By Amina Ibrahim umar
Between 2020 to date, I have been added to a number WhatsApp groups with the sole purpose of raising funds for wedding ceremony of friends some times I sincerely do not know and may not have met. I became selective and started ignoring a lot of such groups especially when the friend has no reason to depend on public funds to do his ceremony.
The first time I was added to a group I thought it was fun, I was added to another WhatsApp group to raise money for another friend whom I do not know, but most of the names in the first WhatsApp group appeared on the new one. They invariably copied the names/numbers from the other group without checking the relationship between the prospective donor and the friends. I opted out of that group when I found out the person is so rich that he doesn’t need such financial assistance.
Interestingly, in the first week of November 2021, I was added to 2 WhatsApp groups, one was to raise seed capital to help a friend who has been out of business for 2 years while the other was to raise money for a friend who was bereaved. The first was financially down and have been depending on friends to feed his family while the latter is a thriving businesswoman who is also a “big lady” on the street.
A few days after, the businesswoman who by all standards do not need any form of financial assistance to bury her parent, raised over N12m effortlessly while the financially disadvantaged friend could not get up to N3m. It took a lot of calls, pleadings and preachings for us to eventually raise N6.7m for the friend to start a new business after 8 weeks of setting up the WhatsApp Group.
I called a friend of mine who is a constant participant in a lot of WhatsApp groups to find out why it was difficult to raise money for a financially disadvantaged people than a successful business people. She told me that when you contribute to wealthy friends, you are sure of getting their financial support if you are bereaved, but the those who is getting help to start a new business may not have anything to offer you. More so, contributing money for a bereaved friend ensure you are among the close associates. They are usually treated better than the chief mourners.
Now if I understand my friend correctly, the major reason for contributing money for a successful person is reciprocity and not out of love or necessity. In other words, they are practising “daily contribution” in which they take turns to take home what they contributed. Ironically, it is the death of their loved ones that they use as this symbol of class discontentment.
Due to the quest for enrichment, clique, popularity, and other vain attributes, many people in society do the right things in the wrong ways and this has led to a negative norm in the society today.
Amina Ibrahim Umar Write from the Department of Mass Communication, ATAP Bauchi.