One of my all-time greatest strengths is my ability to be invisible whenever I choose to.
I love the anonymity of being in a place where absolutely no-one knows who I am or anything about me. At those times I’m just another random soul walking by and its great seeing people from that perspective, especially in the way they react to me.
So very often, I get into my shabbiest clothes and take long, lone evening walks around my Estate.
I get lost in the darkest streets, talk to myself, and sing loudly in my torturous voice, all while I do my booty exercises. (Yes booty exercises!! If you pay me girls, I could teach you!!)
As I walk along excitedly, I find myself unconsciously saying hello to random passers-by. I made a very interesting discovery about Nigerians during this practice.
The majority of people would not respond when being greeted by someone they do not know. Their reaction is usually a slight withdrawal. I think it’s probably fear that I may want something from them so they do not feel comfortable about being greeted at all!!
It's the exact same reaction I get when I try saying hello to someone I don't know at a bar, restaurant or any other public place....even church!!
I can attest to this because of my own reaction to the really annoying men who would try to talk to me from their cars as they drive past. My reaction to them is justifiable as their intentions are very clear. However, it’s possible that even amongst this group of people there may be one who has no other intention than to simply say hello.
Anyway in my discovery, I found that there is a particular group of people who would always say hello immediately with no hesitation, fear or mistrust. In fact, they would even say hello to me before I even notice that they are there.
These people are the Hausa Muslims that are usually the security guards of the homes I pass. The Abokis (‘Aboki’ means ‘my friend’ in Hausa) as they are popularly called, are indeed the friendliest set of people I have ever met.
Whether it is one sitting alone in front of his gate, or a congregation of them sitting together for a meal or gisting on a mat outside, I have never passed by without a friendly greeting from them.
They don’t know me, and I surely do not look like one of them!!
I have always admired the brotherliness that exists amongst Hausa Muslims. They always look out for one another and are very willing to help anyone that they can, whether it’s one of them or not.
Some Hausas in Kano State, Northern Nigeria
I find it so impressive that an entire group of people have such a rare and commendable personality trait.
My fellow Nigerians, I think we have reached a point in our nation where we all need to invoke the Aboki that I’m certain is on the inside of all of us.
6 years ago