Who is a fool? / You cannot cheat me by Sholape Abidakun.
The average Nigerian is always ready for a fight. Especially when they think they are being cheated.
Venue: Eko market.
Goods: Ranges from smoked fish to sneakers.
Bone of contention : Where the seller has charged an exorbitant price and the would be buyer somehow from somewhere knows the price is less than what the seller is saying.
Result: Heated haggling followed by accusations of cheating.
“Madam, that money is too much na. last week, my friend bought it for N2000. Now you’re saying its N3500. This is cheating.”
Most times the seller relents and reduces the price.
However, if the seller blows up, you have two people screaming at each other; one complaining about bad market and the inability to make profit, the other shouting about daylight robbery.
Have you seen girls in a store? They flit around, checking the price labels and moving away from the clothes as fast as possible. “Did you see the price? 5k for that skirt? Who is a fool? I bet it’s cheaper outside.”
If I need to photocopy and I am told it’s N20 per copy, I don’t bother talking. I walk away, thinking “Jokers, thieves, N20 for what? “.
Every Nigerian wants to prove that they cannot be cheated, that one kobo extra cannot be wrung out of them. Even you.
I think you see this behavior mostly in public transport. We are ready to insist on paying a particular fare, even though we heard the conductor call out something higher. Because somehow, we know what the right fare should be. Without having driven a bus.
Many people have gotten late to work because one passenger refused to pay the full fee. At the end, it is all drama to the passerby.
Nevertheless, Nigerians aren’t all that bad. We just don’t like “our heads to be used”. Even though, we’d probably cheat the next person if we could.
The great and AWESOME Sholape, a lawyer and writer, joined Kawe in December. She loves horror movies and books, her favorite author is Stephen King. She can’t stand romance movies, yet sheds a tear or two while watching Death scenes.
Follow her on INSTAGRAM – @DESOLAPE