Mayowa Ahmed is ill. Very ill. That much we know. But even as we praised the #SaveMayowa campaign, here came the doubters, the naysayers and Linda Ikeji.
The campaign was a scam! She has already been told that she is dying! The family defrauded thousands of sympathetic Nigerians!
No, there is a chance of a second opinion if she is flown abroad! The family did not defraud anybody. They don’t have the time to be defending all these allegations; they’re meant to be at the embassy doing embassy tinz!
And so the fire raged on. A fire that was started because…Linda Ikeji needed a new handbag, I guess. Or perhaps a new gate in front of which to get her sister to take pictures. I dunno.
There was no rumour, no problem. An astounding amount of money had been raised and everybody went back to their daily business of pricing tomatoes and complaining about Buhari. I mean, that’s enough to keep anyone occupied to be honest.
Next thing we knew, Ms Ikeji claimed that the entire thing was a farce. She claimed that the family knew that the end was nigh for Mayowa Ahmed and used the #SaveMayowa hashtag to secure funds.
When two elephants fight, it is the ground that suffers
Mayowa Ahmed’s family members were apprehended and interrogated. Toyin Aimakhu, one of the main leaders of the campaign, damn near lost her mind. She cried and gnashed her teeth at the possibility of being a pawn in a Yahoo Yahoo of mammoth proportions (is it called Verizon Verizon now? Heeheehee! Anyway, back to regular programming).
While all of this happened, the poor patient was aware. I can’t imagine what must have happened to her BP, her already-fragile health as Linda Ikeji spewed her insensitive filth to try and increase traffic.
While Linda tried to fill up column inches and clutch at the ever-cooling embers of her fame and relevance, Mayowa was exposed to the wrath of Nigerians who felt swindled. Reporters tried to get into the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to question her. Instagram heard “wheeen” due to Toyin Aimakhu’s antics. All news that would have been reaching the poor lady.
It’s a wonder Linda’s plan to kill off the #SaveMayowa campaign and indeed, to kill off the Mayowa herself did not happen.
Possibly the best thing we saw today that finally summarises Linda Ikeji’s personality and her involvement in this whole case is this gem of a sentence from a commentator:
Not until I see the video [proof] because this Linda or what do they call her name is sometimes useless
Cancer is an expensive illness to manage, whether you are treating it or merely trying to offer the patient some comfort in their last days. I dare say Ms Ahmed (and indeed, her family) will need every penny of that money in the coming months. I do not believe the Ahmed family members were browsing the internet for a Caribbean cruise while their sister laid up sick in bed.
You want to feel good? Do good.
The main reason why we covered this story – the large heart of the average Nigerian even in the face of adversity – is the main reason why the fallout from Linda’s story was so hard-hitting. Would Nigerians ever help again if they heard someone was in distress? If what Linda claimed was true, what would happen to sympathy in that country? The consequences would have been dire.
But look, this is one of the reasons why it is important to give from the heart and then forget about it. You cannot give to a homeless person and then wonder if he is doing drugs with your money. You cannot spend time comforting a mentally-unstable person and then wonder if it is alcohol that made them so.
Be the change you want to see
If you want more control over your charity, then control your charity.
Try hunkering down next to a homeless person one day and TALKING TO HIM/HER. Just say “Hey, I’m going into that shop, can I get you something?” I swear the reaction you will get will warm the cockles of your heart. Far more satisfying than throwing 50p at him and thinking that will secure your place in heaven.
You see Mama Chinedu the pepper grinder on your street? Whose son IK is always playing in the dirt near the gutter? You can put that child in school. You’d be surprised how little your local Je le o sinmi (razz primary school) charges as monthly/termly school fees. It’s probably less than you blow on a movie date with popcorn and then shawarma and Cold Stone ice-cream later.
I’m not saying anyone did wrong (except Linda Ikeji. She totally did wrong. She’s a heartless goat).
I APPLAUD AND CONGRATULATE EVERY SINGLE NIGERIAN WHO DUG DEEP TO HELP A STRANGER THEY DID NOT EVEN KNOW.
Furthermore, I hope the next time, you hear of someone in need, you do it all over again. Because the story never changed. Mayowa is desperately ill and will need not just your money but your prayers also.
But, should you find yourself feeling bad about this whole thing…if it has left a sour taste in your mouth or made you feel even the tiniest bit of regret, then please do not let the experience stop you from giving. Simply change the way you give.
Every little helps.
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