Saturday, 22 March 2014

Which Way Forward?



Sometimes I ignore them and other times I fall for them even when I know some of them are not sincere. But what do I do? I am human and understand their need for survival. 

They are in Five categories:

The first category dresses well and sounds educated (most times graduates). They make you give them money out of pity. They are called Corporate beggars.


I had an experience at Ojota bus stop in Lagos: a well dressed gentleman approached me saying he was short of cash and needed 100 naira to buy BRT ticket to the Island, I was about getting my own ticket so I bought two and gave him the extra ticket. To my dismay the man reluctantly took the ticket and walked on to a guy few steps away to still ask for 100 naira ticket fare which he got.
The next day I saw the same gentleman and maybe he wasn't so good at recognizing his clients he walked up to me and gave me same lines from the Previous day. I smiled at him and advised he changed his pity lines if he chooses to beg from a particular bus stop.
There is also this guy I know who is always at the car park of a transport company begging for money to complete his transport fare, I wonder where he is always travelling to. 
These Corporate beggars are every where using different styles and different formats to extort money from people, they have indirectly adulterated the giving system and have spoilt it for genuinely stranded people who really need assistance. 
People are now skeptical to listen to any one who stops them by the road to ask for aid.
The Foreign Beggars: They are the cute long faced, curly haired, coloured skin children who were pushed into the country and into our streets to beg for money. They sometimes are very annoying when they hug, drag and follow you around till you either give them money or scare them away. They do all these under the hot sun while their parents sit under shaded corners and enjoy the benefits of the children's labor.
Very soon the teenage males will become street nuisance and the females will be recruited into prostitution, because I already see one or two men making sexual advances at these poor  beautiful creatures.

Mothers With Twins: Women who gave birth to twins, triplets and quadruplets bring their little babies out in the sun to beg for alms. And of course sympathetic Nigerians who like to have twins and triplets give them tips more like sowing into their dreams not really helping the beggers . I ask Where are the husbands of these women?



The Handicap Beggars: "bambiyalla", that's what my mum calls them. They sing with their plates and expect every passer-by to drop something for them. The speech impaled ones carry placards with their challenges written on it for you to read and assist. The ones with eyes wide shut are led by children who harmonize songs while they sing, and if they get a lucky tip they rain prayers on the giver.
These people live below poverty level.



Street Touts: They are always aggressive and haggard looking (most times Illiterates). They are in every parking lot and crowded area demanding tips and favours like its their birth right.
They may be beggars by day but what are they by night?. We are familiar with the "nnomi phone" (give me your phone) phrase in Cross River State where street touts demand for your phone as if they contributed money for you to buy it. Their menial jobs on most days are not so productive, therefore they look for complimentary jobs at night having no human sympathy  they both steal and rape. (This category most times end up as Robbers and kidnappers)
Their are lots of these people both children and adults loitering the streets and begging for alms. They can barely afford basic human needs such as food, cloth and shelter.  They live in so much poverty in a world oil producing country as Nigeria, and in their quest for survival do anything and everything to earn a living.
My question is Why are they still on the streets? What is the government doing to get them off the streets? When will they leave the streets?.
I don't expect you to give me all the answers but I need you to join me see the need for our streets to be Beggar-free, Tout-free, and  Robber-free.

©Ajumoke Nwaeze 2014.
Ajumoke is a Writer, Singer, Geneticist, On Air Personality and Public Speaker. She writes about Pressing issues, Facts of life, real and fictional stories, health, fashion and entertainment.
Contact Ajumoke Via email:  ajumoke8@gmail.com or follow on twitter @aj_ajumoke.
Stay Positive.

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