personal stories

A boy, A gift, A scam…

I was in primary six and it was my tenth birthday. There was this one boy in our class, He was an Igbo boy and was much older than the rest of us. For the sake of anonymity, let’s shorten his name to Chi. Chi and I weren’t exactly friends, although we used to live in the same apartment building, which is basically a fancy way of saying “block on flats”. Still, for my tenth birthday, he told me,

Ameena, I’m going to get you a birthday gift”.

This was the first neighborhood we grew up in.

So, I don’t know if we were just broke or frugal or both back in those days, but nobody (where I grew up) gave anybody a birthday gift. In fact, it was the other way around. The birthday boy/girl is the one expected to entertain the class with goodies, which the teacher often stows away a large portion of, just for herself. You get the drift though, gift giving wasn’t exactly a thing; which was why I didn’t take it too seriously when Chi said he would get me one.

It turns out, he was pretty serious about the gift thing, because one fortunate school day, he brought a pair of leather sandals and gave them to me as my “gift”. They weren’t just any market leather sandals though, they looked like those fancy ones. I didn’t collect the gift at first. Why, you may ask. My mama is the reason. I can picture her dragging my behind to school and wanting a detailed explanation from the school authorities and the boy’s parents, as to why “a boy” will give her daughter a gift.

Thats me in pry 6, at the far right, holding my hands.

After being pressured by two of my classmates (you know who you are), I relented and kept the sandals in my bag. I remember, getting home, nervous and showing my mum the sandals that Chi gave me as a birthday gift. To my mum’s credit though, she didn’t shout, she didn’t yell, she was level headed, which was the opposite of the reaction I was expecting. And then came the question- where did Chi get those sandals from?

To keep a long story short, my mum had her doubts because Chi wasn’t known for the best of characters. She armed herself with the sandals Chi gave me, and went to our former neighborhood, to see Chi’s guardian. And to my horror, my so called birthday gift, was actually one of the many shoes Chi’s uncle imported for sale, and Chi stole one of them to give to me.
And that was how it was revealed that my first birthday gift was a scam. I didn’t even get to wear it, because it was returned back.

I know this might sound horrible, but Chi, I appreciate the effort you made in getting me that gift. Although, next time though, let’s try more legal and honest means okay?

Fast forward to two days ago, my mum told me there was a delivery for me. I know how much is in my account at the moment, so even If I wanted to, I could not make a delivery. Still, I went to answer the gate, and sure enough, there was a delivery for Ameena. Turns out, A friend of mine, who is one of the most hardworking people I know, took the time to frame one of my poems and send it to Me. And you know, it’s just these little things, these silver Linings, which make the storms worth it.


And guys, she makes the coolest frames, Simple picture/quote frames, or for those of you who are “extra” like I am, you’d love her word art frames. Don’t forget to check her out on instagram at subs&giggles, and order a frame or two… the season to give gifts lasts all year round. Spread the love and joy.

Don’t forget to share your most memorable gift experience in the comment section below. Don’t keep the stories all to yourself, I want to hear them.

Have a great weekend and wishing you lots of love, laughter and coffee of course.

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