Stop Molesting Me with Your Religion
Back in January, I was at Silverbird when I decided to pop into this boutique on the third floor called Dollhouse. The store was practically empty and apart from the cashier, sales attendant, and manager, I was the only customer.
I don’t mind being ignored when I go shopping because I find sales attendants tend to be a little pushy and ruin my shopping experience more often than not, so I was happy that they let me peruse in peace … or so I thought.
Just when I was homing in on a yellow jewel encrusted jacket, the sales attendant sidled up to me and tried to hand me a flier. Thinking it was for a promotion or sale they were doing, I reached for it and rapidly recoiled as the words “I want to invite you to my church..” slipped from her lips.
Why oh why do Nigerians think this is okay? It’s almost as if they think religion is such an untouchable topic that you will not dare refuse and must bow to their wishes. It seems there isn’t anywhere you can go in this country and be safe from religious fanatics bent on thrusting their religion unsolicited into your every experience, and using it as a weapon to assault you.
I gave the sales girl a firm “No thank you, I’m here to shop!” and turned back to the jacket, expecting it to end there.
Instead of going away, she broke into an angry whine.
“Why can’t you take it? I am inviting you to my church! Even if you don’t want to come, you don’t have to reject my church flier”
Seriously? Is this girl for real?
I looked around waiting for the other two ladies to say something, but instead of calling off their inappropriate sales girl, the cashier and the manager joined in.
“Aunty, you can just take the flier nau, she’s inviting you to her church, why can’t you collect it? Or are you a Muslim?”
So the only way to escape from a Christian assault is to claim I’m a Muslim? If I say I’m a traditional worshiper nko? Everyone knows that would only make them intensify their efforts since Nigerian Muslims and Christians shout all day about religious discrimination but ROUTINELY trample on the rights of traditional believers to even exist.
I was so disgusted by the behaviour of the shop employees that I abandoned the jacket and walked out. But not before giving them the rant of their lives about how they were employed to assist customers purchasing clothes, not turn the shop that their employer is spending so much money on (and it’s a king’s ransom in rent they pay at Silverbird; at least a couple hundred dollars per square metre) into an evangelical platform for their church.
Personally, if I had a shop I wouldn’t tolerate such rubbish. If I see so much as a single church, mosque, or non-shop flier in the store, you are OUT! And to harass, argue with, and molest customers with your religion? Unthinkable!
But there you have it. It happens in Nigeria every day.