This is Nigeria where you are never the real owner of your gadgets. Phones stolen, is me really saying phones taken back by the real owners. I hear stealing strategies and I wonder whether the synonym of intelligence should be changed to robbery. Like robbery can be defined as an occupation that requires intelligent and strategic movement to and from the venue of activity.
My first encounter is still fresh in my mind. It was a Thursday night. I went for a prayer vigil at the chapel in Unilag. In the intensity of the prayers, I kept my bag amongst others. My thoughts never predicted that after the vigil, I will be the lady shouting ‘leave me alone’ to comforters. I was like, you better leave oo, because your phone is here, you are calm, you better let the water (tears) flow. My philosophy was ‘na stagnant water dey smell’, meaning no tears, more pain. Like that was not enough, the guy used my phone to withdraw 10,000 from my account ( He did it through loading credit. Online banking was recently introduced so it didnt need to use password if the number was registered). I vividly remember walking, hopelessly from the bank as they told me to go and block my account at another branch. Like that was not enough, after I retrieved my sim, the guy’s mother and girlfriend called me. Behold, he has been used my number to call them. With the hope that I will get my phone back, I texted them that their son/boyfriend stole my phone. While bargaining with his mother, the small phone, I was using to text them, was stolen by an old woman who sat by me in the BRT. It was when I was retracing my steps, I realised her ‘pressing her body’ on my school bag to pass, was a strategy. sighs Thank God, I already knew where I was going so I didnt need to call for directions. You think you are an unlucky Nigerian shey. Okay ooo.
There is third one ooo… After months of being phone less, I switched to torchlight phone, then I got a Tecno CX Air. It was at a prayer meeting at the amphitheatre of University of Lagos. While I was standing, this thief must have gone beneath the amphitheatre to carry his bag and mistakenly taken mine. So since he loved the contents, he kept it. That day, I didn’t leave that place till almost 12pm. See me acting like a mad person, walking up and down like I didn’t have hope, crying in my friend’s arms. Some Unilag boys passed and were laughing at me. I didn’t even care. I went to my friend’s hostel that night, used her phone to search how to track a phone, downloaded multiple tracking applications but all of them required that the data of the lost phone must be switched on.
With all these experiences, I think my tears for stolen phones have finished. The phone I am using now, I prayed on the phone. My prayer : 'Lord, anyone that looks at my phone with the intention of stealing it, fire fire:fire: '. So, I have started a motivational class for first time victims of stolen phones.
Thieves, it is perfectly legal if you never get caught just as it is perfectly legal to beat up a thief. In the motivational class, we will studying numerous non-violent ways to deal with a thief.