- Oladunni Pelovangu, from London, was shopping with husband Darcy and kids
- Noticed ‘frantic’ mother who had lost her card and was ‘on the verge of tears’
- Stepped in and paid for shopping but was met with racist remarks from woman
- Ola said the woman asked her: ‘How can you afford to pay £102 when you look like someone who works here?’
A black influencer who offered to pay for a stranger’s shopping has revealed how she was subjected to ‘racist’ comments from the mother she tried to help.
Oladunni Pelovangu, 32, from southeast London, took to Instagram to reveal she had noticed a ‘frantic’ woman with a screaming baby, who was ‘on the verge of tears’ when she couldn’t find her bank card at the supermarket till.
Keen to help the mum, Ola stepped in and paid for £102 worth of shopping, but was left in shock when the stranger asked her: ‘How can you afford to pay £102 when you look like someone who works here?’
Ola, who had been shopping with her husband Darcy and their three children, was stunned by the reaction, and calmly explained that if the stranger didn’t want to accept the gesture, that was ‘her problem’, before leaving the store.
The mother believes the reaction was because she harbours ‘racist views’ and that she didn’t feel a black woman ‘should have been able to afford’ to spend £102 on a kind gesture for a stranger.
Ola explained: ‘We’d heard this screaming baby all through the shopping trip. I looked over and this woman was almost on the verge of tears.
‘You could see the buggy moving, it was quite frantic. She was checking her bag again and again.
‘I looked over at her cashier and I knew what was going on. I went over and I said “I’ll’ get it”.’
Ola, who has almost 60,000 followers across Instagram and TikTok, double checked with her husband who agreed they would pay the bill, and quickly used Apple Pay to take care of it.
But almost as soon as the payment had gone through, the woman began quizzing Ola about how she could afford to pay for the shopping.
She said: ‘I don’t even think it was five seconds, as I took my phone off and looked back at her she said, “How can you afford to pay £102 when you look like someone who works here?”
Ola continued: ‘You know when you have to do a rewind in your mind, did I hear that right?’
She quickly corrected the woman, making it clear that she did not work at the supermarket – despite the fact that she was not wearing a uniform and had been in the process of paying for her own shopping at the time of the incident.
The woman said she would call her husband to transfer the £102 back, but Ola refused her offer.
Ola told the woman: ‘Just because you think I don’t look like someone who can afford to pay for your shopping, that’s not my problem.’
The mother-of-three continued: ‘It’s racist views. She saw a black woman, and in her mind that woman couldn’t, and shouldn’t, have been able to afford £102.’
‘Why are we always in a situation where we are having to make justifications or give a benefit of the doubt comment where it is clearly prejudices that are playing out as microaggressions that happen every day?’
The social-media star went on to say that ‘we still have a lot of work to do’, regarding ‘preconceived notions about what black people should or shouldn’t be doing.’
After sharing the incident across their social media platforms Ola and Darcy were met with several comments of support from users who called the strangers reaction ‘madness’
After sharing the incident across their social media platforms Ola and Darcy were met with several comments of support from users who called the strangers reaction ‘madness’.
‘She couldn’t stand the idea that a Black family could afford to pay for her shopping, I’m so sorry you went through that, you’re such an amazing example of kindness’, wrote one user.
Another added: ‘Pure class oozing out of you both. Love you guys. I can’t believe the rudeness of this individual thank you again for sharing this unpleasant experience and allowing us to learn to be better.’