As an African child, greeting people, especially elders is one of the very first things you learn at home, girls are taught to kneel down to greet elders, while boys are to prostrate, lying flat on the ground. Westernisation has, however, brought into the mix a new, more formal, and dare I say sophisticated style of greeting, involving a slight bend of the knees in what I call a semi-courtesy when girls are greeting elders, while boys, instead of lying flat, merely bend their heads as a sign of respect. When greeting friends or acquaintances, a smile, wave or even a mere nod of the head, with or without the ‘Hello’and ‘Hi’ is all it takes.
I’m pretty heavy on greetings most times, as long as your face looks familiar and you’re well dressed, I don’t mind greeting you, and I appreciate being greeted also, if you greet me, it’s imperative I greet you back. God knows I dislike it when people don’t greet me back, in fact dislike is too weak a word to describe the feeling. I mean, why will someone go through the pains of looking at you, actually seeing you, acknowledging you and do you the greatest honour by greeting you, and you won’t greet back?! That’s totally unacceptable.
A day I will never forget was on my community service day, my lecturer for Environmental Studies made it compulsory that we all render community service in the area, in fact he made the community service our CA, so ‘no community service; no CA for you’ he’d said.
My form of community service was to sweep the streets for a whole day, from 6am to 6pm. Someone had managed to get LAWMA involved so I was going to be wearing orange overalls on that day.
On said day I took my broom and dust pan and began sweeping down the Ojota road, which was my designated area. God knows, those LAWMA people are trying. It was so annoying! One second you’ve cleared the sand and the rubbish and in the next some random idiot throws a Gala wrapper or whatnot right where you just swept.
‘Somebody tell me what happened to ‘Keep Lagos Clean?!’
The dust, sand and heat made me cough and sneeze, and in next to no time my throat was parched to say the least; my eyes were watering and my mouth tasted like sand and felt like sandpaper, I probably sweated enough to fill a GeePee tank that day, the orange overalls stuck to my bare skin in places which weren’t covered by the old clothes I’d worn underneath.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Not at all.
Is it just me or does this feel like a cliff hanger :p if it does though, I’ll update part 2 next Sunday.
So, it’s a new week. Don’t forget to set your goals and walk into every day with a positive mindset hoping for the best. So my next post is this Friday.