I came across an article the other day about a lady who was crying in the middle of the night for help. She knocked on a door and asked to be let in but she was turned down because the home owners were too scared to let her in as she was a stranger. For full article click here
After reading the article I immediately was taken back to my midnight ordeal several years ago when I desperately needed to be housed by a stranger in a town about 20 miles away from my home town.
It was on a weekend while in college I had travelled to my sister in Lagos, all worked according to plan on Friday. The journey back to Ilesha was a completely different story that if I had not been helped by two complete strangers that believed me, I am not sure what my story would have been today.
On my journey back on Sunday, I was at Iwo Road Ibadan mid-morning with the hope of getting a direct bus to Ilesha. I waited around for about an hour trying to make sense my situation. Apparently, in the space of 24 hours, the fresh crisis between Modakeke and Ife at the time had taken a new turn for the worse and drivers had been warned not to use that route as reports had it that vehicles were being stopped along Lagere road and passengers being forced to say a sentence or two to determine where they belonged.
Taking the back road, eventually we arrived at Atakumosa Market just after midnight after travelling for seven hours. Needless to say we were all relieved to be at Ilesha in the end. When I entered the bus from Ibadan, I had told my driver several times that I will be getting off at ’10 by 10′ hostel opposite my college as that is where I lived, the request he agreed to. However, the journey was longer than anticipated so the driver refused to honour his promise.
I was the last passenger on the bus so made my peace and got off the bus. Searching for an hotel didn’t cross my mind as I didn’t have much cash, even if I did, I didn’t know where to look.
Looking around outside of the market that I had shopped at for the last three years with ease, now in the middle of the night it looked different, I was gripped with fear of what could happen if I slept on the street overnight.
I spotted a teenage girl, she was about 13 years old, selling bread at the bus garage. She was the last trader to be there, also there were two okada riders waiting for their last passengers of the night
An okada rider didn’t want to travel towards college as he feared students cults might attack him instead offered to take me to his house as his wife goes to the same church as me – The Apostolic Church.
I went to the young bread seller, who immediately took pity on me and offered to take me to her Aunty, her house was just at the back of the market.
Tope did help but unfortunately her Aunty did not trust me enough as I was a stranger so was not sure – I could have been anyone or had evil plans, being a witch etc was her reason for not allowingg me in.
Again, crying would do nothing this time of the night.
As the young lady had been so helpful, I asked if she knew anyone around there who could believe my story and let me into their house for the night.
Tope then took me round the back of her Aunty’s house into an alley to a building with rooms in a row. She told me of a young man she knew that was kind, he attends Catholic Church.
I immediately was pulling all positive memories of Catholic church and people I had to ensure Yinka that I was a real human that genuinely needed help. True to Tope’s words, Yinka believed my story and offered me a space for the night. He lived in a room and a parlour.
To put him at ease I talked about my Catholic secondary school and luckily he knew Sister Veronica from school and had met Sister Antonia in my college at the time. I sat on his sofa for the few hours of the morning in a safe home and left his house at 5.30am for my college.
Needless to say, I was very grateful for this random act of kindness. Several years on I still remember and believed that humanity is awesome!