Tag Archives: Lagos Beggars

Juju, Life and People in Lagos City

Common with metropolitan cities are urban centres where a push usually turns to a shove [I like the sound of that pun]. Places where you can’t avoid bodily contacts.

Oshodi before 2009
Oshodi before 2009

You’ve got to discount Lagos from such a list if there’s one…

“Lagos is the only city in the world where, if your body brushes off another mistakenly they clutch onto their John Thomas before letting you out of sight—in other climes, folks take a tap at their purse.”

You can’t take the spirit of brotherliness from Lagosians. So, with the rife belief in the ability of a man to cart away another man’s JT by mere bodily contact in crowded places, the mob of urbanized centres in Lagos don’t tolerate any alleged or attempted attempt to deprive a man of such vital organ. They will come to the rescue.

A story is told of a man who, having seen the rallying around of victims of such claims and the procedural examination of such victims that includes a treat from willing ladies to ascertain “its” functionality, decided to cry a claim.

On that fateful day at Oshodi, not only did he ram violently into the arms of an innocent man he jerked him up by the trousers screaming…”Oti mo oko mi” [He has taken my manhood]. His victim was still writhing in pains when slaps flew in from all corners on him. He denied as expected and the examiners were called upon.

As they – “the victim” and the tester- made for a make shift-stall some gossips quipped:

“Why e bi say na only this HIV Ashawo dey test all these guys?” [Why do they engage this HIV positive call-girl every time?]

“Before nko? if na your own wares, you go sell quality for free?”

On hearing this conversation, “the victim” took to his heels screaming:

“Mi o se mo” [I am not interested anymore]. The accused watched on in dismay, grabbing unto his dislocated shoulder, as the mob made a chase for the liar.


Rendering Assistance? Do it with caution…

In Lagos, another thing you need not do aside from not giving directions is giving unsolicited assistance to people.

I was driving with a pastor friend on a Wednesday evening to Agege. And this litter of people were stranded at Pen-cinema. The pastor requested we gave some people a lift at the back of our Honda Pilot. As we pulled over the pastor popped out his head and asked:  who is going to Agege here… the whole bunch of them scampered out of sight chanting “blood of Jesus!”Blood of Jesus

I burst into a hard laughter at the sight but the pastor was so infuriated he got down with his giant study bible telling them he is a son of God too… In Delta, we say “dem no dey carry Juju worship juju!”

Going Somewhere? Go with GoogleMapTM

Here, I was given a dose of my own pill without any coating.

I was invited to a church sometimes ago and told to alight at a particular bus stop but as with the ways of Lagos bus drivers, he took another route and dropped me way of the mental course I had in my head. I needed to find my orientation—which way to the north or south. So, I approached an on-coming lady. Me: “Please, excuse me, excuse me …”

Lady: “I don’t know what this country is turning to… do you want to tell me you don’t have a job too? Sorry, I gave my last change to the other guy down the road”

google mapsI smiled. I don’t even condescend to hale beggars too.

Henceforth, I use good O’ GoogleMapTM which is by far a worthy companion on the streets of Lagos.




PS: This is the sequel of “Of Diabolical Powers And The Nigerian Mentality” which my dear friend, MPH made so popular [Thank you].


***Black magic [Juju] is a belief grounded in Nigerians, west of sub-Saharan Africa and this guides the conduct of everyday life of the African people with suspicion. Even with the advent of the ecclesiastical missions natives look for potent power of Jesus to counter household demons and wickedness. People have had testimonies to the miraculous power of Jesus Christ however, we can’t but notice some hilarious moments.

What do you think? Is Juju overemphasized in the country or too trivialized on this blog? Share your tale!



Nigerians are very ‘funny’ people in every sense of the word. No logic is yet defined to explain away our idiosyncrasies.
In dealing with a Nigerian there are two things you should bear in mind.
As an undergrad we read a drama book “Who is Afraid of Tai Solarin” and the book left an indelible mark upon my soul in dealing with Nigerians.
The summary is the colonialists were frustrated at the limited effort of the newly introduced judicial system. Many natives didn’t have faith in it and not a few lie through their teeth even on oath.
In the midst of this crisis came a native judge who understood the psyche of the Nigerian soul.
During the administration of the oath with the Bible or Quran, the judge leans enough to whisper to the oath taker:
“Beware of what you say, there’s ‘Olugbohun’ inside this bible!”
Hot palpitation rang through their bodies and the subsequent proceeding became nothing but success.
The import of the story is the connectedness [reverence] of the Nigerian soul to its native gods and ancestors.
Today, there are probably more religious centres in Nigeria than the whole of Europe and America together; yet, Nigeria [not the government] ranks in the top league of corrupt nations.
I have used this simple principle to hilarious effect in shredding scams and ruses across Lagos city.

The Beggars’ Scam

Dotting every corner of Lagos city is a new emerging army of beggars –corporate beggars. This nuisance has been a bug on my mind for months… I have been begged [harassed] by every category of hale human beings: the old rugged couple stranded at Ikosi after a wedding ceremony; a brother and sister stranded every workday at Oshodi; a set of three umbrella wading housewives at Cele Bustop; a father who needs #3,700 for medical expenses every other week at Ikeja… just name the busstop in Lagos, and I can tell you the beggars’ hangout.
I had time on my hands the other day and played around with those at Ojodu-Berger. I made to give some stipend to another stranded citizen but held on to do as if I was on a call:
“Yes, Baba, did you say I should give the money to any beggar I have seen for more than three days at the same spot?”
“Okay, Baba, the one I am about to give is a woman, hope it is alright?”
Not only did I not see the woman at the end of the call. She made sure to signal the others down the lane of my evil intent.
The next time you get harangued by these Lagos beggars opt for my suggestion.

The Wicked Landlord

The only other profession [if you can call it that] next to the Nigeria Police in citizens’ contempt is the Lagos Landlords. Seems there is some hell these guys are trained.

I remember our first Landlord at Ketu who did all to make life difficult for all tenants until the day nemesis caught up with him.

He has frustrated this single mother of two [Alhaja] to a breaking point and the woman was ready that day to deal with him.

After all the regular shoutings and threats the landlord made for the bathroom shared by all ten-rooms of the house.
Soon enough the Alhaja stormed out of her room with some white substance. It could have been powder to the untrained eyes…

“I will show you today, if you are the only landlord in Lagos, that wouldn’t give me rest come out of that bathroom alive” she said blowing the substance unto the bathroom door.

The landlord’s son ran to warn him that Alhaja had sprinkled jaz for him…

“Baba, baba, don’t come out won ti gbon ogun sili fun yin! He cried.

Come and see begging that day! The Landlord we all feared was brought to his kneels by a woman who had had enough.

Even when Alhaja said she was only joking the more the landlord, and his now present extended family, begged for forgiveness.
Until Alhaja made a show of humming some irrelevancies before he came out… Of course, Alhaja didn’t stay beyond that year in the house.

The Bank Security

If you’re anything like me, then you lack a lot of patience. And a class of people you should watch out for is the bank security. They are a nuisance any day in delay tactics and coded begging.

Naturally, I indulge the flattering of keeping moustache and beards.

So you would understand what happened during the early days of Boko Haram siege…

I was at a Firstbank branch, a crush of people was waiting the grind of an entrance door’s scrutiny… as I dismounted from a bike and exclaimed “allihamdulilah” and the whole security pretences fled the scene including a turbaned man.

There and then I discovered Nigerians don’t want to die either for God or the devil.

A Corps member’s Experience

When you see militants and Niger-delta activists in struggles don’t go thinking they are acting up. That’s their psychological make-up. The Niger-Deltans are headstrong people and my service year was spiced with events that still regale me this day.

The secondary school students over there are built with a reckless audacity [not out of disrespect] but for what they think is right, regardless of what you think and know.

During my earlier days as a corper they dictated what they wanted [I should grade their scripts but never to return it to them] as has always been done to them in the school and expected me to comply.

I didn’t and threats can from teenagers to their teachers.

I did my own threatening too and news made the round that I would use Yoruba Juju on anyone who dared me.

A student came to confirm this news and knowing what she wanted I told her if I had anyone’s name I can do any harm to them regardless of distance.

The next day, another corper needed the SS 3 students’ names for the term’s dossiers but trouble broke out.

None was willing to put down their names. Hitler, a loyal student who had been sent decided to write out everybody’s’ name and punches started flying around…

“No be my name dem go use for Yoruba Juju!”

In fact, they fled the school in their numbers… this were the same students who warned their teacher not to walk at night, who threatened to shook their teachers, running from school at the mention of Juju that they cannot see.

When dealing with a Nigerian, please note this: he may be headstrong but he has an ultimate fear for diabolic powers. And this guides his relations with you and the society.
…to be continued