The Anatomy of Awoof (Free things)

"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.

Source
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.

32 comments

  1. Gbam!! Well said. I am guilty of the party souvenir thing as well. It is so bad that my father has banned us from bringing another plastic item or jotter into his house. I have to physically restrain and remind myself that I truly do not need those things. You are right about mentally conditioning oneself to resist the lure of 'the free'

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  2. Personally,i abhor fighting for anything.So what i do in weddings is sit there,if it reaches me,fine,else,i go to my house peacefully.I don't struggle for drinks,food,souvenir or whatever.It's very shocking to see what people do for these.

    As for free things not being free,i want to believe that's an established fact and everyone is supposed to know this.Nice post @ilola.

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    1. Trust me, not everyone knows o. Or lemme say many people act like they don't know.

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  3. I don't think you were pained because you wanted the free umbrella, it had to do with her being rude. No one wants to be treated that way. It's not about what is being shared. It's just the way she went about it especially with such inexpensive items. It's like an insult.

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    1. Yes I agree to an extent. What pained me was the fact that I was treated like I wasn't there, but then again, its her umbrella and she has the right to give who ever she sees 'worthy' of having it, lol so we can't outrightly say she was rude.

      People choose how they act to us, and we choose how we react.

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  4. You've already answered your question.... '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'

    Like sting said, it was rude of the person to ignore you like that, for the fact you were sitting on the same table, had a good rapport and she is related to the celebrant sef...that is why it hurts.

    Indeed! There is no free food in free town! Indirectly we have paid for it all.

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    1. Na she get her umbrella. I am not worthy of it, abi, lol. Its the ignoring like I don't exist that hurts, lol.

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  5. I agree with Ms Sting, its not the umbrella that upset you its the rude attitude. Can be very annoying. Well written post especially for me wey be queen of buy one get one free lool

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    1. Loool. Now you know there's nothing really free.

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  6. I actually do not like taking souvenirs home. I usually 'forget' them at the venue. They are mostly useless (not talking about the expensive and 'showy' ones) so i try to stay away from them. You don't want to know how many of those things my mom has in the store (especially napkins, mugs, knives and chopping boards).

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    1. Well, what can I say? You are one of the few who have been able to win this battle. I want to be like you when I grow up, lol.

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  7. "The battle is in the mind, and that is where it must be won." Well said...

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  8. Truth b told, of all the weddings I hv ever attended, I don't hv a Pen to show for it. Hehehehe most times we even stop at an eatery after church b4 reception. Its not pride but the tot of struggling for awoof is simply below me! If they give me, fine, if not fine, after all I went for the wedding cos of the celebrants not for the gifts. @teewaikris

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    1. If I were someone who attend parties, I would come to meet you for coaching, lol.

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  9. At a wedding where I was given stuff to share. I targeted the people who were sitting quietly, not those hustling and screaming for stuff. Why should you scream and shout and let your respect all out because you want to collect paper? Sometimes, the sourvenirs are not really useful things but very colorful e.g. Back scratcher. Tufia!
    Like you said, if we get it fine if not fine.

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    1. Well, you are an exception. Most people target people who they know, and want to score points with.

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  10. Replies
    1. "The anatomy of awoof" Atilola, you will not kill someone

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    2. You love the title abi? Oya, confess.

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  11. Lol we do love free things that is true. But you getting annoyed over the souvenir at the event had nothing to do with what was been shared, it was all about her dismissive attitude towards you and you had every right to feel that way even if it was chewing gum she was sharing.

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    1. The thing that pained me most is that this girl really gisted with me before the arrival of her souvenirs o, lol.

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  12. Souvenirs are actually not free except you do not buy the asoebi for the party and you get one...the money gained from asoebi is what is used to buy souvenirs.

    I guess it is the lady's rudeness that got to you not the free umbrella itself.

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    1. Well, there are some cheap souvenirs they give everyone who attends the wedding. So there's the Aso Ebi one and the general one.

      As for this wedding I mentioned, Aso Ebi wasn't sold, so it had nothing to do with Aso Ebi.

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  13. Yeah people can get funny at parties. It's not only the receivers that should work on their minds, even the givers should. I don't know how this sounds but people should learn to give with humility. At a party where hundreds of people want something you have, it's very easy to feel on top of the world. Center of attention, cynosure of all eyes and then you begin to select and decide who gets what. It can be very... I'm looking for the English... I can't find the English but hopefully you get what I'm saying.

    So, as givers and receivers we need to renew our minds.

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    1. How momentary opportunity gives some people the illusion that they have power, abi. Its very true that not everyone can handle power.

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  14. I often times refuse party souvenirs oh....except it's something worth it. However, I detest when someone intentionally ignores me ...

    I love freebies that adds value or will be useful ...after all it's free

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  15. The lady indirectly said because I just spoke to you doesn't mean I'll be nice to you later. People!!!
    People are amazing.

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    1. Exactly! You hit the nail on the head.

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  16. I love this especially the opening statement. Souvenirs are junk. I hardly leave a party with what they give me except it is a very close friend's wedding.

    The woman that ignored you must have felt like Father Christmas with the power to choose who deserved her panti.

    My aunt was telling me about how different classes of people get different souvenirs these days! Na wa. Like you said nothing is free o jare.

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What's your opinion on this? Let's learn from one another.