There are so many markets in Lagos. All my life I have been too overprotected to experience one until Unilag handed me that admission. Mummy has always gotten everything for me or I pick my choice without permission from my sisters’ wardrobe. I had 4 of them so I always had something.
University of Lagos along with admission handed me something different and new: my independence.
Late 2016, I had my Yaba experience. I have always passed through Yaba, mostly to get the campus shuttle but this time, I wanted to buy something.
In Yaba, virtually every trader touches you in a bid to make you buy something; it is either “madam, you wan sell gold” or " fine girl, I have tops and jeans “. They don’t give up even when you give them the let me be” expression or shout at them, you might even get insulted. The insult is mostly limited to your physical attributes (the same attribute they praised) and what they think you have in your wallet which is most times nothing. But before the insults, their praises are priceless.
I went to the market with a friend because we both wanted to get something and going alone would be boring.
That fateful day I learnt 3 lessons:
- Yaba boys claim to have it all until you get to their containers and find nothing close to what you want then they force another item on you saying ‘na your colour, e go fit you’. So believe none.
- Not all is what it seems.
- Use your eyes and have an extra eyes- lucky for me, I had an extra eyes; my friend.
After going in and out of the market, being pulled and dragged, almost getting into a fight, we still didn’t get anything until my eyes caught a flat shoe. It was ALDO!!!
My mom has always been a shopaholic. She had a shoe for every occasion and I was blessed to be the only daughter with the same shoe size with her. I borrowed once in a while and one of the designs in her shoe closet is by ALDO. They are always of nice quality. So I was happy I found one. I was happy because I had something to boast about to my sisters; Khadijah wears ALDO now, not sandals. My first designer flats, I thought.
Like I said earlier I had little to no market experience and I had no bargaining skills. My bargaining skill was really bad and still is.
The shoe seller said the shoe was 6000 naira. It was Aldo so I thought it was okay, not bad, besides I had the money until my dear friend collected my purse and took charge of bargaining. She went from 6000 naira to 2000 naira. I was shocked! Who would sell Aldo for 2000naira? But one thing I know about buying is don’t show interest and don’t disagree in front of a seller. I pinched her but this girl did not give in. The seller told us how he cannot sell for that price because he said and I quote “na designer shoe. E go last”. He even bent it to justify his claim. When she added nothing more, the seller asked us to leave. I was angry; I had hopes and dreams for that shoe already. We were about to leave when another guy called us and asked what happened. He seemed to be the one in charge. We narrated and lied that we had nothing other than the 2000 and transport fare and he sold it to us.
Once again, I was shocked. 6000 to 2000 for Aldo??
From there I knew something was wrong and nothing was has it seemed. I would have been scammed. I was rescued from daylight theft. The Aldo didn’t feel original to me anymore and it actually wasn’t original but Thank goodness, it wasn’t 6000. I still rocked my shoe even though it was not the real thing, it had the name.
Now I wonder what Lagos market is like and still look forward to that experience. My lessons should come in handy.