In 2013, I visited a friend’s house in Ekiti and I was there for one month because we were to co-start and execute a project.
On the first week of my arrival, we were unable to start the project because we were waiting for some materials without which we can’t start the project. So we had no choice than to wait for its delivery.
I was indoors throughout the first three days with my friend. I requested we have a walk around the neighborhood on the fourth day because I was beginning to get bored staying at home from morning till night. 🙈😄
While moving around the neighborhood, we got to a particular junction where a woman I presumed to be in her forties was selling PAP & AKARA. So I told my friend I will like to buy AKARA and then buy bread on our way home because I don’t take pap.
On getting to the AKARA standpoint, we met about nine or ten people there waiting for their turns. So my friend and I also joined the queue.
While waiting for our turn, there came a woman who was holding a girl who was around age 7 or 8. They both approached the Akara seller from an adjacent building.
The AKARA seller asked why the young girl in the woman’s company was crying and this other woman replied “I beat her.”
It dawned on me that the young girl was the daughter of the AKARA seller. She was eager to know why this other woman laid her hands on her daughter when she had only sent her to collect the money this woman owed her for two weeks.
The woman claimed the young girl had shouted at her when she told her the money she’s owning her mother isn’t available.
At this point, the AKARA seller became furious and said to the woman that God will judge her.
The next thing we heard after this statement was a resounding hot slap from the debtor.😢
Everyone present wondered why she slapped the AKARA SELLER because what she said isn’t enough reason for a sane person to slap her fellow human.
But I guess they had some personal issues with each other prior to the incident and she took advantage of that.
To say I was angry that day would be an understatement. I was boiling in my spirit because I hate injustice and I detest people taking advantage of the hopeless.
I said to my friend I will get the woman arrested because that was the only option I had. I don’t like jungle justice and I am not in support of violence for whatever reason.
The AKARA seller pleaded with me not to get her arrested because they are neighbors and she doesn’t want people to start criticizing her or accuse her of locking her neighbor up in the cell.
I wasn’t pleased with her excuse but then, there’s a limit to what I could do. So we bought the AKARA and left the place.
While walking back to the house with my friend, I kept pondering about what happened a few minutes back and was asking myself why anyone in their right senses will treat their fellow human in such a manner.
Immediately we got home, I told my friend I will make it a point of duty to patronize that woman every day till I left Ekiti State, even when I know I don’t need the AKARA.
So I visited her the next day at her usual joint, and she was happy to see me. She thanked me for the previous day and narrated her ordeal to me since she started the business.
I heard from her for the first time, that people buy AKARA & PAP on credit.
Do you mean people buy something as cheap as AKARA on credit? Unbelievable!😂
To clear my doubt, one of her neighbors sent her child to collect fifty naira pap from her and promised to pay when she’s going out.
She told me some usually pay back while some insult her and even accuse her of embarrassing them by asking for them for their debt.
She lamented to me that she was tired but didn’t have options because she had children to cater to. At that time, I really didn’t have much on me because I have invested a large chunk of my money in the project that brought me to her state.
But I promised to buy from her every day till I left, which I did.
On the day I was to leave, I quickly ran to her shop and handed her an envelope with twenty thousand Naira in it to support her business.
As she was about to kneel down for me, I quickly grabbed her shoulder and raised her up.
She shed some tears and prayed for me wholeheartedly. So I left her place and went to my friend’s place to pack my stuff. And since then I have not visited Ekiti-state because my friend also relocated to another state a few years later.
So last year December, I branched into a supermarket where they sell deodorants and toiletries on the mainland here in Lagos to pick a few things.
I picked up a few toiletries and proceeded to the cash point to make a payment but I was told not to pay immediately I handed my ATM card to the attendant.
Are these people running promo? I thought to myself. Because I couldn’t figure out why they asked me not to pay.
For the second time, I said to the attendant to take my card and take their money because I have other places to visit but she declined. Again?
“May I know why you asked me not to pay?” She replied, “Our Madam told me not to collect money from you.”
I asked her if she has an idea of her madam knowing me but she struggled to answer.
So I requested to meet her madam to say thank you and use that opportunity to ask why she asked only me, out of many customers that bought from them and paid in my presence, not to pay.
As the attendant walk me through the door that leads to her office, she opened the door and met me halfway.
Then I saw the woman who sold AKARA back then at my friend’s area in Ekiti. I couldn’t connect the dots.
As I screamed for joy, she smiled at me and gave me a big hug.
So you are the Madam who told her staff not to collect money for what I bought? She replied, Yes!
Since that day, I learned not to write anybody off no matter what their present life or situation looks like because I didn’t create them. This is why I’ll urge anyone reading this to be kind to people around them. Treat them with respect and offer assistance to those who genuinely need help within your capacity.
You don’t need to wait till you have everything figured out or wait till you have millions sitting in your account.
You can save a soul, and feed the hungry with the little God has blessed you with.
Finally, learn to treat those that work for you or in your care with respect.
Show them love, because they are humans.
Written by OLUMIDE Abimbola