Saturday, July 29, 2006


NOTE: I am not rich, I am not from a rich home and I did not write this becasue I think that I am better than others. I just need to voice out my frustrations. These have grown in the months since I have become a mother and I am filled with, you guessed it...angst!

I am sick of all the poverty around. Snot faced kids, begging for a buck, cleaning windscreens like their life depends on it. I look at their faces and try to imagine them in a different situation. With parents that have money. Primary school education at Corona or Grange, clean clothes, less despair in their lives and in their eyes. A warm nice bed to sleep on. If only they were that, people would not cringe when they come near. I see some of these children in the rain, begging so that their mothers, fathers and siblings will have a meal. (yes, sometimes, if you look around you'll spy their parents somewhere around).

I fear for the girls the most. They lead the blind and sometimes push the lame. I wonder what other services they are made to render. I am not thinking in extremes, I understand that a lot of the men they help around have their "wicked" way with them. Girls that don't even have an inkling what puberty is because their bodies are still years away from that particular development.

Some times I feel like screaming: Lord, why do some have nothing at all? I would love to make a difference, touch lives. No matter what I do, it seems so inadequate as though I am just tossing drops of water in a bottomless bucket in a bid to fill it up. I'm not rich or anything, but I make enough.

I have a hard time collecting clothes for the needy because people are afraid that they will get jazzed by ne'er do gooders. So I have fashied and I just do my thing myself. I give my old clothes to refugees; send my baby's clothes to motherless babies, give money to beggars when I can. Yet, it seems I have done nothing. I look at pictures like
these and I am saddened. I know they are far away, but I know that if I dedicate myself, I can still reach them. I know because if someone tells me that a million pounds awaits me under a malnourished baby’s crib in Niger, I will get there (hell, I will get there if its just £2,000).

The difference in standards of living in Lagos is so great, that the poor hardly get to cross the gulf. I read this
story and was filled with wonder, I had never seen things that way before. Figures, as I am neither a brie eating chic nor am I a beggar on the street. I am just plain middle class. For the record, I have nothing against people spending their hard earned money the way they want, Lord knows I do. I read Gbemi's story on the Motherless baby's home and my heart sunk to my feet. I visualised that boy hitting his head continuallly on his crib, yeeech!! My friend went to a motherless baby home and saw a baby that had been found in a gutter. Apparently, she was a few hours old when her mother threw her in there. Before she was rescued, maggots had started eating her body. Her little body tells the story. Her skin looks really pockmarked. Just 2 months old, she will grow up with the tell-tale marks of her parent's abandonment. In fact, I was made to understand that visitors generally do not like to touch her, as they find her repulsive.

Enough ramblings, what to do? what to do? Any ideas?


  1. Sometimes what we do seems like just a drop in the ocean when it comes to aleviating the sufferings of the poor, but little drops do make an ocean. So don't give up on the little part you play - they need people like you and you are making a difference in their lives, no matter how little it may seem to you.

    A friend of mine is going to Nigeria next week and she had a list of 24!! relatives to take stuff home to - you know how travelling to Niaja can be, you must get something for even the remotest of cousins. I leapt at the opportunity to help her out and dropped a huge ghana-must-go bag off at her house filled to the brim with mine and my daughters very fairly used and some brand new never worn clothes. She was so pleased. I had saved her a bundle, plus she'll be able to make everyone happy by having something for everyone. I was also happy that at least my clothes will be going to people who really need and will appreciate them and not just to OXFAM or Barnados here in the UK.

    But remember, even Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. You will never be able to eradicate poverty completely so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Chin up!

  2. First of all, I like to think I have a handle on most Naija blogs, so following your post on my blog and subsequently finding yours (after a whole month!) is a pleasant surprise.

    Secondly, there's no need to apologise for your views. No one is being offended.

    Thirdly, you're asking all the right questions. And the people to blame are those you love to hate - the government.

  3. @PTS: Thanks for the lovely words. A huge ghana must-go bag!! I can already imagine the excited children with huge smiles on their faces racing to show others what their aunt brought from "overs" just for them.

    @Nkem: thanks for dropping by. I have been reading your blog for some time now. Just been silent when it comes to leaving comments.I am not sure though if I can blame the government for this one... much as I would love to

    @uknaija : Thanks! and thanks for dropping by.


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