Someone once told me that I stare too much…. I believe it is true. The comment although meant to be derogatory got me thinking of the things I stare at…. For me to stare I need to be fascinated or at least captured by the object of my attention. Usually my staring exercise starts every day at around 6:00 am…
I dont know if you have noticed especially for those that stay in Lagos that the average Nigerian child is up and dressed at 6:00am to catch the yellow school bus or the yellow tardy bus. Meaning that child is up before 6:00am…Probably that child was up at 5a.m… Its sad to me.
Another object that always catches my attention is this old man whose office and home are the same… Sometimes, I pass him by when he’s just waking up and preparing for the job of the day and other times, I meet him when he’s about his duty of begging.As early as 6:20 am….
Now have you noticed that the beautification projects that Fashola has embarked upon are serving the dual purpose of beautification and homes to the homeless? So many lagosians lay thier tired heads to sleep in the gardens every night and when I pass them by in the mornings, they are either packing thier life belongings (black sack bags or polythene bags) which equally serve as thier pillows or they are trying to get extra sleep before the lagos buzz gets too heavy… Amazing!!!! Sometimes I even see them having ‘baths’ (rub and Shine)…
Talking of baths, I remember a day that I was busy staring out my window somewhere around Marina. My eyes caught the first one and then the second and then……. the third. Young women carrying out thier duites early in the morning. One had her baby on her laps the other in a bowl, the third whose child was a little bit older than the other two had her baby standing at the edge of the ‘bath tub’. All three were lovingly taking thier baths for them right in front of a gutter. Sad… But funny enough they didn’t seem sad, they seemed content to even have the opportunity to have thier babies clean….and to throw the bath water in the gutter….
This was fascinating. A young man having his hair cut at the barber’s shop. Now this amazing shop shares space with the road and has the sky for a roof… The barber’s chair was the road divide. The barber cut the barbees hair with a blade and trust me it was some artistic work….
I see this artistic work or creativity all the time…. Do you know that the hawkers of sweet, chocolate and menthol (the ones that use the flat board) tie pieces of rubber bands together around those boards in a manner that I dont know how but is so neatly done that you would wonder how what they sell never falls even when they take a piece out of the pack everything still remains in place. There are crab hawkers that equally impress me. I remember the first time I noticed it. I thought it was some form of art work from a distance till I saw that it was a pile of crabs in rows and colums.
This I saw through the eyes of my very good friend and thank God he recorded it. A mobile church. The church constitutes of a small cart that contains a generator, is covered by some form of shade, a speaker and a microphone and of course two tyres. The church is then pushed around by the pastor who could have a service anytime as far as there is a ‘congregation’…..
Above all, I was simply touched by this and I call it the ZEAL TO SUCCEED or AGAINST ALL ODDS.
I remember feeling frustrated that day…. After having to do a lot of brain work, I was stuck in traffic. I rested my head on the window and stared blanklessly at the gory sights I was stuck with… And then…
This young man of about 8 or 9 caught my attention. He was sitted in his uniform apparently just back from school behind a sieve tray of corn. With one hand, he fanned the coal to roast the corn and with the other, he held on to an educational book. English I guess… His attention was fully on the book yet he fanned consistently pausing every now and then to attend to a customer or turn the corn…
Against all odds was the phrase that came to my mind, the zeal to succeed regardless of the scotching sun, or the flames from the coal or even being tired from school….
What excuse do I have???
These are a few of the events that touch the girl who sees….
Photo Credit: http://www.morganmckinley.co.uk/