Sometimes, I’m not sure if I’m Nigerian.
Like times when I go to Yaba market. It does not matter how many times I go there, I am always still amazed and affected by the happenings there.
Like today, I was walking to find where to buy some shoes and then along the way, someone grabbed the flesh of my arms and said, ‘My colour, I get fine jeans, chinos for you’
Turning my head in rage and fear of contacting unknown diseases, I snatched my hand from his grip and said ‘Abeg, don’t hold my hand. Abeg’
Notice the use of ‘Abeg’ twice? But before I could take one step further, he hopped in front of me and started telling me about how I’m just a little child in his eyes and how I ought to always respect my elders or else he’ll teach me how to respect and that who did I think I was? Wasn’t I coming to this market as well to purchase things like everyone else? And that he knew my mold of girls; forming as though we have real substance but in fact, we lack substance.
After I sorted that one out, I proceeded to a shoe shack to price their shoes. He offered me a leg of shoe and I passed a side comment on how the shoe looked like it was going to open up soon. Before I could even run my hand over the shoes, he grabbed it from my hands and said, ‘Abeg no spoil market for me abi wetin? I beg you make you come here? Ehn? I beg you? You come dey run your dirty mouth to my other customers. Abeg comot from here’
After that one was sorted out, I decided to just buy a scarf. Afterall, how sorrowful and frustrated could a seller of colorful scarves be?
He said his scarf went for N1,000 and I thought that was ridiculous. If I buy a scarf from a boutique, I’ll know that I’m paying, in addition, for the Air Conditioning and White paint on the wall. But in Yaba market? Pleaseeee
I didn’t want to hassle price since I had been insulted only previously, so I simply said, ‘Okay. Thank you sir’, and I moved my body from his shop.
As I started walking, I could hear the frustration in his voice as he called out ‘Look at her! Ashawo! You’re tired of people pricing with you shebi? See the way she’s walking! Nonsense. No be market be this? You talk your price, I talk my price. Dem go dey do like say dem never ever chop pepper. Toothpick legs. Abeg comot dey go. Ashawo!’
I remain baffled; as I always am everytime I visit Yaba market.