Kind people are my favourite people, watching kind people be themselves is my favourite hobby.
Kindness is one of the purest forms of love, and to have someone go the extra mile for you or randomly extend kindness towards you can be life-changing.
For this Valentine’s Day, here are 14 stories ranging from small acts to big gestures that will warm your heart.
When I started University in 2014, my parents expected I would get hostel accommodations as a first-year student. I got to school and was staying with someone while checking the accommodations list for my name.
Up till the fourth month after resumption, there was nothing. They had released all the lists, and my name was not on it. At this point, I was already having friction with the person I was staying with because neither of us expected I would be staying that long.
But there was no way I could tell my parents what was happening because one, they would just get worried, and two, I was miles away from home.
I was so sad that period, but there was this lady in my faculty I had met during registration. So whenever she saw me in school, she would ask me how I was doing.
One day, she saw me and said I didn't look that great and that if there was an issue, and if there was, I should let her know. She also said If it was an accommodation thing, there was a space I could stay in the house she lived; and that was how I got accommodation. I stayed with her from year 1 to year 3 without paying a dime.
I was admitted to the hospital last year. I was in school and away from my family, so I was there by myself, and this made me so depressed. But by the third day, a woman looking after her daughter, who was also hospitalised, noticed that I had no one except a couple of friends who visited occasionally.
So she took it upon herself to care for me as well. She bought me fruits and cut them up for me, and she would sit by my bed and pray for me.
One day, I was so moved by this act that I broke down in tears. She was still the one who comforted me, telling me that she saw me as her son and was compelled in her spirit to care for me.
She spoke with my family during my stay there, and I became part of hers.
It’s been almost a year since that incident, but I still visit her from time to time when I’m in school.
I grew up in an environment where nothing was handed to you by chance. You had to work for everything, so asking for favours was never my forte.
This was way back in SS3. My mum had given me my school fees to pay. I had gone to the bank that morning, but their network was down, so I had to go back to school so I didn’t miss classes.
After school, I headed for home with the fees still in my pocket. I boarded a bus and fell asleep halfway for some weird reason.
When I got down to my bus stop, I realised that the money was missing. I had my life flash before my eyes, reflecting on what my mum was going to do to me and how much she had gone through to get me that money.
I didn’t tell her when I got home and I started skipping school and working menial jobs to raise the money back.
One of my guys, Seyi, woke up one morning and asked me how much was left to raise for my fees, and I told him ₦20k. He gave me the money and told me not to worry about paying him back. That was the first time someone was kind to me without me having to pay back the favour.
I was an inpatient in the psych ward last year for about six weeks. It was during winter; I have lupus/fibromyalgia, and my symptoms get so much worse when it's cold. I had to have my hot water bottle on me at all times. But around the second or third week, my hot water bottle got torn. I was also being tapered off most of my strong pain meds, so the pain was much worse.
At the psych ward, we were not allowed to access our phones for most of the day. We would get them at 5pm and then hand them in at 10pm, and we wouldn't get them till 5 pm the next day.
But I was able to request to get my phone and ask my friends to get me a hot water bottle, and one of them brought an electric one to use for the next day till they could bring me one from my house.
The next day, some of my friends were able to bring me the regular hot water bottle, and it was such a relief. The kicker is I had only known them for a few months and to have them become such a huge support system was so unforgettable.
I have been in a lot of situations where people have acted out of kindness towards me, but there is a particular situation that will always stand out. It was when my JSS2 English Teacher paid for my exams and Visa fees when my father wouldn't, simply because he believed in me.
In 2017, I took a series of exams for admission into Unilag and some schools in the US. I was taking my Post UTME, SATs and TOEFL all at the same time, and then I failed my SATs(mostly because I thought the idea of me travelling was bizarre).
My Father was disappointed, and he decided he wasn't going to continue the process, but my teacher paid for me to retake the exam. Of course, I took it seriously this time, after a month in Unilag. That same teacher also took me to my first Visa interview, which I didn't pass, and he paid for a different interview date on our way back.
I'm a strong believer in being kind; kindness changes lives. And for an act this powerful to be so effortless is amazing.
There was a day that Nigerian NEPA wanted to disgrace me, but my God is greater than them. We hadn’t had power for a week, and I continuously went to my neighbour’s place to charge my phone.
One night, my neighbour didn’t turn his generator on, so I had to manage my battery till the following day. I urgently had to rush to the market that morning to get some things. I didn’t think much about it and left.
Unfortunately, my phone died at the market, and it was the same phone that I had to use to make transfers to pay for the things I bought. I was stranded and didn’t know what to do because the traders at the market didn’t have power either. I kept going back and forth with the woman I purchased things from until I decided to drop the stuff I got.
Just at that moment, a guy who must have been listening to my conversation with the woman offered me his power bank to charge my phone and waited with me until I made all my transfers. I had never been so grateful in my life.
It was my second year in university, and I had travelled to Warri, Delta State, for a scholarship exam sometime around early December. My plan was that after the exam, which would finish by 12pm, I'd go get my bags from the place I was staying, go to the park, take the next bus going back to Benin, Edo State, and then get back to school.
I had no idea what I was even doing, and It was my first time in Warri. I got to the park, paid for the ticket, and there was no bus so we had to wait. The bus came in by 3 pm, and I think we left about 30 minutes later.
While I was at the park, I met this guy who was also going back to Benin. We interacted while we were on the trip.
I rarely ever talk to strangers, but for some odd reason, I admitted to him that I did not know my way around Benin or how I would get back to school. Instantly, he became very concerned and protective, like how an elder sibling would act.
When we got to Benin, it was around 6 p.m. I had already expected that we would go our separate ways, and I would have to figure this out by myself, hoping I don't get kidnapped. He said he was going to make sure I got to my destination safe and sound. He lived in Benin, so it was easier for him to navigate.
Mind you, he had a child and baby mama to get to, but he walked with me through the bustle of Ring Road, and got me into a cab that was loading passengers going to my school and paid for it.
I got to school around 9 pm. He reached out to me every step of the way till I got to school to make sure I had gotten back safely.
Since then, I haven't heard from him. And not to sound superstitious, but sometimes I wonder if he really does exist.
It was so random, and if he is alive, I genuinely hope the universe is doing everything right by him.
In 2022, I took a road trip from Onitsha to Lagos. About 10 minutes after I entered Ibadan, my car broke down on a lonely highway. I had heard a lot of stories about kidnappings on that road and was scared to the bones because it was around 5:30 pm.
When the time started racing towards 6 pm, I contemplated leaving the car by the side of the road and hitching a ride. I kept trying to stop the vehicles passing by, but none of them paid any heed to me.
After about 10 minutes, I returned to my car and sat down, just for a vehicle to pull up in front of me, and two guys emerged from it. I panicked for a minute because I thought they had an ulterior motive.
On the contrary, they were there to offer me help. One of them knew some basics about auto repair and offered to help me fix the car. He said they would give me a ride to town to get a professional mechanic if he couldn't fix it. I had never been so relieved like that in my life.
Luckily, he could fix the fault, and the car started. I was so grateful and offered to give them money, but they laughed and said, “Just helping a neighbour.” Then they drove off.
I was running late one morning for a job interview because I slept and woke up late, so I decided to charter a cab to get to the office faster.
When we got to my destination, I realised I didn’t have enough money in my bag to pay for the fare. I tried to make a transfer, but it kept bouncing back. I started crying because it was already 5 minutes past the scheduled interview time.
With tears in my eyes, I began explaining the situation to the cab driver while expecting the worst because I knew how commercial drivers can be when their passengers are short on pay.
But, to my surprise, the driver didn’t even let me finish. He told me it was fine. He assured me he understood the situation, gave me his account number, and said I could pay it later when my app stopped malfunctioning. I was so happy I almost hugged him.
Thankfully, I landed the job and sent him thrice his balance later that evening.
I was having a lot of issues with my name. My name is quite long and a compound, so a lot of people make mistakes when they are writing/recording/registering it.
Even on my international passport, I had issues with my name. Instead of Ahmad, Ahmed was used, so I had to go and swear an affidavit to correct the name. Then I realised in one of my documents my middle name was absent, and the whole name arrangement was off. All the issues were stressing me out because I wanted to renew my passport to leave the country at the time.
I was serving in Jos then, so I went to the court to swear the affidavit to get the change of name effected. At the court, I met this man, a lawyer, and I told him what I needed the affidavit for. I dictated what I wanted, and he wrote it for me.
We went to get the affidavit printed when I remembered all my names are on my passport, but one of them is not on my BVN. I became worried that if I swore this affidavit, it would nullify other documents that didn't have all my names or had the wrong name arrangement.
The lawyer saw that I was stressed and possibly close to a breakdown, so he sat me down and asked me what was going on.
I explained everything from my parents making a mistake with my name while registering my passport as a kid to my BSC certificate name issues.
When I was done talking, he told me what to do - swear an affidavit for this, do this, do that. He essentially gave me free legal counsel.
After telling me what to do, he told me to come back so we could follow up and conclude everything.
I got home that day and cried because I had been having such a terrible year, and this random person just fixed this huge problem I was having. It really made me believe in kindness again and that people could be genuinely nice without expecting anything.
I was looking for a new place recently, and the house I found is owned by a private landlord.
When I came to check it out, the landlord took a liking to me and gave me the house without taking a deposit or subjecting me to referee checks. He just said, “You are a young girl, and I believe you are honest and kind”.
Also, on the Sunday after I moved in, he noticed I had not eaten. He made a plate for me, and we had lunch together. It was really nice, and he didn't even have to do all that for me.
Before I opened a boutique, I used to sell phone accessories on a wheelbarrow by the roadside. One hot afternoon during those hard days, I was starving and only had enough money to get a loaf of bread and a sachet of water.
After getting the items, I sat by my wheelbarrow and devoured my little meal. While in this process, a man walked up to me and outrightly told me that he wanted to buy me a meal. I stared at him for a few minutes because I thought he was joking, but his face was serious.
I didn’t believe someone could just walk up to someone like that and offer to buy them food, but I decided to humour him. He told me to come to the restaurant with him so I wouldn’t suspect him of putting something harmful in the food. I followed him to a nearby restaurant, and he got me a complete meal fit for a king. Come and see a grown man shedding tears that day.
Interestingly, he was a pastor, and God directed him to me. That was how I became a member of his church. Sometimes, winning souls is not always about outreaches or evangelism.
So many times - people have been kind to me out of nowhere, people I don't know for no reason.
First off, there was this babe on Twitter/X who paid for my entire tuition when I was on the verge of dropping out. They slid into my DMs, asked how much it cost and then just offered to pay for everything.
Second, someone I didn't expect sent me a quarter of the cash I needed. Granted, I previously messaged them to help me crowdsource, but later, I was like - "Don't worry anymore", but they still went ahead to send me the money I needed.
Three, a babe randomly sent me money to buy my medication.
Lastly, I was with my friend when my phone got stolen; I was about to break down crying when he took out the sims from his spare phone, asked me if I had an extra sim at home and went with me to my house to get it.
I was in school that day on a Saturday, and I had just gotten my atm. I had just ₦200 cash, and I used it to pay for transport to school with the intention of withdrawing money from the ATM or POS. On getting to the ATM, the card didnt work. I tried POS, but the card still didn't work.
My phone was on 1%; I tried calling my mom and the phone went off. I was stranded, I had no friends that lived in school. I just sat down by the road, thinking and confused. I didn't know what to do when this man I had seen and greeted earlier sat down next to me.
After a few minutes, he spoke to me and said “you look very stressed, what's wrong?”. I said “Nothing sir.” Then after some seconds of silence, I decided to just share my problem and he gave me some money.
I was so touched because he really saved me cause I would have had to sleep in school or something. I wish I collected his number that day, so I could thank him again.