I got robbed, yesterday.
Last night = Thursday 30th of November 2017. I had left work(as I refer to it) to attend usable. Usable is a developer community event for UI/UX designers and enthusiasts.
Anyway, it’s 3:08am and I’m awake, for other reasons and then I started reminiscing about the incredibly bewildering moment. So I thought to share.
Interestingly, I had this conversation about safety precautions, and about getting robbed with an older friend a few weeks back and I said “I kinda have a feeling such things won’t happen to me”. Absolutely wrong, our feelings are a lot but they are nothing. Let’s get straight to it!
No doubt, the neighborhood I live in at the moment can be described as a “favela”, “slum”, and or some “bronx” kind of neighborhood in the US. I got off the bus (at the park) and was walking my path home (quite a distance). I had been warned severally, “Bariga is not an entirely friendly neighborhood”. Had a baseball cap on with my backpack strapped to my back.
As I paced down the path as fast as I could (like I always do) always trying to avoid being intercepted by these folks (people refer to them as hoodlums), I had my earphones on, top volume (just so I have an excuse to ignore extraneous calls), listening to my favorite Lacrae’s album (Rebel). To be specific, the track was Go hard (catch a feel here). I, (like one who is unaware and cares less of his environment) walked past a gang ignorantly (at the same time intentionally) ignoring their calls. I think the earphones trick worked several times. But last night, it wouldn’t. lol.
A young guy of about my age (maybe a little older |let’s call him Captain underpants), height and size paced behind me and overtook me. He was on hoodies, with a stench of whiskey, red eyes and a friendly approach. Trust me, until I caught a whiff of alcohol on him, I thought he was a friend. He then started talking about how he’s been trying to say hi the whole time (all-week long) and they (himself and his friends) thought I ignored them intentionally (Of course I did) and went on to explain they did not like that (What’s my business, I thought!).
He actually spoke a lot and while he did, several thoughts raced down my head. I knew he was trying to rob me (in the neighborhood I learnt it is termed “obtain” lol. So he was trying to “obtain” me).
Should, I attack? hit him on his balls and run?
I could, but I thought that’s not entirely wise. They sure knew the neighborhood better than I probably will ever know plus I’m pretty sure Captain Underpants was not alone, he had a team and they were only waiting for me to attack before they came out to support. He could be holding a dagger, a gun, a pocket knife anything harmful, so logically, since he was nice, I decided to be nice back.
Imagine this scene in “Everybody hates Chris?”, S01E05, 2:08. Can I hold a dollar?
Should I call for help?
Maybe not. I have no friends here (technically). They probably don’t have friends as well, but the chances of getting support was minimal, who’d risk their lives for others (yeah, maybe a few), but it was not the wisest thing to do at the time. Oh! and I did not mention it was 9:26pm (My bad yh?!).
Should I speak in tongues?
Peharps , but really I couldn’t.
Should I stay calm, and negotiate my way out?
Ya! Sounds right. Think of it, he did not come attacking. He wanted to have a discussion and maybe cart away some valuables. Well, we ended up not having a discussion, he poured out his mind and told me what he wanted. Money! for him and his team. Lol. He plunged his hands into my pocket pulled out everything I had on me (A thousand, four hundred bucks), caught glimpse of my wrist-watch, liked it.(Oh! dear) and took it from me.
I gave him a warm hug!
To say I did not fidget the whole time would be a lie. I did fidget, not from the fear of losing my valuables (except perhaps my laptop) but a slight fear of getting harmed.
In all, he took my money, and my highly cherished wrist-watch.
After all these things, I gave him a warm hug, asked for his name (John — terrible lie) and wished him a great night (one I am apparently not having at the moment). Again, not for the things I lost, but for him and a bunch of them roaming aimlessly like that. I hated him for a minute, but loved him afterwards.
And this brings me to a very important topic I have spent time thinking about.
We all got a head-start
This is a topic I’ll probably write about in the future. Yes, everyone got a head-start, fortunately and unfortunately, we did not define them. The head-start we got has a high likelihood of making us whoever we become. Captain Underpants could have been YOU, could have been me, could have been your son, brother, cousin or nephew.
Meanwhile, head-starts happen at different points in our lives, and either -ve or +ve they always (I repeat ALWAYS!) prepare us for the next point in our lives.
In my case
A head-start for me will be getting trained by a loving mum who prays for me everyday, constantly reminds me of how intelligent I am and how much potential I have got. Captain Underpants probably did not have my kind of mum.
A head-start for me will be the opportunity to attend a boarding house from primary school through high-school. Exposed me to a looooooooot!. For instance, I got bullied most times and I learnt overtime that fighting back only causes you more pain. Smiling back at the bully causes them more pain and potentially changes them! (I did that to Captain Underpants)
A head-start for me will be having a brother who inspires me by the moment. Odun Osineye
A head-start for me will be the opportunity to attend The Bridge Program 2 years ago.
A head-start for me will be my acquaintance with Douglas Mamilor a few years back.
A head-start for me will be the opportunity to work with Judith Okonkwo.
There’s a lot more… but I’ll stop here.
On the flip-side…
A head-start for me will be being unable to pay for tuition to get a great education I crave at African Leadership University.
A head-start for me will be failing an intense Software development test I took last week after feeling so great and confident about my skills.
A head-start for me will be getting robbed for coming in late at night!
A head-start for me will be staying hungry as a junior high school boarding house kid, when my parents could not pay up tuition in time.
To provide context, #head-starts are events, occasions, experiences we learn from and prepares us for other moments of our lives.
And maybe this article should be an head-start for you…
- To change the way you think about situations.
- To love a lot more than you have ever done.
- To give more.
- To learn from every single experience.
- To stay happy regardless, because it is a choice.
A head-start for you … to
Be great, be awesome and do you every single day
— Alexis Parris
PS: I never round off without leaving a post-script. Ya!
I figured there’ll be a 3rd season of billions, I have been ranting this for a while now and I am patiently waiting for it to drop next year!
Oh and I’m glad, he did not take my Laptop. Maybe, I’d have attacked!, if he tried to.