Every lagosian must have witnessed this scene: a man or woman with teary eyes, defeated mien and a persuasive voice wandering around bus stops or wherever pleading that people “Help them in the name of God”. You see, this begging vary in forms and procedures. Some might tell you that they haven’t eaten since morning and that you please help them, while others invoke worthy causes like payment of a child’s school fees.
Although all these beggars have different sorry tales to tell, they all have one thing in common: which is the mechanical accuracy with which they reel out their problems. They say their line so well you would know they must have told the same story 1000 times in at least 1000 places.
I have no problem with helping those who are sincerely in need of help or assistance, far from it.
You would notice I used the word sincerely in the preceding sentence. All religions from Islam to Christianity and the traditional African religion encourage and admonish us to help those in need. I get it.
What I have a problem with however is the fact that begging in this city-state of ours now appears to be the new cool (Like orange is the new black)
I have seen a young man of about 25 years begging alms in the same spot for about two weeks. It was quite amusing to hear him repeat those words with the same level of accuracy the entire time(he didn’t miss a word). These were his words- “Brothers and sisters please help me in the name of God. i am going to Ikeja and I don’t have money. I am a student, please help me God is going to reward you”
Another grouse I have with these beggars is their proclivity to invoke God in pleading with us to part with our money. They know the economic hardship in the country has made Nigerians look beyond the physical to the spiritual for help. So when a beggar says God is going to reward you he/she knows that you’re thinking maybe by helping him/her miracles will come your way. But God won’t reward you because you were too gullible or dumb to give money to a lazy man or woman posing as a beggar. These beggars continue to pray that God will bless us if we help them, I wonder why they haven’t utilized this energy to pray that God bless them so that they stop begging.
Our society should be one that rewards hard work and dignifies labour. Those who genuinely need our help should be assisted, not some lazy person trying