The Stress of being an Omo-Get-Inside.
“Omo-get-Inside” is a Yoruba/English combo which literally means “child, get inside”. It is used to refer to children who are not allowed out of the house or given the freedom to roam or move about the streets.
All my life, any move to go out of the house to probably visit a friend or play with other kids on the streets has been blocked by my parents. They are possessive people.
I always envied friends of mine who got to play ball in the streets or do ten-ten with their age mates. My mom always told me “You are too young to have friends”. Whatever that means. The only place I got to play with my peers was in school. After school, no such thing. In secondary school I was a boarder at a Federal Unity School in Osun State far from the family residence at Ikotun, Lagos. Again, anytime I am home for holidays, no going out and there was nothing you could do about it. Bear in my mind that my parents never allowed me to travel alone to school. I remember getting envious whenever I hear my friends telling tales of all this nice places they went during the holidays.
I am not sure if this experience contributed to making me the loner and introvert I am today because even when I gained admission to study at Federal University of Technology, Akure I found it hard to do anything other than stay at home. Whenever I get invited to clubs, party or get-togethers my answer was always NO. Although, I was glad to be free from the clutches of ze parents it didn’t occur to me that now that I had the opportunity to go out as much as I like, I should take advantage. So I had many acquaintances but really few good friends.
After graduation, I developed interest in Programming. It was all I did. Needless to say, all through my NYSC service year was spent coding. So you can rule going out, out. But I kept telling myself, “ok look Yinka definitely, when you get a job, you will be forced to go out daily to work, mingle with actual people and get to go out and know this Lagos you missed out on all your life. Fortunately or unfortunately, depends on which perspective you are seeing it from, after I was done with National service on May 6, 2015 two days after I got an invitation from a company based in the United States to interview (online) for full-time programming work . I got the job. The job was remote, which means I could do it from anywhere. The monthly pay offered was cool (in the six figures in Naira) according to Nigerian standards sha (and because of the current exchange rate) but definitely not to American standards. Especially since I am a recent graduate in her early twenties. So yeah cool.
I am very grateful for this opportunity. But then it was still like the universe was conspiring to keep me at home. Aarrgh. So I don’t have the option of applying for another job for now because what Nigerian company is going to pay more than I am getting from this remote job at the moment especially since I am a recent graduate and have no experience. I should probably not complain too much about this one because I don’t want to seem ungrateful.
TLDR:- The real problem and stress of being an omo-get-inside for me is that I am not street-wise. I have not fully mastered the fine-art of pricing things in the market like most Nigerian ladies do. I have lived in Lagos most of my life and I don’t know many places. Places that basically every Lagosian knows. sighs. I am more like likely to be cheated or mugued on the streets of Lagos when I eventually decide to get out of the gates than others. I am more likely to be mugged because — — “learner”.