Quote Me Not – Am I A Yahoo Boy? A Question For The Nigerian Police
As he sat in the Keke (tricycle), he couldn’t help feeling drained. He always knew this working 9-5 thing wasn’t for him but somewhere in his mind he had forced himself into thinking that doing it for a few months wouldn’t be so hard (Uncle Linda! It was hard o). Music was his only solace and escape at times like this, so he plugged in his headphones and just zoned out, watching everything go by, on his long keke ride home.
Keke driver tapped him; “My guy, police dey front o.”
Fellow riders were staring at him, and for a moment he wondered what the problem was. Suddenly it clicked; he was a young fresh guy in his mid-twenties, wearing a T-shirt, Jeans, Timberland loafers and a Chain wristwatch he had gotten as a gift (in all he looked clean because he had washed his face of all the stress of the day and dabbed a little from his pocket perfume); somehow all the aforementioned things meant he was a Yahoo boy.
“Wetin kon happen if police dey front?” The young man replied, feeling irritated that anyone would even think him fraudulent first of all and then to think that if he was he would jump down from the Keke on the busy highway just to get away from fellow human beings in uniforms.
Everyday we shout #EndSARS and #SayNoToBrutality, thinking that our voices and cries will someday mean something to those powerful enough to effect change. People are wrongly accused everyday and sometimes fall prey to jungle justice, sometimes just because of how they look, nobody minding if they have an explanation of some sorts. The police or the SARS are not the first problem, it’s the same people you mingle with everyday that discuss their assumptions about you to the wrong people and draw the wrong crowd to you.
You still don’t get it right? Being young and looking fresh in 9ja these days has become a crime; and to the very shallow-minded means you are a fraudster. Just because inept Nigerians have still not gotten it into their thick skulls that dressing corporate neither means that what you do is legitimate nor is it profitable.
I have come to realise how judgemental a lot of human beings are, your fellow struggling youth alike. Assuming what you are and judging you on the basis of their own assumptions without getting to know you or confirming what it is you do. Before things get into the hands of the incompetent ‘crime fighters’ we are cursed with, people who don’t even know you have added salt to injury, describing absurd scenarios they’ve made up in their mind.
Some might call it envy, but I call it plain ignorance and stupidity, something education can’t teach, something only self-realization can bring. As Nigerian and Africans we will never move forward when we approach life with stereotypes. Get to know people before you assume and if you don’t have the time then leave them be – no be your life dem come.
Am I a Yahoo boy ‘cause I’d rather wear plain t-shirts and joggers everyday instead of ties and shirts?
Am I a Yahoo boy because you can’t place a hand on what it is I do for a living?
Am I a Yahoo boy cos you’ve never met me at my place of hustle?
Am I a Yahoo boy because your brain is too shallow?
Or Am I Yahoo boy ’cause your parents didn’t teach you not to judge a book by its cover?
I am The Arubayi Keme; Quote Me Not.
The Arubayi Keme is a Writer, Editor, Journalist, Content Revamper and lately, a Social Commentator. Though in his mid-twenties, his media career spans over 8 years; and he prides himself in studying human behaviour and interaction.
Instagram – @thearubayikeme