Area Boys: Hustlers of Ignorance

Image by George Oshodi

 I was on my way home with the family from church in a friend’s Toyota Tundra two Sundays ago when the vehicle’s towing hook got us stuck along a bad road deep inside the rural town of Alagbado. Within minutes neighborhood guys and some area boys had surrounded the truck trying to push, carry and prompt the it out of the crevice that had caught the hook.

The scenario was noisy and skirmished as everyone was shouting different stupid solutions to the problem. They pushed and it got worse, they told my friend to reverse and it didn’t work.  Someone asked for the jack to lift the car and only ended up spoiling it.

Eventually one smart guy who hadn't been arguing just took a piece of rod lying somewhere, placed it under the hook and with effort from another person lifted the hook as the jeep was throttled and we were instantly free.

Simple solution!

Toyota Tundra

Then the scruffy knucklehead who spoilt our jack had the guts to come ask to be paid for his effort. I felt like socking him in the jaw but I didn’t want to lose the blessings I had received in church. So I just asked him ‘For what? For spoiling the jack?’

By the time we (my friend, wifey, and I along with some elderly baba from the neighbourhood) faced him, he mellowed and took off. Even the guy who had pried us loose didn’t come a-begging.
Then just yesterday, on our way back from church we stopped at a petrol station to re-fuel. There was this area boy who would want to help direct whenever anybody needed to re-park or reposition his car. His help was actually not necessary but he did it and expected to get paid.

I laughed.

Na work be that? Well…at least it’s better than stealing, but he can do better if people with one arm can hawk goods at Maryland Traffic light junction.
I’ve noticed that Lagos seems to have factors that push these area boys to get a bit creative a bit unlike their Ogun State counterparts.

Area boys in Lagos always attempt to be creative with their hustling. Some are smart to come up with money making strategies – like removing the divider on a highway where there’s traffic so that cars can turn into the opposite lane, and collect toll fare for it or simply collect toll from you for passing through their neighborhood as a shortcut. Some also attempt to crudely fill potholes in roads with sand or debris for easy passage of cars and stop you to pay them before you pass.

Meanwhile, the area boys in Abeokuta, Ogun State happen to be a bunch of lazy goons. They only thing they ever do is surround you, hail you to death with unmerited accolades and praises, and expect to get tipped. I experienced this bunch full hand at my Grandmother’s burial. What got me in their trap was the fact that I was wearing traditional attire. That alone qualified me as capable of doling out cash at the event. I managed to give a little cash to a couple of them and told them to share it. I hadn't gone far when another bunch that had been lazying around and saw what happen hurried up to me hailing me and expecting to receive their share!

As if I was sharing national cake!

There are so many area miscreants out there who don’t want to engage hard work but want to get paid.   They actually don’t have an excuse; unfortunately they are also ignorant about the fact that they don’t have excuse.

I wish I could help keep them off the streets and make them an asset to society, unfortunately, that's not my calling.

God help us...God help them!

9 Screamer(s):

dayor said...

Area boys ish...

What u said about their Abeokuta counterpart is so true, I grew up in abeokuta and still go there. Something needs to be done, God help us!

i wont actually say the Lagos ones are better really....

i believe it's a mind set at play in many of thier lives. Quite alright they may have been disadvantaged from the start e.g they didnt attend corona school Ikoyi(you get my drift) but then they do nothing(most of them anyway) to better thier situations.

The Lagos ones absolutely drive me nuts harassing/demanding tolls thrice(or more times) daily from okada riders and bus drivers.

They should all be rid off the streets if you ask me!!!!

i must admit though that i have once or twice benefitted from thier being on the streets. But that is story for another day......

Myne Whitman said...

There is high unemployment in Nigeria, especially for unskilled people. But those guys are also lazy, at least some go into construction or mechanic or small trade.

simply mee said...

Area boys alias agberos have come to stay no matter the effort anybody or organization try to re-rehabilitate them! Nothing like money...and the root of the problem is breeding so many children that cannot be catered for by some couples! POVERTY the underlining factor!
A customer of mine told me his parents gave birth to another baby last year! This man is in his late 20's! He was the one that footed all the bills! And taking care of his younger siblings....he had to warn his parents to STOP having more children! Tell me, if there was nobody to help, won't these children turn into miscreants just to survive?
NOBODY was born to be like that or wish to grow like that, but condition nah make crayfish bend.
It is a continuous phase.

Real8 said...

Truth is there's so much they can do but r they willing? The worse ones are the ones who shout 'park here...park here' like the own the road. Like without them u won't park.

'Lara said...

area boys and their madness...most of them are just lazy and want to earn money without doing anything.

jhazmyn said...

Don't limit this to area boys o, even the security guards do same. Imagine trying to get food at an eatery or even going to the bank. They rush to open your door, hail you all sorts and stop cars for you when you're driving out. All this in the hope that you would "find something" for them. Then when you don't respond they out-rightly say "Fine aunty, anything for us?". I always smile and say "maybe next time" not because I cant give but heck, don't do it for the sole purpose of "ragging" me.

Afronuts said...! Thank God someone else noticed it. I thot I was the only one.

@fluffycutething...You said that right! Those area miscreants can drive u nuts!

@Myne...yeah...especially those that decide to really work. Lazy ones just full everywhere.

@Simply talk am as if there is no hope for there? the major evil spirit wey don possess dem

@Lara...they are usually the goons behind thefts and armed robbery too.

Afronuts said... true Jhazmyn, I've experienced the scenario. But at least they have jobs. I know it is usually a customary thing to tip but one must not be pressured into doing it. Area boys love to pressurize