Ever heard of the English adage; “a beggar has no choice”? Well, I guess this only applies to other places and not in Uganda. Here beggars sulk, throw tantrums, give orders and act like they are doing you a favour. If you are a driver in Kampala, you must have come along this kind. “Auntie or uncle can you get me at least Shs100 for a bite?” Notice that they have set the rules -It has to be “at least Shs100” .
Well the other day, I was a victim to these sturbborn chaps. One teenager walked to my car window and knocked so hard that my heart almost jumped out. In panic, I slightly lowered the window and in a very soft tone (I guess to express the picture of hunger), he asked, “Auntie please give me something to eat.”
I looked around and I only had heavy notes. The boy’s pale face and chapped lips compelled me to feel sorry and help him.
Fortunately, I had two apples in the car so I pulled them out and offered them to the boy. “Here’s something to eat, its healthy.”
The ka dude threw a tantrum. With his face as white as snow, he responded in a loud and angry tone, “I said get me something to eat. Give me at least Shs100, I go and buy for myself. I don’t want your food!”
Oba what’s with the Shs100 that makes it a default begging line? Meeehn! Besides, what was wrong with taking my fruit if it is all I had? Anyway, angrily, I told him that since he wanted something to eat, I had offered him some. He seemed more pissed than I was because as I raised my window screen, he banged at my door and kicked the car tyre amid little murmurs in his native language.
I hahaad this chap. How does one beg with an ultimatum? With the way he sulked and eyed me in anger, you would think that I was his mother. Whatever happened to humility and counting blessings?
Like they say, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride on” this dude would have killed me, set my car ablaze to express his fury, thanks to my kind gesture.
Eh! The insolence that some people subject us to, aha!