“Good afternoon oga, please na who get this Napep?” I asked with so much confidence, you’d think I wanted to buy the yellow Keke Napep, there and then.
This had been a very eventful morning.
It was a public holiday that had me up at 5:00am trying to sort out the two outfits I intended using for the photoshoot Tomi slated for that day.
Still half-asleep, I tried the black dress on and went to the mirror to see if it gave me the overall picture I had painted in my head.
You see, there are usually no mirrors at our photoshoot sites, so I mostly have to make sure I’m seeing first-hand, in the mirror, the effect we intend to produce – in pictures. I gave a nod of approval to myself, by myself, lol and sluggishly walked to my brother’s room.
“Tomi it’s 6 O’clock” I yawn. I was half-hoping he’d yawn back and say “I’m tired jare, can’t we do this shoot some other time?”. I think we both knew that if we didn’t suck it up and get it done once and for all, we would keep pushing the shoot for the next few weeks. Plus, you know that saying of procrastination being the thief of time and the one of not putting off till tomorrow what you can do today?
Anyways, we hit the road in search of ‘The Spot’. I wanted brick walls so badly, hence, we started off with Dominos at Falomo. Let’s just say the mallam at Chicken-Republic dinnor get the kindness memo ’cause he vehemently refused us parking in their compound.
We picked up our remaining pride and headed to the Dominos at VI and yes guys, yes, they were so accommodating! The staff kept peeping at us like I was Genevieve having a photoshoot with Kelechi Amadi-Obi. We really did have a fun shoot there.
We decided we’d had a really great one and we wrapped-up for the day (this was around 9am o.. before you start thinking I’m vain) and we headed home.
On getting to the street before our street, we remembered we had to check-out one Keke Napep that we spotted when we were leaving in the morning. The Napep was parked outside the compound of a really big house. You know the way Lagos houses are nauw – big house, no parking space.
I alighted from the car and strolled to the gate where I met another mallam. “Me and mallams today sha” I muttered under my breath..
“Good afternoon oga, please na who get this Napep?”…
“My oga” he replied. At this point, Tomi had joined me at the gate. “We fit follow your oga talk?” I ventured further. He obliged us and went to help us call Oga.
So that’s how the Oga came out o, the oga was looking like a tall bar of dark-Chocolate. However, what was not so inviting about the chocolate bar was that, he was not smiling.
Wait, why exactly did I summon this respectable gentleman again sef? I was already imagining how irritated he will be when he hears why he had been called-out of his comfort place. The effontry! Ghen! Maybe I should just say “sorry sir, wrong address” and be on my way. But will I nauw ditch Tomi ni?
While my mind and I agreed to take the easy way out, my legs decided to have a mind of their own… they were glued to the high-levelled ground.
The mallam’s oga was at this point towering right over me. His gaze held a “Well, yeah?” … I quickly picked up the pieces of courage I had left and ventured, “Hello sir, please sir, I was wondering if you would please indulge us by letting us use your beautiful yellow mobile box for a Fashion Shoot.”
“Fashion Shoot?” He asked with a confused blink and I went ahead to explain our goals and objectives.. lol..
“Oh, yeah, go ahead” he muttered. “Ah, thank you sir, we will just hurry home to do a quick change of outfit, and we will be back in a jiffy”. We disappeared.
We drove home gladly, did an outfit change and headed back to our yellow-box props.
Lo and Behold, a black jeep had parked side-by-side the Napep, making it absolutely impossible for it to be useful for the shoot.
I was just weak. “What’s all this nah” I lamented, in frustration. I approached the man-by-the-gate. “Na who get this jeep” I asked, which sounded more like an accusation. Lol.
“My oga” he replied. Now I was ‘shook’. Why did he nauw block the Napep after he had assured us freedom-of-usage. Did he change his mind? Abi he was just putting us on scale.
We implored the man to help us call this ‘Our Oga’ out a second time.
Baba sauntered out..
“SIR, your jeep is blocking the Napep” I whined, “hope you don’t mind removing it” I added, which sounded more like a command than a request. Ah sometimes, I have guts sha. Lol. He looked at me in amusement.
“It’s okay,” he said. “Not a problem.” He had a warm smile on his face and true admiration in his eyes. He was a good man for its own sake and required nothing in return.
He got into his jeep and started the engine to get it as far away from his Napep as possible. Lol. On top his own property. 🤣. We got talking and I asked if he was Hausa, “I’m from Southern Kaduna” he replied in the most patriotic way. “You?” he asked. “I’m a Yoruba girl, sir. And it is sooo nice to meet you.”, I beamed.
In no time, under the efficient hands of Tomi, the shoot commenced.
Passers-by on the street nicknamed me “Fulani” and kept hailing me throughout the shoot… it was so hilarious.. do you guys think it had something to do with my dressing?
A few minutes later he came out from his compound and said his teenage daughter asked if she could watch our shoot. He left after politely requesting we bring her back into the house when we were done.
In a world where kidnap and dishonesty is now so rampant, we were immensely touched that after willingly letting us disturb him for his Napep, he could still blindly trust us, strangers, with his precious young daughter.
The world isn’t always a friendly, happy place, but there are some nice people out here who spread kindness just because.
I like to re-echo kindness when I experience it. Thank you, Mr Southern Fulani; with that simple act, you unknowingly taught me that kindness is a National Commodity.
Guys, let’s learn to be kind even when it’s not convenient and especially when we expect nothing in return. Won’t hurt to do something nice to one random person this Christmas.
Say hi to the security man on your way out, ask after your colleague’s family, help that old lady cross the road, stop at the zebra crossing for pedestrians to pass, make extra food for that person that can’t afford a good meal, be kind, be kind, be so kind… most times it costs absolutely nothing!
This one is from Lagos with love; wishing you a kindhearted weekend! 🤪