Last time, we told you about some of the worst experiences Nigerians have had with borrowing money. This time, we’re exploring how Nigerians have attempted to save and all the drama in between. Five Nigerians shared their worst experiences using Ajo. All we can say is, before you drop that ₦10k, read this. Ehe.
1. “The Ajo lead collected first”
I was in debt after the whole thing. My barber and I were close and he talked me into joining an Ajo group one of colleagues started. There were savings as a business so I felt it was alright. I should have known there was a problem when the guy starting the group insisted on collecting first to prove we were serious. My guy kept telling me nothing could go wrong. Telling me “Baba if anything wan shele I fit find this nigga clear am.” — Mtshw, money I borrowed from my brother. All I can say is, never again.
2. “Iya Oloja died on my own month”
Why is my own always different please? Why? This is the first and last time I will do this rubbish please. A friend asked me to join a group run by a woman in their community. It was trustworthy enough since mama couldn’t run away now. Little did I know that mama only had two months to live. She ended up passing away when it was time for me to collect my own contribution and no one knows where this woman was keeping the money. I’m even angry just thinking about it.
3. “He promised to pay his share later”
I started an Ajo group to save money in school. One of the people contributing lost his job and asked me to help him pay for just one or two months. I was fine with it until other members of the group started asking me to pay for them too — it was either they lost their jobs or had urgent family matters they needed to handle. I kept covering up so the group wouldn’t fall apart, but from paying my own ₦10k each month, I moved to ₦60k because of other people. When they eventually paid me back, it was in small insignificant amounts. I was disgusted by the whole thing.
4. “Ajo Lead borrowed the one million naira for a trip with his family”
It was November 2020 and I was kind of broke. One day, I got into a conversation with the woman who had a POS shop on my street. Somehow, we started talking about saving money for the next year and she suggested joining her Ajo group. Initially I was skeptical but she swore that she had collected her money back the last — so why not? Later that evening, she shared my number with the group head and he added me to the Whatsapp group. The main group had ten people paying ₦200k to collect one million naira each month. But for individuals like me that couldn’t afford to pay ₦200k, we were paired with four people to contribute ₦50k and split the one million naira.
Everything was cool until December. A few days before Christmas, the man coordinating the group chat sent a message to the group. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first. He said he needed to borrow one million naira for our group for a trip with his family — I thought it was bants. Until true true, December 31st came and baba didn’t say anything. I went to meet the POS lady and she kept telling me to be patient. One year later and I’m still being patient. The POS woman has even packed out of her shop and blocked my number.
5. “I didn’t know them from Adam”
Hm. My story was a big mumu experience because I didn’t know these people from Adam. I found a savings group for women online. The group was called Lagos big babes and the fee was ₦500 — that should have been my cue to turn back, but no. Apart from needing the money for my rent, I was hoping to meet women that were open to exploring — the possibility of pleasure while saving didn’t seem so bad. My eye cleared when I woke up one morning to find the group chat closed. There was nobody on the group chat again, even the babe I had been flirting with for a few weeks stopped picking my calls. That was one month of my salary gone and nowhere closer to getting an apartment. That was my own foolishness sha.