I have nothing against beggars…well i do actually, but the type of beggars that annoy me are the “corporate beggars”. You may be wondering what exactly I mean, well you know that door man at tfc that gives you a patronizing smile, salutes and says ” aunty mi” in a annoyingly oily voice? A good example of a coporate beggar. Now, dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with tipping a guy who has opened the door for you, or helped you park..but its the way the stand there almost like ” aunty you better give me somthing o”..and worse still if you give them something below their expectation (sorry mate N100 is not a tip anymore) they show thier displeasure.
The one that gets to me most, are those one with stories, you find them in every church. They accost you after the service ” uncle pls help me, I am stranded, i only need N500 to complete my transport”…nice one! all you need is to tell that to 10 naive ladies and you’ve made 5k..not bad for a days work. The scary thing is that judging by thier diction and choice of words, these may be unemployed university graduates.
If you live in abuja you may know this one guy, tall not bad looking, he hangs around places like fed secretariat, sahad e.t.c. I encountered him for the first time 3 years ago at the secretariat. He greeted me warmly, he looked decent so I stopped and responded. He reminded me that we were on a flight from lagos a few weeks ago, it made sense i had been to lagos around that time. Then came his line ” pls do you have N1500 the taxi i came with is outside and I dont have enough money, I will pay you back later”( this is in abuja where taxi fares are cheap) . I shook my head and walked away.
I came across the same guy last year, same story line ” dont you remeber me?…then yesterday in sahad I saw a guy flagging me down and running to me, ” ah my friend wait now,it’s me, don’t you remember me? I looked at him I felt like saying ” yes I remeber you, your a fraud and you should try and make a decnt living form the money you have scammed of people…rubbish” but i just looked him in the face and said NO!…
How about those crazy phone calls. “Hello this is segun (everyone that grew up in the west knows at least one segun) from port” . I sure don’t know any segun that lives in port-harcourt! ” it’s me your old friend,ah its great to talk to you..ore mi.. I got your number from nike (another common name) please your in abuja right? Can you confirm your address ( he then goes on to reel out my actual address) I dont confirm anything..i’m just like “ok segun how can i help you” He then goes on to say how he has a contract for me in abuja .but as soon as he tells me about the contract his phone starts misbehaving..” ah sister pls, call back so we can discuss the contract”. Amazingly a friend who was with me told me to call back ” chi chi he must know you, after all he kn ows your address?” I shook my ahead and thought ” wow! you would be such an easy prey, I pray they dont get you” .
I came across another guy in wuse market, he was very unkempt and dirty, he was marketing a book he published, saying he didnt have money to launch and that i should buy from him. I bought the book and I saw him 2 weeks later…and I said ” young man, I admire the fact that you wrote a book ( more like a poorly written pamphlet) on a very topical subject (child abuse) but they are better ways of marketing.Standing by peoples cars and accosting them as soon as they come out..not a nice. He thanked me for my advice and went to the next car. I actually felt for this guy, cus at least he was selling something..infact I wont call him a beggar, that would be unfair.
The truth is that ihe si kwa ike na obodo nigeria..(tins r hard).but we thank God for his grace. Alot of people are forced to beg because things are so hard. Its heart breaking to see a full grown man or woman been reduced to a beggar.
Please feel free to send me incidents where you were approached my corporate beggars and the like and how you responded.