Tales from Naij - Part 1
As an introduction, I randomed some time about how being in Nigeria changes you and not for the better. I had a reader email me that expressed interest in sharing their story anonymously from Nigeria. I plan to post the stories every wednesday, as I receive them. Here's the first one...
I don’t think I realized how true Nollywood movies were so much like real life in Nigeria until I got here. Sometimes I feel like my life is one extra long movie. The struggle is real out here and I’m not even exaggerating. I now know not to envy other people’s “rich” lifestyle, because you have no idea what they did or are still doing to live like that.
I have a friend who tells me that since it's almost inevitable that all men will cheat, why sit and be faithful to my boyfriend, when there are magas (rich men) I can date and get lots of money from. At first I always just laughed it off when she talked like that, but as the struggle became realer I started to think more on what she was saying. I’ve always been an independent type person, I’ve always had my own money, I pay for what I want, when I want, etc. If I can’t afford it then I just won’t get it till I can. I don’t like to ask people for money and I could care less how much a guy has, as long as he’s a good guy and treats me well.
Fast forward to living in Nigeria, where most girls have one or two magas and they get these magas to pay their rent, buy their cars, and all other expenses. Some, mind you, have steady boyfriends as well. My above-mentioned friend, let’s call her Nicole, told me that if I want to make it here I need to at least have one maga; unless my boyfriend has money and willingly spends it on me. Some of these magas may or may not want sex in exchange for the money and gifts they’ll be giving out. Some girls know how to take their money and not open their legs (how that happens, is beyond me), while others open their legs knowing big money will come out of it.
I ran into this older man at the airport one time. There was a mix up with my seat and he kind of nudged me to the empty seat next to him. We started chatting on the plane (which I hate to do because I’d rather sleep), and he was saying how he had been watching me at the gate and was looking for any way to talk to me. He showed me pictures of his wife who is beautiful mind you, and proceeded to tell me how he liked to be very open with women so everyone is in the know. Why he decided to tell me this, I didn’t really understand at first. I kept wondering why, if he had so much money (as he was talking about his offices all over the world and his lavish vacations) was he sitting in economy with lil ol’ me. As though he read my mind, he said he doesn’t like to flaunt his wealth, especially since he was robbed recently. When we landed he offered to have his driver drop me off somewhere away from the airport so I could get a cab to Lekki. Although I was reluctant, I accepted because that was less money I’d have to pay (now that I think of it, I was really taking my safety for granted). While on our way, we stopped for breakfast then he started calling me baby and being touchy feely. I kept pulling away from him, but that didn’t help much. Mind you, since we were both being open, I let him know that I had a boyfriend to which I could tell he wasn’t too pleased with. When we parted ways, we exchanged numbers and he asked that I made time for him that weekend to which I said probably not since I was in town to see my boyfriend.
I didn’t talk to him nor think of him again till a few weeks later when he was in my city and called me. He told me he was staying at some hotel and I should come there. I told him to meet me at a restaurant or something because I was busy with my aunty and didn’t have time to go to the part of town he was at ( I was actually alone, getting my nails done). He said I should finish with her then please come and spend the night with him. I said we’ll see and immediately deleted his number. I guess I should have known where this was leading, but I just felt so disgusted that he’d actually take me to be that type of girl. I was like is it because he has money; he thinks everyone wants his money? Wrong girl.
Some several weeks later, I was going through a rough patch and needed money like mad. I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize and I answered…it was him. I was actually sitting at home with Nicole. He said he was in town and I shouldn’t disappoint him like I did last time. That he just wants to see me and he’ll make it worth my while. He told me where he was staying and I said, when I’m done with what I’m doing, if it wasn’t too late then I’ll pass by. I told Nicole and she was like I should just go and see what’s up. I was still reluctant, but she was just like worst-case scenario, I should just say no and leave. She kept on trying to persuade me, why I don’t know, especially when I told her the hotel he was staying at, she was like he definitely has money.
I got to his hotel room and he was all hugs and excitement to see me. We chatted a bit, then he told me to order whatever I wanted. He had some guest come over and they were talking business while I waited on my food. He said he had to go to the ATM, so he left with the guest and I stayed behind. Several long minutes later he came back; it was probably like 11-11:30pm by then. We talked a bit then I said I was going to head out soon and where was the “worth my while” thing he was talking about. I think he got a bit irritated that I asked because he then said look, we’re both adults, we know what is going to happen and he said he will make me happy so when it’s all said and done, he will. He asked me to please just stay and leave in the morning. In my head I was just like damn, am I really about to stay here all because of some money? Has it really come to this. I said ok, got in the bed, fully clothed and said I was sleepy. He got on a business call and I pretended to sleep. When he was done, he started bugging me to wake up, then he started touching on me. He took my hand and put it where he wanted it and I just laid there while tears rolled down my cheeks. He climbed on top of me (I was still fully clothed) and I felt myself suffocating (oh yea he’s like 3-4 times my size). I pushed him off me and so he just went back to putting my hand places because I wouldn’t do anything else. After he realized nothing more was happening, he went to sleep.
I tried to sleep but I kept counting the hours pass by before it was 5am and I could run out of there. When the time finally came, weirdly enough he moved near me to cuddle, I jumped up and said I had to pee, went to the bathroom, came out and picked up my bag. At that point I didn’t even want the money anymore; I just wanted to leave. He looked confused and asked where I was going. I said I had to be somewhere by 7:30 so I had to go home and get ready. He looked angry but he got up and went to his bag and I saw him count some money. Then he came back to lecture me on how he left me alone throughout the night, expecting to be pleased in the morning and that I should always please a man in the morning, regardless of who he is. I was like oh ok. He gave me the cash and told me to count it, I said no need, he said do it. He put me on his lap to sit and I counted it…30,000 naira. I said thank you and left. I cried all the way home and thought about how I not only cheated on my boyfriend, but I touched on this fatty for a mere 30k. I added his number to my blocked list and that was the last time I ever talked to him.