The wonders of God

The wonders of God

You are seated at a car wash. Waiting for your car to be washed.
A little girl of about nine years walks up to you. Looks you dead straight in the eyes and greets you.

“Daddy. Good afternoon.”

“Afternoon.” You replied.

“Daddy. I want you to buy me a sachet of pure water.”

You think. That’s okay. She’s a little girl.

So you ask the lady attendant at the car wash for a sachet of water knowing that they run a side business selling cold drinks from a freezer.

She says she does not have pure water sachets. Only the much more expensive bottled water. Even before you say anything the little girl (still unflinchingly looking you dead in the face. A fact that’s now starting to bother you) says “That’s okay. I don’t want bottled water. Tell her to go and get the water from the food seller manning the kiosk a few meters away.”

You are taken aback at her confidence.

You instruct the lady to go and get the pure water. She apologizes for her  oversight thinking it’s you that wants to drink the water. She returns with the water, and hands it to you. You give it to the little girl.

She stands there just looking at you with the sachet of water in her hand.

Then she says “I have a message for you.”

It’s getting more surreal by the minute.

“I can see you are scared. But don’t be.”

“You are going to give alms to some less fortunate people.”
(Author’s note: generally means beggars)

“You will get three 10 Naira notes. You will then buy three sachets of salt. You will give a salt and a 10 Naira note each to three different beggars. ”

begging1 begging2 begging3

“Are you going to do it?” She asks.

You don’t respond. But you keep looking at her in wonder.

“I see you don’t believe.”

“But you must do it. Then you will see the wonders of God.”

You start to convince yourself that there might be something to this. This strange little girl. So confident. Looking you straight in the eye. She’s not even asking you for anything.

“You are going to do something for me.”

“You are going to give me N2,000. I am going to spend the money. But before I do, I am going to pray on it for 7 days.”

You are taken aback. You have no good response.

“Do it and experience the wonders of God.”

You hesitate. Is this true? Is this really happening?

She says “I know you have two thousand to give me but you are scared. Don’t be scared.”

You start to make excuses within yourself. How much is N2000. After all if you had done what you usually do while waiting for the car to be washed, you would have easily spent more than a thousand Naira: cut your hair for 300. Eat some sweet meats and “intestine” for another three. Have a drink. Wash the car for 700 hundred. So you could just skip all the extras and give the little girl the money.

But at the same time you bulk a little and say “I don’t have two thousand Naira.”

She says “That’s okay. Since you don’t know about it before today. You will give me a thousand Naira.”

You bring out two five hundred Naira notes.

She shakes her head and refuses the money.

You are perplexed.

“No. It must be a single N1,000 Naira note.” she says.

You call the attendant over again and exchange the two five hundred Naira notes for a single one thousand Naira note.

She accepts the money. Repeating what she had earlier said about the fact that she’s going to spend the money, but will pray on it for 7 days before doing so.

“Thank you.” She says looking you straight in the eye with a solemn expression.

She leaves.

You convince yourself you did the right thing.

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You get home and narrates the event to your better half. She laughs at you. Says she didn’t think you were that kind of person to be so easily taken in. She says you “Received a message for a thousand bucks. What message?”

You defend yourself lamely that a thousand Naira is not a lot of money. Besides, what’s the harm in the little thing she’s said you should do. It’s only another 200 Naira. You ask her to help you get three sachets of salt from the market.

The next week during your break you prepare three little plastic bags. Each contains a sachet of salt and a ten Naira note.

You tell your colleague that you need him to go with you to some far away public place where you are unlikely to be recognized. You tell him that you have been told to give alms but he shouldn’t ask for details. You only want him to accompany you in case you get accosted by the police or something “unplanned” happens.

You drove to the place, hand out the three bags as quickly as possible, and head back to the office.



Mission accomplished.

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Fast forward several weeks. You are at a completely different part of town to wash your car at a completely different car wash.

While you wait, you notice a little girl accost a middle aged man with a fancy Toyota Camry salon car who is also seated at the same car wash.

You look closely at the girl. You are almost sure it’s the same girl from your earlier encounter. But may be not. Could it be (you wonder)?

The gentleman gets up and goes to his car. Counts out some money from his gloves box, puts it in an envelope and hands it to the little girl.

Now you are sure it’s the same girl.

She thanks the man and starts to walk away.

You get up and follow her.

She sees you. There is recognition in her eyes.

She takes off. Running as fast as her little legs would carry her.

You take off after her.

The chase is on.

Weaving in and out of the crowded street. Finally you catch her.

Concerned bystanders expressed their concern.

You say it’s nothing serious. She did something wrong at the car wash over there.

You ask her if she recognizes you.

She claims she’s never seen you before in her life.

You ask her why did she run.

She claims it was because she saw you running after her.

You take her back to the car wash. To the older gentleman.

“Sorry to bother you sir. Did this girl give you a message? If yes, I think it’s a scam.”

“You should take your money back.”

The older man is not so sure.

“But she gave me a message for myself and my son.” He says.

“It’s a scam sir.” you insist.

But he is not convinced. Lots of people are superstitious. Easily swayed when it’s related to the spiritual or supernatural. Prefer to err on the side of caution. He says it’s okay. N8,000 Naira is not too much in case she’s “genuine”. You let the girl go.

Your 1,000 Naira pales into insignificance beside his N8,000 Naira.

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Fast forward another couple of weeks and you are back at the original car wash.

A couple of friends are seated near you. One is making fun of the other: “A little boy gave you a message and you part with a thousand Naira!”

You couldn’t help engaging them. You narrate your encounter. A third guy who was also nearby, gets up, goes to his car and brings out a bag of salt! You guess he took the “message” a little too seriously!


This is the latest scam in town. Might be confined to parts of Ogun state for now.

Note that another variation of the “message” is:


“My mum is sick. She’s okay now and back at home. But while she was hospitalized, we borrowed money from loan sharks. We are even ashamed to go back to our church because the church contributed money for us several times during her illness. But we still have a lot to repay.”

The wonders of God.

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(As related by my cousin)



I went to bed with an ache in my back. You haunted my dreams. I woke up trying to decide whether I was daydreaming or truly dreamt of you.

No exercise for me this morning. I will lump it together with tomorrows. The room is in shambles. I have to fix it, but not this morning. I grabbed the barbing kit, put a N1000 note in my pocket and went out to the next street to the tree under which my barber plies his trade.

There was a MOPOL (mobile policeman) on the seat. He was having his head shaved while having a lively conversation with the barber. He got up once done and started to walk away.

The barber asks for payment.

“I paid you last time” the MOPOL replied.

The barber called after him “419 MOPOL.”

We all smiled.

I sat down and told the barber that I was trying to grow my beard. So not to shave it off but he could “shape” it.

The MOPOL walked by again, and said he was going to the next street. The barber commented that the exercise was good for him, and added when he was out of earshot that the MOPOL needed the exercise, or how does he explain his sizable potbelly (which the policeman needed to lose).

Once done, I handed him the N1,000 naira note. His fee is N200. I told him to add the balance to the other “thing” (a side “venture”). He knows what I am talking about. I had given him N2,000 several weeks ago. He said he still had N1,200. The N800 should put it back at N2,000. No pain no gain.

Work was work. I should go (to the church) for (the weekly) fellowship, but various things were going on, and I watched 6PM come and go. Inertia. I couldn’t get up to go. Excuses. A colleague mentioned that Oblivion (the film) was out. I checked the Genesis Deluxe Cinema’s website and found that the last showing was for 8:50PM. I decided to go see the film. I left the office at 8:10PM only to find a gridlock on the road. It didn’t look like I would make it to the cinema before the film started, and I hate to miss the opening sequence of any film. I would try. I got to the cinema about 5 minutes late. Parked my car in a vacant lot between two jeeps and went in.

Paid and walked into the cinema hall. Fortunately, they were still showing previews of other films.

I walked up the aisle and found that a choice seat almost where I would have chosen even if I had come in earlier was still available. An Indian couple sat at the edge of the row, and several girls sat towards the other half so the seat almost dead center was free.

I sat down to enjoy the 2-hour film. The Indian couple talked from time to time. Not too much. It was nice (for them) not to be alone. It seems a lifetime ago when I was sitting in that same cinema (maybe even the same hall) next to you. I was glad I was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt because I could feel your arm against mine. I didn’t move it, and neither did you. The feeling was delightful. I could have sat there till the Sun went down, and the moon came up. But that was a lifetime ago. The wheels of time move quickly.

Tom Cruise delivered as usual.

It is 11:15PM and I was the last person out of the hall.

There were suddenly lots of young people coming up the stairs unto the top floor. Strange for that time of night. I walked past them and out into the night. I see a “Department of Medicine, LASU” bus. Maybe the throng just arriving were students. They looked young enough.

I walked towards my car. I passed a man leaning against his car. He said something to me that though I heard did not register at the time “That car has hit your car.”

My car was in view and there was a Toyota Corolla next to it. It was too close for comfort. In fact, it looked as if it was physically resting against mine on the driver’s side (of my car).

I was a little alarmed. I could see into the car and it looked as if the driver had his head on the steering wheel. I walked up to the car and tapped the boot. The car came alive and the driver reversed a little and drove sideways and stopped a couple of feet away. The driver came down. A young chap about my height (or maybe slightly taller). He looked at the front of his car.

I looked at my car and there was almost no damage. There was a small scratch on the side of the bumper that could have been made by something as small as a screwdriver.

Then he came round, tried to smile and apologized. He asked about my car and I told him there was almost no damage. He stretched out his hand and I shook it. I found the situation odd, so I asked him if he was drunk. He shook his head (difficult to tell if that was a yes or no). I noticed there was a girl in the passenger seat with her head in her hands. I asked if she was OK. She raised her head and looked in my direction. The chap opened the door and held the girls hand. I guess she was OK but probably embarrassed. She was really pretty.

The chap went back to look at the front of his car. He seemed to have run into the wall more than he had run into my car. He staggered a little. It was obvious he was more than a little drunk. He realized it and he was obviously embarrassed.

I asked if the girl could drive. He said no. I said I don’t think he should drive. He said he is not driving right now. I told him I think he should chill a little. Maybe get a drink of water.

He apologized again, shaking my hand. The other fellow that had spoken to me while I was approaching my car had walked up to us. He inquired if the damage wasn’t too much and the chap responded that he had run more into the wall than into my car. The other fellow went away.

The chap went back to sit in the driver’s seat. He leaned over to the girl with his arm either around her or on the back of her seat. Not sure what he was saying.

I drove off, then reversed again. I wanted a look at his license plate. If we meet again, I wanted to remember. His plate number read “EPE 4xx AL” (I am leaving out the 2 middle digits – replaced by the “xx”).

Hopefully, he would stay there for quite a while: Oblivion was just a wrong turn or decision away (for him and maybe for the girl also).

I am on my way home.

Another day.

Just like the rest.


Hopefully to oblivion.