Second time’s the charm

I was on my way to see a friend yesterday and I took a bike to the estate.
At the gate, the okada man stopped and I climbed off. Then right at his feet, he saw a 100 naira note.

Growing up in Lagos, everyone knows the rules about finding money on the ground outside. If you see a shiny new (obviously bewitched) note and you pick it up, you get one of two juju options:
You either turn into a goat and the people who set the trap-money take you for sacrifice.
Or your penis disappears.
Essentially you become sexless with your photo in the newspaper showing a smooth undefined pubic region like an angel under a bold headline: MAN LOSES GENITALS

The bike man squealed and picked up the money.
He was so excited. He rolled it up and tucked it into his pocket. He patted the pocket and said, “Extra hundred naira” with a huge smile.

I ignored him. To each his own. I rifled through my wallet and gave him a 200 naira note for the ride.
But the ride only cost 100 naira so he reached back into his pocket, brought out the 100 naira note he’d just picked up from the ground and handed it to me


Now, I’ve heard the juju thing works from the ground, but I have no reliable information on whether there is a secondhand effect. Like if the picker has a counter-charm, aje-sara or whatever you call it, and nothing happens to him on the initial pick, yet I wake up the next day and I’m an angel.

I dodged the money as he stretched it out, ducking under his arm.
I screamed, “My children!” and I ran down the road.


14 thoughts on “Second time’s the charm

    • It’s funny how I’m almost sure Sharon and I heard this at the same time and place. I believe we were in primary 4 at the time. Although I think in my version of the memory, I heard the picker would turn to a tortoise.

      Hi Sharon 🙂

      • This is interesting.
        I don’t remember ever seeing a tortoise in Nigeria, except maybe in Ibadan zoo. Wouldn’t it be weird to change you into something that is so … exotic?

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