Saturday 20 July, 2019

10 annoying ways Jamaicans beg for money

There’s NOTHING wrong with asking for money from other people. Many of us from time to time get into a jam which requires us to ask for financial help.

However, it becomes a problem when one harasses, pesters or is disrespectful towards others when seeking assistance.

In Jamaica, unfortunately, too often those asking for money display these ‘nasty’ practices. Loop News compiled a list of some of the most annoying begging habits below.

1. At the stoplight, if you don't goose the switch to clean your windows before the packs of young men swarm down, they squirt dirty water on your window and mash up their faces against the glass in their best 'woe-is-me-get-yu-ten-dollars-mi-hungryy' face and pressure you to give them whatever small change they can see in your car.

2. Have you heard the new begging overture: 'Wah gwaan, beg you a pound of rice?' Random people, some of them quite well fed, come to you on the pretext that they are hungry and need just one pound of rice to make a meal possible. Some of them get into character obviously with the requisite 'white-squall' on their lips betraying a real hunger. How can anyone resist that?

3. A woman waiting in ambush at the ATM with a group of sullen-faced children in tow. This gambit is a real heartbreaker, but there is a famous case where a St Andrew socialist took out a pack of contraceptive pills and handed them to the woman. Needless to say, she was not amused. The ambush gambit is used outside supermarkets, wholesales and pretty much, any financial institution.

4. “Yow mi dads, wha a gwaan?”: Strangers pretending to be your long lost friend whip up a conversation with you out of thin air. While you are trying your best to remember this person who has now engaged you in discussion on something you can identify with, boom! You are hit with a hard-luck story and asked for a “mek up”.

5. When the 20th of the month rolls on, most people are running on fumes. Look out for the calls from those begging a 'smalls' to help with gas and groceries. Then on the 25th, they disappear before the pop up again on cue to rinse and repeat the process.

6. The upcoming birthday: Grown adults who you barely know will advise you of their upcoming birthday – ‘My day next Friday enuh’ – in anticipation that you will gift them with some cash on the said day.

7. The entitled parking attendant. Attendants on duty at parking lots often remind you to “remember” them on your return to your vehicle after running your errands – a not-so-subtle message to ‘tip’ them for doing their job.

8. Measured intimidation. Miscreants from the community that you grow up with 'pretend' to be happy that you are working yet show up on Friday night (read pay day) telling you that they need a money to buy a bag of weed or worse, 'some grains', a colloquial expression for bullets. This is the kind of measured intimidation designed to part you from your hard-earned wages.

9. US-based family members of Jamaicans will attest to the new 'begging mentality' that has spread like a virus throughout the country. When US residents see the '876' number pop up on their screen, they know that some spectacular pressing need - most times fictional - will be expressed with the tacit understanding that you will go scrambling to some money transfer service to solve pressing said need. Bloggers and comedians are particularly fond of making light of this unfortunate Jamaican quality - sadly not one of our better moments as a nation.

10. Going overseas? Avoid letting your travel plans known to some people who will ask you to gift them with a piece of clothing ‘since you are going to be buying new items in ‘forin’ anyways’ – ‘Left dah shoes deh with mi nuh dawg?’

For the latest news, download our app at for Android; and at for IoS.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: