It had been an incredibly hot day, the sun is at its utmost, one of the reasons we have this shade in this part of the world.
My friend had called me for an urgent help. His wife has just had an accident and he needs urgent funds to make deposits in the hospital for treatment. As I made my way to the bank to give my widow’s mite, I wonder how life can be cruel. He had just got a lucrative job, got married and expecting life to be fair, unfortunately it had been one issue over the other. The wife had been hit by an okada man, just a few weeks after her second miscarriage.
So, I got to the bank and joined the queue to use the ATM. It was a long queue and the sun was really smiling but I didn’t really mind, I don black already, what’s the worst that could happen? Just when I thought it was getting closer to my turn, this lady came from nowhere and said she is front of me.
‘Hey, I am here.’ She said and moved into the space between me and the man before me.
I was surprised at first, I have been here for about 15mins and she just came and…
‘How come?’ I asked.
‘Ask this man na, I was here before you,’ she replied in a very harsh tone.
‘She was here before but I thought she left, I would have told you,’ the man said calmly.
‘I was here before, the sun was too much, that’s why I went to look for shade. Abi you want make I black like you,’ she bloated, already spoiling for a fight.
‘Na wa o,’ I muttered. I already allowed her and she has refused to keep quiet.
‘Na wa for you sef. You wan make I black like you? Abi na me say make you black like devil, make you dey suffer yourself under sun. Mtcheeeeww!
‘Madam, e don do na. Na this fine young man you dey abuse so. E fit be your boyfriend sef’, the man in front joked.
‘God forbid, this one fine? E no reach abeg. E no even close to my boyfriend. If he be my boyfriend, I go dey get nightmares every time’, she retorted.
‘Shuo Na me this one dey yab like this. Na wa o. On top wetin na. She even get mouth dey abuse, person wey don bleach goodness and mercy away from her body and is forever enslaved to cream.’ In my mind, I have finished her but I never said a word, just smiling sheepishly to all she had to say.
My mind drifted away to the many insults I have received because of my complexion. It almost feels like a disability the way people describe it. I have been called the worst names, including devil, darkness, ghost. Funny enough, people that are as dark as I am will still tell me, thank God I’m not as black as you are.
It is like you have to be fair to be attractive, to get a job. Even sef, you have to be fair to show you are not suffering. To this end, many people ladies and guys alike have lost their identity because they are trying to be who they are not. But wetin be my own sef?
I wonder, if fellow blacks will pick on you for having a darker shade, what will whites do? And everyone is complaining of racism. For me, I have accepted my fate and I am not ready to change it for anyone. Like Majek Fashek said, only the angel of God is white, I cannot agree less.
When my mind got back to the present, I noticed the crowd had thinned out, it was just me and my ‘fair’ friend remaining on the queue, funny how no one came after me. And so it was her turn, I noticed the discomfort after the first try. She tried 3 different cards and none paid her. She stepped away to make a call and I had my turn. I half listened to her conversation on the phone too. Apparently, the fair lady’s fair boyfriend had been unfair. He hadn’t sent the money he promised, leaving her in a lurch. According to her, she doesn’t even have enough money to take her back home. She left home with her last card, hoping to withdraw money and go out.
By the time I was done with my transaction, I noticed she was still there looking stranded, only God knows what was on her mind, there was just two of us there, so she must have been enveloped with trepidation to ask me for help, me wey black like devil.
However, from her conversation, I figured she needed 50 naira to take keke back to her house, so as I passed her, I handed her a 100 naira. I didn’t even look back to see her expression. I don’t need her appreciation, I just hope she learnt the lesson.
Life is not fair, (too much melanin) Be humble before it humbles you.