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My Tearful Encounter With A Poor Nigerian Boy Selling Cotton Bud At Silverbird Cinema In VI Lagos

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My Tearful Encounter With A Poor Nigerian Boy Selling Cotton Bud At Silverbird Cinema In VI Lagos

nigerian boy selling cotton wool

July 23, 2015 – My Tearful Encounter With A Poor Nigerian Boy Selling Cotton Bu At Silverbird Cinema In VI Lagos

I had just come out of a meeting with my new partner Lami yesterday evening, when I decided to detour to the Silverbird galleria to meet up with a friend for drinks, all in a bid to wait out the ever regular traffic jam that has now made Victoria Isalnd a tourist attraction.

After wondering round the galleria boring myself with what it had to offer, I decided to brave the traffic and go home. As I came out of the Galleria a very young boy of twelve, walked up to me and shuffled a pack of cotton buds to my face. He was very persistent and could only mutter the words, ‘cotton bud, buy’.

Now, I love cotton buds, the tickle it gives my ears and the sensation that slowly goes through my body, gives me goose pimples and makes me just sleep like a fool. This made me not to be able to resist this littles boys offer, so I asked him how much and he said, ‘wazo’. I looked at the security men and asked the meaning of what he had just said. They told me he meant N50, so I paid and collected one pack and moved on.

On second thoughts, I looked back and beckoned at him. He walked towards me, dirty green slippers flashing in the dark. He wore brown shorts, held to his tiny waist with a rope, a faded green shirt and a smile that promised a glowing future despite the present gloom. His energy engaged me and I decided to talk with him.

He lives in Ijora, but comes to VI every evening to sell cotton Buds, he had sold a pack that evening and it was a good day. His mum a local pedicurist was in Ijora with his younger ones waiting eagerly eagerly for his return so that they can prepare dinner. He does not know his father.

After each sale, he will jump on the keke Marwa to Obalende and from there he will board a Bus to one Bus Top from where he will be “seeing Ijora from afar” and from there the last leg of the journey will begins.

His skin was powdery, but his eyes where bright. He smiled confidently and was not fazed with his situation. He spoke glowingly of his mum and his business and was very sure that he would get home safely even though it was late. He always got home safely. He was that sharp and strong.

I stared at their 12 year old and I swear cried. Real tears o. His poverty touched me and I began to wonder just why would a living God allow this. Why would this boy be exposed to such suffering but his smile consoled me. He looked at me with those bright eyes and not understanding why I was crying asked if I wanted more cotton buds. I just looked at him and kept crying.

He didn’t understand the tears, but saw this as an opportunity to sell the remaining two packs he was holding in his tiny hands, so he stretched out his hands and said those lovely words, ‘cotton, buy’. I took the remaining two and gave him N1000 and he immediately prostrated saying thank you in Yoruba and blessing me.

This was the poor boy, I met yesterday. I will pray for his safety and for his wellbeing this night. God will bless him, God will continue to protect him, secure his future and give him the presence of mind to forgive this society when he finally gets his triumph.

Amen.

The author Joseph Edgar is an Investment Banker, who writes as a hobby. He has a column in Thisday on Saturday

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Otunba Harbytee

    July 23, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    i’m deeply crying reading this message at the corner of my office and i truly wish i can set my eyes on this poor boy but my prayer for you the writter personally, May you never know this kind of suffering or experince this kind of hard life, many more of this life is still going on within our society even within many of our extended family. i cried for Nigeria Politician looting our country treasury…. May they never know joy or enjoy the happiness money brings.

    • lastking

      July 24, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      Amen to ur prayer, all those money grubblin politicians will neva ever have peace

  2. Alaskaya

    July 23, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    So, all u could do was shed tears in front of the poor boy & buy his remaining cttn bud.
    You weren’t generous enough to support the boy’s biz. I wish he knew why u shed those crocodile. tears! cock & bull story.

    • Ayodele

      July 24, 2015 at 12:29 AM

      @Omoniyi and alaskaya ..We do need this type of stories to wake up our consciousness to become a society that cares and seeks to eradicate poverty as much as possible. Although you do find poverty worldwide, ours is just too extreme despite the oil wealth, abundant talent and entrepreneurial spirit of our people. Nothing stops anyone from donating money, time and expertise to form NGOs that can assist poor kids like this one. However we need to start by thinking and speaking responsibly. And both your comments here are far from that.

    • lastking

      July 24, 2015 at 7:41 AM

      as Ayodele said and i quote “..We do need this type of stories to wake up our consciousness to become a society that cares and seeks to eradicate poverty as much as possible” u dont need to be bitchy about about this story ALASKAYA, u can still go there nd render ur help to d poor boy, i guess u can still find him there.

  3. Don Omoniyi

    July 23, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    He is a product of irresponsible men roaming about the streets of lagos
    liek father like son

  4. Jay jay

    July 23, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    I can’t stop crying while reading this,what a life what a bad government the poor boy just wanna survive
    May God see you through

  5. Benjamin Martins

    July 23, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    I was once in this situation dear writer. I sold pure water at Ikotun to purchase Jamb form. Back then pure water business was profitable. 8 years later I am now working for Lyn-Edge Pharmaceuticals Limited. I give God the glory. God will see the poor boy soon. Amen.

  6. Nike

    July 23, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    I couldn’t hold back my tears,this remind me of my growing up,I hope the poor boy is in school.The good Lord that saw me through will definitely see him through to tell his story of success with joy

  7. dotcom

    July 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    Wish everyone who is able can practice this kind gesture. The world would be a better place. Thanks for touching his life. We all should reach out daily, believe me the reward is endless and far reaching.

  8. Biya

    July 23, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    Next dangote

  9. Grace

    July 24, 2015 at 3:22 AM

    The writer gave N1000 and also created awareness, this is better than nothing. What will the rest of us reading this do to him or many like him around us is the question? Imagine if every Lagosian or Nigerian gave N1000 to this Lad. It is a miracle this boy makes it home safe from ritual killers and accident. Another way to help him is to pray for his safety always and divine intervention. Waywardness should not be encouraged but please why visit the Sin of the parent on the Lad? let him who has no sin cast the first stone. Kindness is one of the keys to a better society, Yes Nigeria’s problem is enormous but we can start with our neighbour. Let us determine and endeavor to show kindness, even an act of kindness per day if not second, so help us God.

  10. lastking

    July 24, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    as Ayodele said and i quote “..We do need this type of stories to wake up our consciousness to become a society that cares and seeks to eradicate poverty as much as possible” u dont need to be bitchy about about this story ALASKAYA, u can still go there nd render ur help to d poor boy, i guess u can still find him there.

  11. olaizo

    July 24, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    We are the world and we are it’s children, no one can change this world of hatred for us but u and me can make it a better place, this is real, but let believe the story did not happen, but am telling you if we can just try by helping those in need like he did in that story, put a smile on someone face, I swear the hope of better tomorrow will be high and those who has hope on suicide mission will think twice and have hope of better days ahead.
    We are the one to make the world a better place so let start giving

  12. Gnice

    July 24, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    This story is short but touching, I could not hold back the hot tears running down my chicks. Grace said and I quote “Waywardness should not be encouraged” My prayers to the young lad and billions of others around the world, even as u struggle to survive waywardness will not be encouraged in ur lives, but ur struggles will yield better fruit. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.

  13. Show

    July 24, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Please does anyone have a contact number for this boy or his mother, I will like to make monthly contribution. If direct debits can be taken from our accounts to help (save the children) I don’t see anything wrong in doing the same for this little boy.

  14. nikkydon

    July 24, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    Alaskaya, y would u say such or do u tink its every nigerian that will even give the boy that 1000 without collecting balance, would u do such if I may ask? you dunt expect him to just open up a bussiness for the boy right there or so,at leats he did wat he could do,if we have more of this type of good samaritans in our midst, the poor won’t suffer that much

  15. olakanmi obasanjo

    July 24, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    I was @ a 214 global bar where I decided to glance through d press stuff on my iPad But I could not hold tears when I read through the stuff,it quickly reminds me of my past and where I am now….the merciful hand of God will fetch him out of well of poverty that has eating deep into the fabric of this nation ijn

  16. Lekan Feyisan

    July 24, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    “His poverty touched me and I began to wonder just why would a living God allow this…”. God is not to be blamed! So do not blame God for anything. Just like He created everything man would need to survive physically in the garden of Eden before creating man, He had also put everything (our natural resources) needed in this country for every Nigerian including the poor boy to survive but what do we see? Mismanagement, corruption, greed, selfishness just to mention a few. My submission to everyone is that you check yourself to be sure you are not playing a role in this boy’s suffering either directly or indirectly because… The judgement day comes! Let’s continue to show love to one another irrespective of where you THINK s/he is from. God bless Nigeria.

  17. Adebayo Tajudeen

    July 25, 2015 at 3:59 AM

    CANT CONTROL MY EMOTION,WHAT A SUFFERING COUNTRY WE LIVE,MAY GOD BLESS THE BOY

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