Early 2012 I was about midway into my service year when I had a somewhat interesting experience. Now where I served, a quaint town called Iwo in Osun state had issues with electricity so corpers got creative with our timetables and locating venues where to charge their phones and laptops.
Anyway one of those days, I was leaving my lodge to go charge my phone and put in some game time on FM (roll your eyes, your business), and a girlfriend of mine whose fiance was visiting for the weekend wrote a prescription for me and asked me to help her get it since the pharmacy was a stone’s throw from my destination. In fairness to her I made it a habit of surprising people who assumed I was sweet, innocent and naïve, so she likely didn’t think I knew what she was asking me to buy. Either that or she counted on the fact that I’ll keep my mouth shut; either way, one look at the name of the drug and I knew I was buying contraceptives (don’t ask me how I know, I AM a good boy).
Now this is where it got interesting, imagine a twenty year old, five foot seven, slim, clean shaven bespectacled young man walking into a pretty big pharmacy in Nigeria and asking for female contraceptives. Yeah. I could feel eyes practically walking all over my skin. The looks of judgement I got from other customers and even people at the counter where amusing to say the least.
I retrospect I probably should have been more low-key about my purchase or even just told my friend to go buy it herself, but I felt if I wanted to drive a truck and order a crap load of contraceptives for personal use, it shouldn’t be anybody’s business.
A few weeks ago I was fishing for topics to write on and a friend raised this issue. When I was a kid, if you saw a young man buying gold circle condoms from the neighbourhood malam, oh boy, tongues will roll.
While I have firm Bible-based stance on pre-marital sex, I still think looks of judgement should be reserved for more serious things than a guy buying a box of condoms or a lady buying a pack of pills or in some cases vice versa. They’re already having sex, if they didn’t stop because you told them God frowns at it , at least they’re being “responsible” about it. I’m not saying we should look the other way when we see peeps doing the wrong thing, but there are points too when we leave people to their own devices. Even Jesus preached the gospel and moved on.
Oh and one last thing, I told myself I’ll never run that kind of errand again. Not because the pharmacy made me uncomfortable (on the contrary, it was quite hilarious really) but because somewhere inside me I felt like I had given a helping hand to committing sin. Call it what you will but that’s something I cannot live with.
So you probably found this funny or incredibly stupid or both, but it’s out there and I’ll like to know what you think. Plug in your comments below and/or hit me up @arielugorji