FINE BARA RELOADED
“Bara” is, I think, a Yoruba ‘contraption’ of either Hausa or Arabic word for alms begging. “Fine Bara” is a slang popularised by late Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Fuji Icon, to describe his then publicist, Olabisi Ajala, who was coming to him stylishly to get “something” either in cash or kind. Over time, the society has accepted the coinage to describe all those who have taken to begging especially stylishly in order to “make ends meet.”
I have noticed so many disturbing trends recently.
At some ATM points, some people, young or old, male or female will be lurking around, and immediately you collect your cash, they come around with some stories: ” please, help me, my …..”, they go on and on. You go to major Dealers to purchase some electronics, home utensils, etc, and the Security Men will not allow you to rest. They will follow you to your car, saying, “oga, na your boy dey here o.” That of the Eateries, Banks, popular Malls, etc, is legendary. They don’t hide it anymore, and there seems to be nobody to put them in check. They are becoming as bad as our Policemen who abandon traffic, and other official assignments to go and beg (really exhort).
I was particularly disturbed on Sunday, 22nd October, 2018. As my cash was coming out of the ATM, a man walked up to me, “can I get some cash please? I need to take care of……” Another woman was waiting 2 steps away. “Please, help me…..” Was I at the ATM to collect cash for distribution, as if I had no plans for the money? I felt this act (of lurking around ATMs) is not good enough. Before long, people will be forcefully attacked and their funds taken away from them. That is if it’s not happening in some areas already. Later that same day, I was at an Eatery and beside the Eatery is a major Home Appliances Dealer. I had “squeezed my face”😀 at the Eatery exit so that their Security guys will not “disturb” me, only for the 2 Security men of the Electronics Dealer to come after me. They were greeting and greeting and greeting.
I know a lot of us will be quick to ascribe it to “economy” but, this practice has been going on for a while, for years. It is just that the new? technology of ATM has added another dimension to it. I still feel that it is part of the moral laxity currently plaguing our society. It also boils down to the lack of checks and balances needed at the work place.
This “Fine Bara” stuff has been going on for a long time, and we need to arrest the trend. Even the “Security men” of the most popular Supermarket chain in Nigeria are not spared. It is particularly disturbing that these “Security men” are supposed to spot infractions but does it not look like “a thief watching over a thief?” A tip by the door will definitely make them look away. At least, one person has confessed this sin to me before.
I suggest that Banks instruct their Security men to keep undesirable people away from ATM Locations. The scenario is becoming embarrassing. Also, there should be adequate and effective supervision of Security men in all organizations to stop the growing “Fine Bara” trend. However, I urge all organizations to also try and pay just wages to this staff category, and they (Security men, and all junior staff, etc) should also learn how to live within their means.