Click HERE To Read This Very Touching Letter To A Barren Mother.
A friend of mine once patronized me to answer a question by citing reported cases like lawyers do in the court but I retorted telling him I would rather leave the question to the likes of the market women, the true hustlers to provide an answer.
Since that day, I got for myself a new nickname “the market women”. I think I’m too typical when it comes to tackling questions. The reason is because I don’t see law as a discipline strong enough to tackle practical questions concerning the ills facing Nigeria as a society; I regard the poor in reality as practical textbooks. I do not wish to call law weak in times like this – I dare not belittle the course I read for five years in the university.
Analyzing the problems and proposing solutions are two different ideas; I simply do not see the so called learned man analyzing the problems faced by the common man at all. How do you expect a rich man who lives in a big mansion with steady power supply to explain perfectly the stress of trekking under the sun and returning home to meet the usual failure not to talk of the mosquitoes that accompany the power starved communities?
Little wonder we see the ‘big men’ clear their throats before giving us accounts of the hardships that are survived by the common man. I have the belief that such big man is only taking his time in an attempt to paint a picture of the hustler and get himself together in a magic to transform into a sad mood which lives with most of them. Such hypocrisy!
Yes, these hustlers live with their sad moods but you will hardly know. Simply put in Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s phrase – suffering and smiling! These hustlers have the answers on their lips; they are just waiting for the press to ask them. The press won’t ask them; rather they will ask the community head who is making money off them. They won’t ask them because they are seen as the mad ones in the society.
I will give some examples from what I see around me to shed light on why these hustlers are seen as the mad ones in Nigeria today.
I know of a fellow that rises from bed very early in the morning and sets out of the house to continue his search for vacancy. I really don’t know how many hours he must have used to roam the roads neither do I know how many companies he must have gone to try his luck, all I know is that he returns late in the afternoons looking all worked up with his shoes looking tattered and his dry lips mumbling some words to himself like a mad man on the streets. He returns home to rest and pray for a better tomorrow, for the saying goes “when there is life, there is hope”.
There is another mad woman in the market sitting down behind her mini-stand where she does petty trading. She sits there all day long under the sun and sometimes under the rain waiting to make sales in order to send her son to the university with the hope that her son will take the rags off her body and clothe her in colorful robes in the future. While she’s waiting for that future, she keeps sitting down talking to herself and praying within herself that she makes some sales to send her child to school. Now, imagine that son was killed while serving or killed during the immigration test last year.
Perhaps, I should tell you the story of a mad man who curses aloud; you will see from afar that his lips are moving even when alone. He is not drunk, he is lost in thoughts. He is a local estate agent. When he was approached by some buyers, he thought he was on his way to making hundreds of thousands from the commission that will generate from the sales. Little did he know that he was about to be duped a large sum of money by some fraudsters which will land him in jail.
These are the mad ones in the society. A Yoruba adage says: “Eni wo bata l’omo ibi ti bata ti n ta oun”. It literally means “it is he who wears the shoe that feels the discomfort”.
In the end, I think we know now whom to direct the question to when it comes to tackling practical issues – the masses whom we have downgraded to be the mad ones, the suffering and smiling. They are the true hustlers that know the answers, and not the Constitution.
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