😔 Very recently, I had an encounter which I would describe as unpleasant. So I was just learning to drive and I was touring the road with one of my friends (Let’s call her Toyin). In a bid to have a little fun and not just drive back all the way home, we agreed to stop by at the new Shoprite, located at Jakande, Osapa-London, and have a look around; you know see what they have and what it was like.
So I got to Shoprite and tried to park at the slots allotted for parking. There was this amazing spot I wanted to park in and just as I reversed the car, the security traffic
guy waved at me not to park there. I honestly thought it was maybe not a parking spot as I had imagined, and drove to park where he directed. Just as I made to come down, I noticed a Peugeot parking at that same spot. Omo, I begin wonder…wetin dey happen?
So I pretended to buckle my sandal while still looking at who had parked there. Lo and behold my people, it was just one normal ordinary man…one human just like me. He was not a director of the place oo, no no, far from it. He had just come to buy stuffs, hang out or look around like myself. The difference? Guy was WHITE! I was livid. I didn’t believe so I tried to give an excuse. I went round with Toyin, we both hoping that car would not go before we were through with scanning the new area. We bought a few things here and there, took pictures ( please, keep qwayet. If it were you, wouldn’t you take pictures? Shift Biko) and headed to the car.
Pleasantly the car was still parked right there. I wasn’t going home till the guy came around…I said to myself. About an hour later, white guy returned to his car. I went up to him all smiles, greeted him politely to which he smiled back and asked “sorry, please do you work here?”
And he was like “oh no…I don’t. I just came shopping. Do you work here?”
I smiled back “Nada, I don’t. Sorry to bother you” I ended as I proceeded to walk away. I won’t bore you of how we exchanged names and started a minute conversation. Bottom line here is, guy wasn’t working there but he got an amazing parking spot!!!
As I was heading back home, I asked my friend…is it a crime to be black?
This happens everywhere. Unfortunately, racism hasn’t stopped. The norm still is “black is evil, black is bad, black is guilty, black is this, black is that”. Haven’t we had enough of the casting? It is so bad that even when we travel outside the country, we are required to pull off our clothing, empty our bags and go through rigorous scanning just to be sure we are free from all ills. Okay fair enough, since we are going to a foreign jurisdiction, they need to be sure the immigrants coming in are coming clean.
Oya, why is Nigeria now also checking Nigerians? Even inside my own country, I am exposed to such harsh treatment. Remove your belt, shoes, wristwatch, phones, laptops…they’ll say. Open your handbag…they’ll request. Is that even fair too? We cannot own a company here in Nigeria without having one trouble or the other, but when a white man starts business here, he is treated as a king. Funny thing is, we can’t even do that in their own countries. How many Nigerians have any company like Shell abroad? Or have companies like coca-cola, Cadbury, Pz and many others.
The white man is allowed so many excesses but when it comes to the blacks…no freaking way! It is only the black man that will go to school, study 13 subjects all at once and write exam within one week. It is only the black man that will go to school, spend so much money and still be jobless after 5 years. It is only the black man that his school requires him to pass his exams whether or not he has interest in the course. It is only the black man that still maltreats another black man and gives the white man a job, instead of his black brother.
To all these I ask again, is it a crime that my skin is black? I once heard a little boy ask his mum at Ikoyi club, while they were swimming, why his uncle who was swimming at the other side was so burnt? I looked at the uncle, he was fairer than my very self. I began to ask myself…am I charcoal in the kid’s eye? Really, are we the charcoal that God uses to fuel His engine?
I am sorry about my rantings but I was just thinking out loud. I don’t know God to make a mistake yet I ask…is it a crime to be Black? (This life is just a pot of beans!)