The 50 Naira that Almost Caused Depression

The 50 Naira that Almost Caused Depression

By Abdulkabir Olatunji

I boarded a Keke Marwa yesterday in Lagos for a distance I knew was not worth more than N50. It was driven by a lady and at that point, I was her only passenger (she probably just started work in the evening) a few metres into the journey she announced: “Oga, it is N100 O”. I responded, “it is N50”. She went on: “It is end of the year”, I insisted “No O, it is N50”. Her next line was “Oga as you big reach (checking myself to see the ‘bigness’), “you suppose dey use am to thank God for the end of the year”. I kept quiet to conserve my energy, depending on the side of me she was talking to, I could give her N50 or the N100, I had change, so, she did not have leverage of giving me any amount she liked as change.

As she picked one more passenger along the way, my rational self insisted that ‘the fare is worth N50, give her N50’. As I alighted from the tricycle, I gave her N50. The look on her face was beyond despondent, “close to depression and almost in tears”, she said: “Oga, I have told you now”. I handed over N100 to her and collected the N50, immediately I received and upbeat “thank you”.

While I know the fare was worth no more than N50, the additional N50 I paid was not worth the woman’s depression over it.

In our simple interactions in life, there are always reasons to be introspective and ways to learn. While I am not convinced that she would go hungry without the additional N50, her heart was heavily set on it and that I understood and respected for whatever it was worth to her.

Picture: Is for Illustration Purpose Only (Not actual in the story)

  • pinit_fg_en_rect_gray_20 The 50 Naira that Almost Caused Depression

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