Friday, November 17, 2006


Peter gets a Job

That's how my Phone was now ringing early on Sunday morning o. Nobody calls me on a Sunday morning ever. I mean never ever.

Okay so i pick up the phone reluctantly and it just took one 'Hello' to know dude dialled a wrong number. You know how it is when someone goes 'Hello' and you know without a doubt it's a Domestic staff or your Tailor ok sorry your Designer lol, or Sikiru your Mechanic calling you from Ladipo "Oga your money no reach to buy Crank shaft o". Shuoo! Why are you forming now? Oh you no dey use Local Mechanic sorry o. My bad. Ajebutter. Na Coscharis Autos dey Service your Range Rover Jeep pele o. Look make i tell you true story If you escape Sikiru or Morufu because you get Brand new car ehn, You better go buy a Private Jet too. You are asking me why? Okayee, make i tell you. There are no Certifications in Naija for Aeronautical Engineers. How does that affect you? Listen make i tell you now, This means that when a Plane lands at the Domestic Airport in Lagos en route to Abuja or Sokoto or wherever.If you are priviledged/unfortunate to walk down to the Hanger you will be shocked to your bone marrows.
Here's the scenario.
A plane(Insert name here ADC, Chachangi, Belview, warever) is leaving in 20 mins. The Cabin Crew complained to management about Shaking, extreme Rattling and an unusual loud noise from the Engines, plus the tyres aren't retracting. Serious stuff right?
Wrong. Solution = 2 Sunburnt ugly, smelly "Aeroplane" Mechanics jump on the scene. They are tracing fuel lines, and while you are checking in, they are checking tyre pressure. Be prepared to hear stuff like "Morufu fun mi ni 10 spanner" "Jamiu fun mi ni 6 flat"(Morufu pass me the 10" Spanner and the 6" flat screwdriver)
I kid you not. And People are surprised planes are dropping off the skies like Bird shit.

Wetin i dey talk before sef? Ehen, So that's how my phone was just ringing on Sunday sha
i now picked up the phone and a gruff voice at the other end "hello this is Corporal Inyang" I'm like "wrong number mate" and he goes "is that BabaAlaye"? I do a double take. Emm ...Yes it is...*Lord what is it now* "Oga your friend is here in our custody he wants to speak with you".

At this point i'm totally gobsmacked.I mean WTF? then the dude gets on the phone Good morning it's your friend Peter. I'm like Peter who??? The only Peter i know has a Roman Church named after him and he's been long dead. I don't know you o!!! Abeg where did you know me from. (I was quickly losing it at this point.)

You are laughing at me abi? It's not your fault. 2 days "cooling your heels" in a Naija Detention cell will change your outlook to life. Trust me on this one.
Anyway sha, na so the guy come talk say "Babaalaye i was at the Estate park with you on Friday. It's Peter from your Church". Okay, the Coin dropped at this point. I remember the guy now. He was a somewhat slow dude who attends my Church in the Home fellowship (well...the few times i turn up there lol) and was talking about me helping me out with a job and sturves. Nice enough chap but presently going through a rough patch and he doesn't seem too quick on the uptake.

Well, Church or no church me i no want wahala so i'm like "Dude what did you do? "Why are u at the Police station"? And "Why are you calling me?" Then he started mumbling some incoherrent stuff, and the impatient Police man jumps on the line and starts to explain his offence.

Here's what happened. The Dude (Shebi i said he's a "job seeker") ehen. He had gone out on Friday morning looking for employment. E don waka all of Broad street, Marina, Adeola Odeku,
Sanusi Fafunwa, all the VI streets sha in fact the guy go don sabi road pass Okada driver sef. still no show. He was broke and didn't have any money for Transportation so he walked home on an empty stomach.To make things worse, his uncle who's BQ (Boys Quarters)he was squatting at was out of the country. So what's a desperate Man to do?

He bids is time, waits until it's almost check out time, and confidently walks into the Estate's fast food Restaurant, walks into the Men's room, and promptly locks himself in.
2 hours later Dude Emerges from the Toilets, looks around furtively for a minute, he's sure no one's around and makes his way straight to the Food section and turns on the light.
Mehn!!! The sight this guy must have seen.... A hungry man looking at Juicy Fried Chicken and Fried Rice, and Fried Snail, tens of packs of chilled Orange juice, Pineapple juice. Heaven!!!

Na so the guy carry plate begin the feast of his life o. Infact ehn!!! the guy ate and his soul was satisfied, then he went to the Childrens Corner to sleep.

The Shop Manager got in the next morning and saw several crushed chicken bones in a plate and empty packs of Orange juice. I guess he musta been alarmed at first but upon closer inspection, money wasn't missing from the till. So i guess after heaving a sigh of releif that his Job was still intact he eventually finds our Man Peter curled up at the Kidddies section sleeping blissfully.
To cut a long story short sha na so Police come arrest the guy o. But the Restaurant didn't want to press charges since he didn't steal money or anything. They only wanted his bill cleared.

So that, in a nutshell be the story wey i glean off Corporal Inyang and Peter the midnight Ninja. I felt releived that the guy wasn't in Custody for Armed Robbery or anything Major like that. Then i started feeling bad that things can actually get so bad that a fellow man will have to resort to pulling stunts like that just to stop the hunger pangs gnawing away inside of him.
I had to go "bail him out" from the Police Station and i paid off the Restaurant.(I made a mental note note to spend a dime there anymore) If they can't let go of something that trivial, something must be seriously wrong with the world. Duh!!!

So i get a text from Peter this morning. He's gotten a Job at a Bank in Lagos as a Mail Man. I feel so good and happy for him I guess it's good news friday.. At least another one off the unemployment line. It's a tought place this. You'll never know what people are going through in Naija at the other end of our air-conditioned cars, running around in the hot sun trying to sell a phone recharge card. Just so they can eat.
People here are so tough they'll survive a Holocaust and still crack a smile.

This Christmas can i challenge somebody not to buy that PSP, or XBox, and i'm sure that Jimmy Choo is to die for, and you've been dreaming about that Hermes bag. But Can we please make at least one person back home in Nija smile.Do a Western Union Transfer to Grandma or Uncle or that Auntie that you used to look up to while you were still in Naija, but now looks all haggard and weatherbeaten due to the severe hardship in this country. Pleease just reach out and love someone p-l-e-a-s-e. I'm sure you know at least one person who needs it.
Every little helps. (Sorry Tesco)

In as much as I was cracking up at your very witty account of what happened to Peter, I cannot help but agree with you 250%. The last time I was home, we had to drive through Maryland pretty much everyday, and I saw the same faces of the disabled, the blind, and the hungry over and over and over again and it hit me so hard that these people remain hopeful despite the fact that that corner of the curb on that road is probably where they will be till the end of their days. I couldn't stand it - and ended up giving any small change I had but that isn't a permanent solution, especially in a place where most people don't give a damn about strangers needing help. I am so convicted about coming up with a solution to help that particular group of people....don't know how yet though.

I heard on the news today that at various locations in the US, people have gotten into altercations over the new PS3, and others are paying as much as $3000 to get a hold of one. Priorities, right?
whao... that's terrible what a man has to resort just to get some grub... doesn't say much for the society that we live in... he didn't even get robbed and the restaurant owner still pressed charges?!?! I feel for the peters of the world and you're right.. we should do more... definitely we should do more...

Great writeup and funny(In a twisted way) as usual.. lol
Thank u so much for this post. It brings light into areas where people do not naturally look into. And u're very good at writing...very amusing, someone reading ur stories won't want to

Ol'boy Peter no sabi Ninja style, so even term him a Ninja.
LOL! You are certainly correct, it's Heaven he saw when he met dem foods, that's why he didn't even leave the premises before thinking of sleep.
Wow it's great to find someone who makes a conscious effort to help the less fortunate. It is always heartbreaking seeing the beggars on the streets like Ms May said but I also feel very disheartened whenever i think of the people whp struggle day to day. Like the drivers who get paid N10 - 15K a month which is meant to feed his family of 6, and then you realise this is half of what some guys spend in one night going out.

Good post - quite funny as well.
This post was really touching. Really into public service and charity(yes there is another side to me, lol) and the things I've seen can't even be described. We take things like eating eggs for granted, to some families that is a major luxury. I love you idea about giving up a luxury item and making somone happy with the money instead. In addition to me and my fam's regular charitable dinations during this period, I'll give up one(baby steps)major luxury item this xmas.There is a bag I was goin to buy this week, and the douch will make several people happy.
@ Ms May Thanks. Matyland is pretty bad. I see the same faces all the time. I wonder what their dreams are?

@ONB. Horrible. I swear. I found out the owner of the Restaurant didn't hear of this case. Just the Shop Manager trying to keep his job.
(Wait 'til i the cockroach.)

@ Jaycee Thanks You're too kind. Let's keep helping.

@Anthony lol

@ noni. You mirrored my tots there. I'll explain in detail.

@Brocco. Babe, I know that bag meant a lot to you. Thanks. You still Rawk without it jare.All those Lekki chics ain't got nufink on you. Thanks 4 making peole happy by just that one act.Much love.
baba, its sad o. it always breaks my heart when i drive through the streets of lagos, to see these poor people obviously scrounging to get by. it puts into perspective the blessings of my life.

i do all i can to help those around me, but a i realise that the odd grand i give to the guards and drivers at the house won't do anything to help them long-term, merely feeding a man fish when all he needs is the lessons on how to catch his own.

nice post.
Very funny post but with a moral to it, what more could you ask for?

You know what, one of the reasons I don't think I could live in Nigeria now is because I find it hate seeing all those people that have so little, even the ones with jobs like housegirls. While I'm grateful for what I have it, the unfairness of it all hits home because the only difference between them and me is that I drew a lucky straw at birth and was born to parents who weren't poor. In Nigeria particularly, I think it's very difficult to move out of your social class if you are at the bottom to begin with.

Long story short, I'll definitely make an effort to give to people less fortunate than me and not just at christmas.
awww so true , ppl r here paying 1300 for a ps3 for what now and there are ppl starving , i mean what is it with the world ehn, i always wondered why the world was the way it was till i came across this quote
We cannot merely pray to you, O god to end war
For we know that You have made the world in a way
That man must find his own path to peace
Within himself and with his neighbor
We cannot merely pray to you O God to end starvation
For you have already given us the resources
With which to feed the entire world
If we could only use them wisely
We cannot merely pray to you, O God
To root out prejudice
For you have already given us eyes
With which to see the good in all men
If we would only use them rightly
We cannot merely pray to You, O God to end despair
For you have already given us the power
To clear away slums and give hope
If we would only use our power justly
We cannot merely pray to you, O God to end disease
For you have already given us great minds with whch
To search out cures and healing
If we would only use them constructively
Therefore we pray to You instead, O God
For strength, determination and willpower
To do instead of just to pray
To become instead of merely to wish!
Nice one! You are very real and i like that. You got me with the "oga, your money no reach to buy crank shaft oh." That brings back memories for me.

Your post is absolutely hilarious, babaalaye!
@ Olawunmi I know how you feel Bro.
But seriously the odd grand here and there does go a long way. This guys cannot neccesarily afford a long term view.
A guy wo earns 8,000 every 31 days gets 1,000 gratis. That is an awful lot of money. At least his kids won't go to bed hungry that night.You might not know it but you woulda done your bit.

@ Vicki Thanks Mami.

@Bhookey That was deep. Got me thinking

@Through these eyes. Ehen, Those days when your moto dey die for on top 3rd mainland bridge shey? lol
awww, I really feel for the peter guy..thank God he's at least gotten job. but na wa for those resturant people, they could not just dash the guy the food!!

Poverty in Nigeria is so real and there's such a wide gap between the rich and the poor that its so easy to get caught up in your own world and forget all about it.
oops! relay your stories well (I blame the laughing for the typo).
oops! relay your stories well (I blame the laughing for the typo).
The above comments were meant for another post (had too many windows open at the same time). Apologies!
this is so touching I am in tears. I hope peter is ok thanks for being a good friend. Yes we miss out on what means the most family.
This is really really touching, you are such a good man to step in for him at that point.
Poverty could make people do desperate things sometimes, and Peter was stupid enough to sleep in, obviously it all could be blamed on poverty and frustration. Which I am pretty sure the restaurant could over look. Its really sad, when someone can afford to throw away and waste, some are begging for that scrambles.
But on the matter of sending money home? How do I know who needs it, they all want to compete with me, wants to wear Gucci suit, duh! I dont work yet I cut my cloth according to my length. I rather sponsor a child thru World Vision..LOl
awwww. poor guy.. What he did was wrong but still,the restaurant should have let him slide on the bill. Gosh thats so sad that someone has to go that.
alaye.. I was thinking why dont yall organize some sort of food drive to feed the needy. Like raise some money, buy some goods, and just drive up and down all these areas and hand them out to the needy.
My grams does it every year, she gets these women to come cook jollof rice etc.. then they pack it in to go type bags and they take it down to where all these beggers congregate.(forgot the area)

I know you cant feed everyone but still. Maybe if everyone donated like 1k each to feed 2 people type of stuff.. Just a thought
i do think certain things need to be put in perspective

i understand that ppl get paid little but think about the ppl paying them...not everyone can afford to pay as much as they would like giving their own responsibilities

life in nigeria is the true "survivor" do what you have to do to move on to the next day

now with peter locking himself up in the restaurant...that was wrong and granted his situation you would of course want the restaurant to be lenient however...
there are two sides to every story. The restaurant's thought could be "this could be the beginning of a new trend...lets nip it in the bud before it continues"

the law is the law...what is right is right...except of course what is right is subjective based on your socio-economic status
Wow I thought I knew how bad the situation is in Nigeria. I guess I'm not even close. This story is really touching, thank God he finally found a
That is really sad. For someone to be so hungry and penniless that he had to break into a restaurant. We really must do more to stamp out poverty in Nigeria. It's amazing that in the same country, people have 10 houses and 20 cars, while some have nothing at all.
i love ur writings
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
babaalaye..i need to ask.."where have you been all this while"?
u need to keep writing...damn..i have been down with a flu for days and just out of boredom decided to log in and by sheer luck(thank God,came across your blog)
u are toooooooo funny.and im loving you already lol.
and as for what you mentioned,u are so right,the rate of poverty in our country is alarming and it hurts me when i see people willing to drop one thousand pounds for a balenciaga get up,but would screw up their faces like someone took a shit on it,when they are asked to make a donation.
yess,i am atimes guilty of splurging on that totally unnecessary extra pair of shoes..but my xmas present to myself this year,any of my toasters that wanna buy me gifts,ill ask for a money equivalent instead.i know 2 younger girls in nigeria who are like my aburos, who are not able to go to law school because their parents are not well off.and the price of a couple of bags will go a long way in helping each of them.
please keep on doing what you do.keep it real,but please dont lose the humor.
lamo, but for real that was really touching and i do agree with you, we should be more compassionatye, abeg baba alaaye update now, its not fair oh, kilode. alaye, me too i get crush on u ooh, and this is coming from someone thats has dated a naijaboy since j.s.s.1,
my bad, I meant hasnt not has, anyway i always enjoy visiting your blog
I'm in love with u already, babaalaye. I can just imagine u narrating these stories in dat area boyish tone. U're for shizzle ma nizzle. Keep it coming!
i think i am falling in love with you,it is refreshing to know that there are people that are compassionate and actually care about the unfortunate conditions occuring in our country.Nigerians need to start viewing one another as brothers and sisters. all that elitist bull has to end. love your blog,stumbled upoon
this is touching...and it is the reality...I will definitely do as you've said this coming christmas...gosh...the things we take for granted!
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