Super Me, Super You!

A while ago, I had a family emergency and I was the only one available to attend to it. So that cool Sunday morning, I took a bike (abeg, do we board okada? just asking) to the hospital but made a quick stop at the bank to withdraw some money. Now as you know, bikes are not allowed to park in front of banks so the bike rider dropped me off and proceeded to park at the end of the bank. I spend less than 5 minutes at the ATM and when I get outside there’s a scene! There’s a police van with about 4 armed policemen and they are trying to put the bike at the back of the van.

My bike man is pleading for mercy and I join in, telling them it’s my fault. I have an emergency; I had to stop at the ATM, blah, blah…but all that fell on deaf ears. A small crowd had gathered and we all pleaded with the policemen but they refused. At this point, the bike man (a Hausa) began to resist them. He dragged his bike with them refusing to let them put it in the back of the van.  Now this is a very bad combination – a Hausa man and policemen that have been resisted. Hausas are very easy going and trust worthy but they are also very stubborn and will fight with all it takes when they feel they are being treated unjustly. I once heard the story of a Hausa bike man whose bike was going to be carried away by policemen for some reason, this guy cursed them and set the bike ablaze saying he would rather have no bike than have the police take his bike again, apparently it had happened before. On the other hand, Nigerian policemen require the slightest resistance to employ the most force.

An idea of what happened

An idea of what happened

Anyway, at this point I can hear alarm bells in my head saying that things were going to get ugly really soon and they did. The policemen wrestled the bike man and destroyed his bike.  They removed the seat, deflated the tires and a key part of the engine leaving petrol and engine oil spilled on the floor, what was left was metal and wires. I was going to cry, I was so angry. I screamed at them saying the man had every right to fight because his means of livelihood was being taken from him, what kind of man would not fight back? I told them they could do this because they outnumbered him and had weapons. I asked them whether they could face him one on one or try this at a bike park. I was so angry, I called them cowards (well not literally) not that they were smart enough to deduce it anyway. They responded that thieves used bike men to rob banks so they were doing their job. I asked them whether I was a thief. I kept hearing “wisdom is profitable to direct” so I calmed myself down and let them go, at least they didn’t insist on taking the bike man and I to the police station.

Me, coming to the rescue! Pow!!!

Me, coming to the rescue! Pow!!!

I was angry at the policemen for being bullies, at the small crowd for being scared – they reprimanded the bike man for fighting for his bike, at myself for being helpless! I wished I were the daughter of the president or I had some special powers to punish them on the spot until they apologized to the bike man. As helpless as I felt, I could still do something. I asked him what was most important to buy back and how much it cost, I didn’t have all the money so I gave him about half of it. Something happened in that instant – the bike man didn’t expect that gesture neither did the small crowd. Suddenly, everyone was willing to help. We were stripped of tribe, status, and all that normally divides us; we were just brothers and sisters trying to help another brother in distress.

I thought to myself, what makes a super hero? Is it their fancy outfit and “super powers”? No, villains possess same. It’s the courage to do what is right and compassion for others. It’s the ability to put others first once in a while. It’s the ability to instill hope and keep hope alive. It’s being humane and seeing a life not colour, race, tribe, status when you look at a person. We are capable of these things; there is a hero in every one of us.

P.s Happy birthday Greg, thanks for being one of my heroes.



Recently on facebook, there has been a flood of pictures of guys carrying placards that read ‘men are not ATM’s’. I had a good laugh when I first saw it but it has become a steady recurrence and is gradually turning into a revolution of some sort. I have a colleague at the office who believes that all females (except me) are gold diggers! He is upset whenever he sees a young woman looking good or in nice car as he believes she has succeeded in draining another poor fellow.

Dual-currency cash machines in Jersey: as inte...

Wouldn't it nice to own one of these? Even better, a loaded one!

We often argue about this over lunch and I have tried to correct his mindset by letting him know that there are young women out there who are hard working and do not depend on a man as their source of livelihood. It didn’t help matters when another colleague was lamenting to us about a lady he met online who had come from Owerri, I think, to visit him. The night she arrived, he got her fries with chicken and a bottle of juice for dinner. The next morning he offered to get bread and some eggs for her to fry which they could have for breakfast but she declined and said she wanted shawarma for breakfast! By the way, who has shawarma for breakfast? Girls and forming sha, that one na tori for another day. Anyway, my colleague was livid! “Shawarma? It’s not her fault, it’s because I gave her chicken and chips last night. If to say I don buy eba or pounded yam for am yester night, she for don know level and for no get mouth ask me for shawarma. Rubbish!” Mehn, boys are not smiling o!

Given, some ladies are all about money but it’s just some, not all. Guys themselves like to spend money on women; it’s like a subtle rite of passage (lasting a lifetime) that affirms their manhood or manness. Personally, I feel the guys complaining and revolting are the ones who don’t have enough.

money flowers

If money grew on trees, flowers would look like this.

Have you seen my igbo brothers when hold well well? They are unrepentant ATM’s! At the slightest provocation –gbam! Ego! Money go show! And now you are concerned that some girls are leeches?

Some years ago, this used to be the conversation between me and my brother:

Me: Hello, I don’t have much credit. Please send me money, I’m broke.

Brother: Last born you don come again o, I don’t have money.

Me: Okay now, if you won’t send me money, I’ll collect from guys in school.

Brother: What did you say? Don’t try it o, I’ll send you money tomorrow.

Recently, the conversation changed…

Me: Hello, I don’t have credit (I never have seem to have credit), please raise me.

Brother: Ehn? Abeg, go and get a boyfriend. I don’t have money!

Translation: Boyfriend = Money

Now, before my dear brother had a woman, he used to spoil me silly. Two valentines ago, he got me a gold Anne Klein clasp wristwatch that cost five digits. Last valentine, my brother now engaged, promised to get me a blackberry. Valentine came, I got nothing, and fiancée got a deep pink blackberry torch. I’m not mad that he got fiancée a gift; I got a gift from bobo as well. I only realized that dear brother had a choice – me, fiancée, both or none, he picked fiancée. Would I now say she has turned my brother into an ATM? No! An ATM is a machine that is programmed to give out money, my brother is a MAN that has a brain capable of thinking and deciding whom to give, when to give and how much money will be given. Carrying placards that screams ‘Help! I can’t get out’ is cowardice because you can. Just say “NO”, “I don’t have”, “This is what I can afford”. Even an ATM tells you “TEMPORARILY UNABLE TO DISPENSE CASH” when it has no money in it.

Ladies, we sef no dey try! Before you landed that big catch you were content with fixing N650 darling yaki, now you want to fix N300k brazillian hair at all cost? Haba! The most annoying part is how most of us never get to do anything worthwhile with the money – hair, shoes, bags, clothes, make up, jewelleries, perfumes, trips abroad, at most car or an apartment.

A scattering of "brilliant" cut diam...

Girl's bestfriend!

Even if the man has money to throw in the air, must you now become a vampire? What is wrong in helping or rather teaching a man to save for the rainy day? A woman is a man’s helper. People rarely ask for help to pull down or destroy themselves, that’s foolishness. People ask for help when something is bigger than them like building up. You are in a man’s life to help him so help that man no matter how tempting it is to just chop him finish. And nobody say make you no chop because na our calling sef to chop but chop in a manner that lets you savour the taste of your man’s labour and appreciate him for providing. Bottom line is chop and feed him as well!

As for the guys who are tired of dispensing, need I remind you that an ATM is for the public? If you really want change, stop being public property and find a woman who will turn you into a fixed deposit with benefits of privacy and exclusivity. As for me, I got me some treasury bills!