Thursday, 25 August 2016

Life Experience: What 600 Naira did!

Eight (8) years ago, I was a Corper in a little town called Ozoro in Delta state. I had a life changing experience on one of my trips to my location. It was a Sunday. I left Ibadan at noon because I have to resume work Monday morning. There was fuel scarcity so the fare had gone up a bit.

At the park that day, I saw a young boy of around 20 years with a little girl of around 10 or 12. They were begging people in that car to help with #600 so as to add to their fare. They weren't prepared for the inflated price owing to the fuel scarcity. No one in the car seemed to care. However, as a young man with less worries I volunteered to pay the #600. At least, I was certain it was not a scam.

On our way, the driver decided to search for fuel in Ondo State. That took us another 2 and a half hours. We got to Warri safely but very late. I took the last cab from Warri to Ughelli. On getting to Ughelli, the park was empty. It was a ghost town. The darkness was so thick that I could barely see my feet. This was few minutes after 11pm. So I couldn't get the final cab to my town-Ozoro.

I was left with a major decision to make. Should I sleep in one of the stalls in the park or should I trek backwards towards Warri where I saw one ago. That trekking backward will still take another 30 minutes. I was confused and scared to the bones. I have heard about "Warri Wolves" sorry "Warri boys". I have not met them but their exploits have always been a best selling tale.

After some minutes in the dark, I heard some sounds. I knew someone was walking towards me but I couldn't see the figure clearly. It was so dark you could tie strings to the darkness and play a guitar out of it. Suddenly, I heard "Uncle!" "Corper Sir". The only thing on me that could be seen in the dark was my white NYSC shirt. That sound was not harmful but I was scared still. I was expecting the "boys" to come for the bag I brought from Ibadan for them.

The figure moved closer and it didn't look harmful. I stretched my neck into the dark to see who that was. It was the boy whose fare I paid in Ibadan. I felt a vibration through my skin.

To cut the story short, he took me along with his sister to their house. Not the best of all houses though. It was a small house with four rooms which were empty. He vacated his bed for me to sleep. He slept on the mat with his little sister. I offered them money in the morning, which they refused. They look so excited but frail. I left for my town and I couldn't leave the experience even till now.

I sat on my table at work and I thought I could be a dead man, I could be in the hospital. I could even be in the police net or somewhere I can't really explain.

Everyone rejected them but I didn't. Others had more money than I had but wouldn't give. I thought I was paying their fare, little did I know I was paying for a bed. I thought I was doing them favours, I didn't know I was saving it for myself. If I had pushed them away like others did, they would have walked past me without a word in the middle of no where. I lifted them at noon, they lifted me at night. I paid in Ibadan, I received the goods in Delta. I gave them #600 and they gave me life.

That day, I made up my mind that there will be nothing too big to give and there will be nothing too small to receive. For every gift has a potential to open a door. A lot of us have shut our doors and we keep saying God is unfair. Giving shouldn't only be to people who can pay us back but also to people who seem not to have means.

An act of kindness, a little an investment.

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