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"It is very annoying to see women who buy N50,000 Aso Ebi fighting for N100 souvenirs at parties." - Me
The Experience is the largest music concert in Africa, and the largest gospel concert in the world. Every year, they give out thick magazines. In these magazines, the profiles of the musicians are documented, along with pictures of the previous Experience concerts. During the distribution of these magazines, the way people struggle to get this magazine is just a sight to behold. You can imagine crowds in sections struggling for magazines. It is appalling. People push one another, trip over other people, and get into physical fights for this magazine.The irony is that the more people struggle, the more others think what they are giving out is worth more than gold, and the more intense the struggle gets. All for a magazine that would not satisfy for more than 30 minutes.

I went for a friend’s wedding in December 2012. I sat on the same table with the sister-in-law of the groom. During the party, we were talking well, and all. Towards the end of the party, she brought in her souvenirs, and she just pretended like she didn’t know me. she had sacks of plasteramic bowls, and sacks of umbrellas. This girl ignored me, and was giving people bowls and umbrellas, despite the fact that I was just by her side, and she was sharing this souvenirs right in my presence. I was pained. To be honest, I am not greedy. I don’t even go for parties, and really don’t care for souvenirs like that, but it felt pained to be treated like non-existent. After a while, she gave me and my cousin a bowl each, and did not bother giving us umbrella.

The irony of it all was that I had two umbrellas with me in the venue, like I always do. I always have one big umbrella in my car, and a portable umbrella in my bag. It doesn’t matter whether it is rainy season or dry season, or which country I am. I always have an umbrella. I had to ask myself why I felt bad despite the fact that I had two umbrellas, and uncountable number of umbrellas in my mum’s room. I had to tell myself over and over again not to be pissed cos I did not need the umbrella. I was definitely not suffering for poverty of umbrellas. So why had I being pained?

Why do we like free things? Why does everyone like free things? Why is it that hardly anyone is exempt from the love of free things? Do you know that most of the useless junks we have in our house are actually things we obtained for free?

So why do we like free things? Well, it is because it is free. “Duuuh,” you might say. “Of course, we know that is why people like it. Tell us something we don't know.”

You see when you see human beings fight over free things, it is not really the thing they are fighting for. They are fighting for the ‘free’. They are fighting for the fact that they will get something they did not work for, something they did not pay for, something that came so easy, something that came on a platter of gold. This here is the justification behind the statement I started this blog post with.

Many people work daily, buy stuffs to care for themselves, and have to hustle for most things that they want to get. So anything that can come free, they would grab at any opportunity, be it 40 naira indomie at a party, a pen, or even crayon. Even though they can conveniently buy hundreds of these things, they would rather struggle to have one for free.

But you see, nothing is really free. This mentality that some things in life can be gotten for free is what many companies use to attract customers. They coin you into believing they are giving you a ‘free’ gift, but if you do the analysis well, you are actually paying for it. You think that telecoms company is giving you free credit? Believe me, you have already paid for that free credit the moment you qualified for it.

Girls are psyched into believing they are getting free stuffs from magas, sugar daddies, and aristos, but they end up paying for it in other ways. In parties, you get souvenirs that people fight so much for, but trust me, it is not free. After all, you transported yourself to the event, you spent time sitting at the event. This means that you have spent time and money in being able to get that souvenir that might not even be worth more than 200 naira. Some people also use mentality this to create classes at parties i.e. only a certain class of people would get certain souvenirs, thereby ascribing more value to the souvenir than it is really worth.

The truth is that if we do not deliberately condition our minds, we will all fall for this love of free things that are not really free. If we do not want to join the wolf pack, whenever we find ourselves in such situations, we have to continually tell ourselves that we do not really need the souvenirs or whatever is being peddled for 'free'. If we get it, it is fine. If we don’t, life will go on, and in the next hour, it won’t matter again. The battle is in the mind, and that is where it must be won.


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