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Good People

I noticed when you joined the queue, you both wore suits and I wondered if you were married. I wondered where you worked. Idle thoughts, I was more concerned with getting a seat on the 7pm Aero flight to Lagos. It was the last flight out of Port Harcourt with free seats.

My heart sank when, after almost 20 minutes on the queue, the Aero teller announced that the POS machine wasn’t working. I’d have to pay cash.

I didn’t have any cash . I heard you mutter that you didn’t have any cash either. This was 5:20.

I made my way to the ATM, to the queues that dragged. I was number 7 on one queue; fifteen minutes later, you joined the other queue.

My GTB card did not work. 20 minutes on the ATM queue, and my card did not work. I stepped off the queue. You asked me what the problem was. I replied that I needed to transfer money to my First Bank card so I could use it.

You got to the front of the queue. I watched you withdraw cash effortlessly. I joined the other queue, waited another 20 minutes to get to the machine. And again, I got the error message, “Issuer or switch inoperative.”

I was desperate. I had no plans to sleep in Port Harcourt that night, I was tired, completely out of cash and time was running out. Again, I joined the end of the queue. And for the third time, I got an error message on both of my cards.Β I tried to get my husband to book the ticket online but that option was no longer available on their website. IΒ was, for all intents and purposes, stranded.

I saw you both walk past to the Genesis restaurant. In the time it had taken me to make my way to the front of the ATM queue, you had booked your tickets. It was almost 6:30 and I hadn’t booked mine. My choices were limited. I did something I’ve never done before.

I walked up to you in Genesis and I asked you, complete strangers to lend me N20,000.

I didn’t look particularly credit-worthy. My hair was in a messy bun, dragging my luggage back and forth had left me sweaty, my shoes were dusty, and my trousers were covered in lint.

But you replied, “Ah, I was even going to ask you if you needed money.”

And you gave me the money. You didn’t ask for my phone number so you could follow up, you didn’t demand any sort of guarantees. At my request, you wrote your account number on a piece of paper and bid me farewell.

At the Aero desk, the price had gone up. Again, I turned to the person behind me to lend me the extra 3k I needed. And he did. Again, without any guarantees that I would pay back.

Thank you.

Because of you, I made it to Lagos at past 8 in the night. I tried both my debit cards at MMA2 and they worked. Sigh. A miracle. And all the wahala was worth the smile on my husband’s face as he welcomed me home.

People like you are the reason I still have faith in humanity, in Nigerians. I’ve paid you back, I did the bank transfers first thing Friday morning. But I knew I had to write this. To thank you and that other kind gentleman. And to let others know that people like you exist. Again, thank you.



Hi, guys. Please share this post as many times as you can, to as many people as you can so it reaches these wonderful Nigerians. I really hope they get to read this. Thank you!


  1. Eya… you could have gotten details…. That was a very gentlemanly thing to do. God knows we have very few of them left.

  2. jite says

    Wow!…now wondering if I could…oh well. ..Thank u Mr and Mrs for helping my friend out. Lol Ose

  3. Jay says

    There are many of such Nigerians left, just that the deeds of the bad ones make it look like we all are bad.
    Thanks to those givers.

  4. Mukky says

    Cud most def do d 3k dont knw abt 20k to a complete stranger, does dat mk me bad?

  5. TM.Lucia says

    I’m still trying to believe this is not fiction!
    In this Naija?!!! There truly is a God somewhere.

  6. Anita says

    πŸ™‚ Nigerians are actually good people…
    That’s the simple truth…

  7. Tola says

    I’m not surprised. I think I’ve met more good people than dis-compassionate people in Nigeria.

      • It’s always a good think to document the better side of NIgeria- the side that gives without thought, rather than the more commonly portrayed ‘champagne and corruption’ aesthetic. I liked this a lot and it gave a lovely warm feeling about my own people. SIDE NOTE: domestic air travel here is the worst.

  8. I’ve met people like this before. They helped me push my broken car off the road, got it to a safe place and helped recharge my car battery. Then they disappeared before I could even say thank you. I thought they must have been real angels.. Yes, there is still good among us

    • It’s interesting to hear this still happens. I was taught to abandon my car if this happens, and return later with a mechanic and a male friend or relative. Because “helpers” might end up trying to rob me. Sigh.

  9. To be honest I don’t think it’s a big deal as the borrower didn’t take much of a risk. It’s usually upper middle class people that fly and they’re usually credit worthy to each other. A great story would be someone lending out her last 20k with faint guarantees of getting it back. Good read all the same.

    • Akinyemi Adewumi says

      I don’t agree with d upper middle class thought though. Giving to a stranger, at whatever level, takes selflessness. And that is never an exclusive of a particular demography.

      • Exactly.
        Celebrate the selflessness at face value. I’m glad you met some people who restored your faith in the goodness of Nigerians, Osemhen.

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