The woman with the issue of Ponmo [Pulse Editor's Opinion] [ARTICLE]

Some of the recipients protested the quality of free food being dispensed from Madam Elizabeth’s van.

“Make una see wetin dem give Nigerians make we chop o! Dem put us for house, dem no give us anything. We dey for house since how many weeks, make una see am. Nothing dey inside o, enhe!,” screamed a young man in a red T-Shirt, while holding up his bowl of food for the cameras.

However, what got most people tweeting and talking was when the camera panned to a lady in a flowery dress and a blonde weave-on. This lady told the world that she is no fan of the ponmo (ponmo is made from the hide and skin of cattle and is widely consumed in Nigeria) that was perched on her serving of rice.

“I don’t even eat ponmo…I don’t eat ponmo,” she repeated again and again with an entitled smirk.

The ponmo lady was rightly denounced and criticized on social media for being such an ingrate. She would go on to trend for some 48hrs before she returned with an explanation.

“For all of you calling us bastards and all that. The woman (Elizabeth) did not explain herself. She only came and started sharing food,” the ponmo lady said, adding that she thought the food came from the government, hence her reaction. “If we didn’t see any camera, nobody would complain.”

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For the ponmo woman, if she knew the food was from a private citizen, she and the others who protested, wouldn’t have dared. “Madam, you didn’t tell us the food was from you,” she blared, while gyrating furiously.

I have watched the video and the ponmo woman’s explainer clips over and over again and I still don’t understand the kind of mindset that propels folks to reject and badmouth stuff because it comes from the government or from anyone else for that matter.

If Mrs. Ponmo didn’t need the food, why did she head for the food van to grab a plate and then another? Why not allow others who have no problems consuming ponmo have their fill? If the government was behind the initiative, does it justify that shameless act of ingratitude on display for the world to see?

That Mrs. Ponmo could return to shoot two more videos just to back up her initial display of ingratitude, was actually embarrassing and nauseating.

She had an opportunity to apologize to Madam Elizabeth and the rest of the country, but she doubled down instead, gesticulating furiously in the Lagos heat.

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Across Nigeria, most folks are going through a hard time at the moment and are just managing to get by.

The pandemic has put many folks out of business and citizens who survive on daily wages are the hardest hit. Many would appreciate the ponmo laden foil of rice our blonde haired beauty did a good job disparaging.

I know a handful of private citizens who are doing the best they can to help neighbors and fellow citizens in need at this time. These men and women should be applauded because government’s palliative measures aren’t going to reach everyone.

The least we can do for these individuals is appreciate and encourage them, not lampoon them for offering us ‘ponmo.’ Humanity is bound in love and kindness as the virus continues its spread, and people who offer hate where some love would suffice, should be told how silly they really are.

And should you get anything from the government this season, just say ‘thank you’, because governments all over the world are just as cash-strapped. Don’t feel so entitled and ruin the blessing for others.


Pulse Editor’s Opinion is the opinion of an editor of Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organization Pulse.

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