seen him at unguarded moments when his ‘deformed’ hand isn’t so deformed anymore.
Then I pity him. He couldn’t possibly have decided to stand on the road begging, could he?
Begging in Lagos….and the rest of Nigeria has become a lucrative business. In Calabar, they used to bring them in vans to beg early in the morning and at night they’d be whisked away to submit the proceeds of the day to whoever their pimp is. I hope the State Government has been able to do something about it.
There’s the lady with the pepertual scowl on her face still here in Ikeja under the bridge. Since I started working here at the airport in 2012 till now, I see her everyday quoting the same not-so-sad-anymore story “please help me, my mother is dying. She’s at the General Hospital.” I used to give her money but now I’ve grown weary of her. One time I actually asked her “Your mama never die yet?”
Then there are the others who beg and take phone calls with rather fancy phones that I don’t even use.
There’s this man I met at Oshodi who was begging every and anyone for N20 to add to his money to pay his fare to Obalende. He’d been begging everyone and still begging me. So I told him “oya come let me pay the bus fare for you. Enter the bus!” He shouted at me o. He told me to not spoil his market if I do not want to give him money.
Girl, I ran away o. Before I will just see a Nigerian movie play out in front of me where his fellow beggars will surround me and beat me.
Let’s not forget the “corporate beggars.”
Makes me feel bad for those genuine beggars who have nothing. Cause I hardly want to give to any of them.