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Free things in Freetown!

People, especially Nigerians like free things or 'awoof'. The rich, poor as well as the middleclass are all engulfed in this. Everyone no matter how wealthy avails oneself of every slightest opportunity to enjoy goods and services without paying a dime. People attend occasions merely to dine and wine, no necessarily to honour their hosts. That is why people would easily attend festivities, even when uninvited (with their retinue of friends and dependants), 'liquidating' their host, but would abscond when invited for a book launch! The era of carting away food and drinks in 'nylon' bags and 'shopping cart'-sized handbags by women, and sadly these days men, is still with us.

It is important to note that nothing is free in this world, 'even in Freetown.' That food is ready does not mean it is for free, to the extent that even in God's Own restaurant, you must pay after eating! A lot of people have met their waterloos because of the obsession for 'free things.' It is very alarming that despite the increase in kidnapping and other vices, you still see people (especially students and local government workers)  hitching free rides or what we call '2go.' It is not as if they don't have the fare, they are already finding fun and contentment in settling for 'awoof.' Many others lose a lot of money to fraudsters, especially on the internet because they want to 'reap where they did not sow. ' How can you win a lottery you did not enter for?

When a Telecom provider introduced 'free night calls' almost ten years ago, it was thoroughly abused. People spent nights making needless calls, while ending up 'useless' the next morning! Odi egwu!

Can you have your cake and eat it?  Certainly no. People always want something for nothing, and when they eventually get nothing for something, they bemoan their fate. Nothing is for 'dash.' A politician helps you and expects your vote, a man spends on a lady and expects to bed her in return, parents train their children and expect them to take care of them in old age, service providers dish out promos and expect increased patronage, the list is endless. Little wonder why it seems rich men are more disposed to helping only those they will benefit from,in one way or another. When you visit an orphanage and post the photos on the social media, what do you have in mind?

It is responsible enough to collect money or gifts only for a job done, except perhaps on your birthday or other festivities. But when someone doles out largesse and spend on you claiming it is 'for dash',  run for dear life,except of course if you are in dire need of something, and someone is willing to assist unconditionally.  How does a girl expect to go scot free, when she receives cash and materials from a man who is neither her father, husband or siblings? Know that collecting gifts, especially the ones you have not worked for renders you powerless before your benefactor. Thus, when the time to pay back comes (and it surely will), you will find it difficult saying no,evem if it is beyond you!

No one says you should not go for free things you, but it should be done with restrictions and restraint. When you work, you earn.

Chukwudi Anagbogu
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