A Funny Encounter With Begger

For the first time, I saw a beggar who refused money for superstitious reasons.

Here is what happened.

I usually like to keep some money in my wallet or car, to buy plantain chips when I am hungry and bored in traffic or to give out alms when I am moved to.

On my way to work this morning, I was in some “go-slow” and I sighted an old man in front who was going from vehicle to vehicle and asking for alms. So, I decided in my mind that I will give him N1,000, which was the last note I had in my wallet.

In my mind, I genuinely wanted to surprise the man and thought the money would him really happy. To my surprise, when he got to my car and I wound down to hand over the money, he withdrew his hand, looked at me, shook his head and said, “Oga abeg, na money to chop I want. No use me do juju.”

I was too shocked! But I showed him my empty wallet and told him that was all I had and I wanted to give it to him. He was obviously unwilling to trust me, so I reassured him that I had no intention of using him for juju.

He eventually collected the money from me and walked away. As I drove forward, I observed via my rear mirror that he mumbled something on the note before putting it into the back pocket of his trouser, to be separated from what he had in his bowl.

Still amuses me, even as I pen this down.

I have heard stories of people giving “money they have sent on an errand” to beggars, but this is my first experience with a beggar actually rejecting money on such grounds.

On the flipside too, many people are scared of giving to beggars. Seeing a beggar scared of receiving is a new shock to me! 😂

This is just an example of how the action of a few is impacting on “trust” we have in each other as a people.

It is well.

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