My house is a few paces off a busy highway where there is always heavy traffic. And every second, even right as I type this, under the scorching sun of a 12.30 pm harmattan-less December afternoon in Ilorin, I hear those kids hawking, jumping from one moving car’s window to another, to another, to another, screaming ‘pure water tutu wa’ dressed either in rags or makeshift clothing torn at every considerable part but hard to call a rag because at least it is wholesome. They do this all day and every day. I wonder very often if they have ever entered into any sort of educational institution, if they have plans to. I wonder where they would be in the next, say, twenty years– they would probably not hawk pure water to speeding cars anymore, maybe not, maybe they would have gotten better ways to make more money and or maybe they would no longer be under the guardianship of the individual that makes them hawk pure water in this kind of sweltering weather. Maybe at that time, they would have become the guardian. It is pure water, there is not much to be made from it: if they are lucky to sell a bag of 20 a day, they make two hundred naira, two hundred naira cannot buy a dozen biscuits anymore. It is hard not to think about these things if you live where I live and cannot think about anything for one second without getting distracted by a little girl shouting ‘pure water.’ A boy once carried a red bowl on his head and sat on the curb between the two lanes, he had eight sachets of pure water in the bowl. I asked how old he was, he was seven. I asked how long he had been standing, he had been standing since morning. I bought all eight sachets from him and told him to go home. I came out ten minutes later and saw same boy with same bowl on same head but with new sachets. I passed. It is not a serious problem when the people that have the problem do not consider that they have a problem.
I just saw two tweets I found interesting because I have a significant problem with Twitter on Saturdays: I can’t stay off. The first tweet is by a lady, she tweets: I don’t think there’s any amount of love in this world that will make me marry poor tbqh, and I don’t apologize for this sentiment.
It is an interesting tweet for two reasons, i. Poverty is relative; the poverty of some is the life dream of others. ii. Love is also relative. I have never felt it, but I can tell you for free that there are shades of love, degrees of love that can get you to do the stupidest things (or in this case, the things you never thought you could do.) I preach, usually, that if you cannot afford to take care of yourself and two others, you have absolutely no business thinking about marriage. And on a personal basis, it should work both ways; meaning that I can take care of two others and my wife can take care of two others. So that we can both take care of ourselves and four other people as at the point of marriage. But here is the thing I have learnt so much in this absolute plane crash of a year that 2016 has turned out to be: Everybody. Is. Different. I know people who get married with nothing and they build themselves from the bottom up, together. I respect that. I do.
The second tweet was from a church account, name withheld, the church tweeted: TESTIMONY: By faith, medical protols are broken with the delivery of 2 bouncing boys when gynaecological scans confirmed them to be girls.
This tweet is interesting because it brazenly tells that boys are better than girls, and it is a TESTIMONY when you do not have a girl child. There are no other ways to look at it unless you want to look away because it is your church or it is your Daddy in the Lord who is the Oga at the top– and you jump when he tells you that he wanna see jumping or you let him spray your eyes with insecticide or you let him sleep with your wife because she has evil spirit. :’). There is no miracle here. Churches these days seem to seek out avenues to show how they are in some sort of competition with medicalization. But it doesn’t have to be a competition, both institutions could cohabit happily: in this tweet, for example: how about the sonographer was simply wrong (as they often are)?
You may see it differently, as I said: Everybody is different.
It is now twenty minutes past two and I have nothing else to say but to ask you to be safe and be kind.