LOUD WHISPERS: Glory And Lollipop

Part 1

Wednesday October 28th

Glory: Pls I want 2 speak with d governor

BAF: This is not his number

Glory: But u are close to him

BAF: Please what do you want to tell him?

Glory: Please help me 2 tell him 2 pay civil servant salary especially d health service so that my mum can pay my school fees please.

BAF: Did your mum tell you that the Government has not paid her salary? That is not true. What school are you attending?

Glory: Pls Ijero Health Tech

(At this point Governor Fayemi arrives home. He sees me on my phone smiling and he asks me what I am doing. I tell him I am chatting with a student who seems to be lying about her mum not being paid).

BAF: How much is your school fees?

Glory: It remains N35,000 pls sir do u want 2 help?

BAF: Send your account number

Glory: Sir are u kidding me or u are serious. I saw did number on someone phone that person save dis number with jkf I thought it was governor Fayemi. Am not 419 please

BAF: Hold on for Governor Fayemi

(I hand the phone over to Governor Fayemi. He asks Glory where her mum works, she says ‘In a health center’. She does not say where. Governor says her mum is not being owed any money, if she needs money she should just say so. He hands the phone back to me. I promise to send her something in the morning. She sends me her account number)

Part 2

I wake up the following morning and glance at my phone. Glory has called me 17 times. I call her back and ask why she has called me so many times. She tells me it is because she has not seen any money. I tell her that one of my aides will send it to her that she should be patient. Two days later, I get the following message from Glory

Glory: Her Excellency ma I don’t ask you that you should do me a favour. If its ordinary person that promise Me since five days that person will have do it thanks very much ma God bless you I don’t want your favour again (Sic)

My aide still sends her the N50,000 I authorised. Then we start tracking the number.

Part 3

Friday November 6th

My aides eventually find Glory and bring her to me. She was lured in by one of my male aides who called and said he got her number from a friend. He asked to see her and she demanded for transport fare, which he sent. N1,500. For this amount she got in a vehicle all the way from Ijero-Ekiti and arrived Ado-Ekiti at 8pm. She had no idea who this man was. She could not believe it when she was brought straight to me. I was horrified that she had travelled alone at night for a tryst with a stranger. I asked her what would have happened if the guy turned out to be a kidnapper? She had no answer. She wept profusely, begging for forgiveness.  I asked her to tell me the truth about her circumstances. She admitted that she lied about her mother not being paid. She confirmed that she was the one who had been sending the messages, and no one forced her, which we did not believe. We knew she had an accomplice.  According to her, she wanted to study Nursing but there was no funding available, so her mother asked her to attend a technical college and learn Fashion Designing. I asked her if she still wanted to study Nursing, she said yes. I told her that she should apply to the College of Health Technology, Ijero-Ekiti.  If she passes, I will pay her fees. I also promised to pay for her accommodation and give her an allowance. I gave her another N50,000 and asked one of the Protocol Officers to give her accommodation for the night. She left, seemingly remorseful and sober. I told her I would send someone from my office to check on her in school. Perhaps she thought I was joking or just saying it for fun.

Part 4

Tuesday November 10th

Tope, the Coordinator of the Keep Girls in School project in my office visits her ‘school’ at the Technical College in Ijero-Ekiti. Glory is not registered there, they have never heard of her. Tope calls Glory and asks her where she is. Glory says she is in school. Tope says good, I am in your school too, come to the Principal’s office. Glory then says she is not actually in school because she had to pick something up from a nearby town. Tope tells Glory to come to our office in Ado-Ekiti the next day to pick up cash for her school uniform and other things she will need in school. Glory is happy to hear this and promises to be there. The following morning, Glory sends me the a message, ‘Please ma, I need your help ma, I have been sleeping with my friends since have rent my own room just because I don’t have bed the money you gave me the other day have used it for food stud I transfer ten thousand  to my mother the money remain five thousand naira and the bed is 18 thousand naira God bless you ma’(Sic)

Part 5                  

Wednesday November 11th

Glory walks into my office to pick up her ‘cash’. She is in for a surprise. Over a five-hour period, we manage to get hold of her Mother, Step Father, Aunt, and her accomplice, her boyfriend who she calls ‘Lollipop’. The picture that emerges is not a pretty one. Glory left home because she did not want to keep living with her Mother and Step-Father. Her Step-Father claimed that she accused him of wanting to sleep with her. Glory went to stay with her Aunt, helping her sell ‘Paraga’ and other stuff. Her Aunt claimed she was a thief and she had to report her to the police at least three times and the Police could provide records. ‘Lollipop’ was the brains behind their scams, giving her instructions on how to write her messages to people and what to say to get money. Glory even scammed the scammer, she gave Lollipop N30,000 out of the first N50,000 I gave her, but did not declare the second N50,000! By this time, all my staff members were fed up. As far as they were concerned, Glory should go back to the streets where she belongs, since she has no intention of taking up the opportunities we want to offer.

No. I am not sending Glory to the streets, to keep scamming and engaging in transactional sex. She has been failed by too many people in her short life, she is only Twenty.  Her mother, whoever her biological father is, her Step-Father, her Aunt, her ‘Lollipop’ and all those who have made it necessary for her to live off her wits and her body. I explained to my staff that Glory represents thousands of young women out there who have fallen through the cracks. They have lost faith in themselves, feel helpless due to the cycle of abuse and neglect they have been through, and believe that the only way they can survive in a cruel world is to toughen up and extract as much as they can through whatever means necessary. There is going to be a Part 6, 7 or 8 to this story. It is okay. I insist, I am not letting go of Glory’s case. You can call me naïve, you might be right, but I will still try. She deserves a life of meaning, as do the thousands like her who are out there. As for ‘Lollipop’ he will be given an opportunity to change his ways too, otherwise he will be escorted to jail. If a Glory comes your way, please don’t give up on her easily. I changed Glory’s name here, but I cannot deprive ‘Lollipop’ the joy of his real nickname!

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She is the First Lady of Ekiti State, and she can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

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7 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: Glory And Lollipop

  1. Junaid Hidayat November 13, 2020 at 9:31 am

    May God bless you for all you do ma. I’m really proud of you ma, Give me the honour of calling you my Role Model

    Reply
  2. Kemi Olusola November 13, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Lol! What a story! Lollipop of life. Your wisdom will not cease ma.

    Reply
  3. Femi Diipo November 13, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I feel speechless and it’s not about the all too predictable Glory, there are many Glories on the street, but your response to Glory. I sure wasn’t expecting that but I guess by now I should be getting used to the kind of impeccable standard you so easily set.
    I know this will lead you to reach out to more girls like her in Ekiti. Thank you for all you do for our land of honour.

    Reply
  4. N. Charity November 13, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    If only Glory had someone to believe in her. It will take time but I believe with good mentorship,she will become a better person

    Reply
  5. Tola Ajayi Odoko November 14, 2020 at 8:10 am

    I keep on wondering and even appreciating God for the kind of precious woman brought to us because ordinarily this Glory hi would have by now thrown behind bars. But as a real mother (Abiyamo tooto) you looked beyond this and refused to give up on her and also planning to rescue millions of her outside there with questionable characters. God bless you more. I will also join you to take off the streets more girls like Glory. Well done ma.

    Reply
  6. DSEED November 14, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    I can see that it is very easy for you ma seeing things from another perspective. Even as I was reading I gave up on her already, until I read the aspect that we shouldn’t give up on glory around us. God bless you ma. I’m learning alot from your ways of doing things.

    Reply
  7. Olakunle Olajide November 15, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Hmmm! I really don’t think giving Gkory cash would change her immediately even if she wants to, the pressure to continue her way of life will always take a hold on her psychologically. I think the right call will be carrying out the actions with her. God bless your kind heart ma.

    Reply

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