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Eva Alordiah

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Life- Through the Eyes of a Child

  • 12/02/2009
  • by
Ahhhh! My Camp experiences in words would not be complete if i don't tell you about these kids. Everyone saw them as Sokoto children, mammy market children, suffering kids - whatever it was. I on the other hand saw them as LOVE.
My first contact with these kids was Mohammed.

Mohammed - in the blue jersey
He represented a suffering Nigerian child with a hunger for life. I have never seen a will to live so strong in a child. Small sized for his age (14) he strikes you at first sight as a ten year old. The first time i met him was on my arrival at camp. He came over to help my friend carry his luggage to the hostel for a #10 note. I had never in my life been more willing to cry.
This was a tiny young fella willing to work to get paid, regardless of the measely fare. That made me think of Lagos - where there are countless beggars on the streets, older than this child and not willing to do anything to get money.
It made me think of us, how we have enough and sometimes don't even bother about tommorrow cause we've got it under control.

That afternoon, standing in the blazing heat of the Sokoto sun, i smiled to him and said
"If you teach me Hausa throughout my stay here, id pay you #1000."
That brought a really big smile on his face. I could read the joy between the lines of that smile and the sadness of his poor life. He agreed and we soon became friends.
He made sure to greet me politely everytime he saw me. For meals, he and his friends would hang around mammy market waiting to scoop up the leftovers on every plate.

One morning we went out jogging(corpers) and from the distance i heard a young voice yell my name in greeting, "Eva!"
I turned around and saw Mohammed! Clad in a shabby pair of schoool uniforms and an old school bag hanging looose from his back. The time? 6:45am! The weather? Freezing cold with winds on every side. and this kid was out with the will to go to school! I felt the tears sting my eyes. I tried to fight them back but they dropped anyways.
I thought of the kids that had well to-do parents begging them to go to school, i thought of kids that go to the best schools but still find a way to sneak out because they don't give a fuck, i thought of myself. I thought of Mohammed.
That really inspired me. It wasn't just about school. No
This was a young tiny-sized kid, 14years old in JSS1, who ate leftovers, carried luggages no matter how heavy for #10, came around the hostels to fetch water for tired lazy corpers(myself inclusive) for #5-#20 depending on the bucket size - And still woke up as early as 6 fucking A.M to go to school!
Thats survival. That's will. That's strenght, courage, determination -
What have you got that's bigger? Mohammed taught me the things i never knew except in my head. I saw a different survival picture through his eyes, through his life.
There's nothing thats too big too handle, no situation too bad that you can't survive. He taught me that. I understand it more now cause i have seen it through him.
Today i appreciate what i have. I forget about what i don't. For the things i have lost, im grateful to God. Today, i have taken my eyes off the frame to look at the picture. All this time the picture has been so beautiful but i kept my eyes wandering around its frames.
I have a bigger will to survive. My hustle is stronger. If a 14year old with nothing can wake up in the morning to LIVE why should i laze around counting my life backwards and thinking of what coulda been??

On my last day at camp, when we took this picture, he came over and asked for my number, extending a paper and pen with his skinny hand. Again, the tears flourished in my eyes like dew in the mornings. This kid obviously understood the importance of friendship. I realize he appreciated everytime i sat to talk to him, or given him change for a meal, or just simply being there - as a friend.
Since i got back, Mohammed has called me maybe three times - thats in less than a week! He must have probably fetched water for a fee to do that. Even the friends that ve got, who have bank accounts with money don't call me that often..
Yet again, ve got tears in my eyes typing this - I Might be a Rapper - That don't mean i'm hardcore. Rappers cry. Yes yes yo!

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  1. tried nt to cry yle reading this note..r u sure u dint offer to brng mohammed to lagos.May God bless Mohammed,Amen.

  2. There are so many kids like that...we take stuffs for granted cos we got it n keep wishin for more...We can try to save them. But really how many can we save? Juss gotta do the little we can and pray God touches the heart of those who can do bigger things. God bless Mo' n oda kids like em n give em d determination to Succeed in life " DA TRUE NAIJA SPIRIT"

  3. so wat did u do wen u were leaving......?did u tk him along?wat form of assistance did u try to render wen leaving?waiting 4 ur reply

  4. *sniff*
    i had tears in my eyes too..mohammed really taught you a lot & by extension, I as well. It's people like him dat inspire me, cos no matter how hard life seems, he's determined to make it. He isnt bitter or hasnt turned to violence even though he really doesnt have the best things in life..

  5. I served in sokoto in 2007 and can relate to this story.
    It makes me appreciate the present size of my hustle.
    Lord 'am grateful.
    Nice piece eva

  6. i am the definition of Mohammed.....we share the same background and its all in one conclusion, "I seek on till i'm Buried"

  7. Really glad you guys can relate with this! Really

  8. (in tears) kinda speechless!!!...but rhins is really reallly inspirational!!!!!...thnks for puttin it up!!!!.....plenrie luv!!

  9. Eva pls give d guy ma numba..i wana assist with all i av..plz....

  10. Mo' is the true boss, i'm really touched by this...."understanding the power of friendship"...lovely!!!

  11. what a heart u'v got.......kip it up!

  12. Awwww man , It hurts when you can't save everyone only God sha but I suppose we can help those close to home

  13. wow....this was the first story i read in ur blog oh! the NYSC at Sokoto jst caught my eye. I felt soo sad. Thats wen i was convinced abt continuing to read. lol Rappers cry-Yes yes yo??? haha....u dis wafarian!

  14. Really touching...


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Eva Alordiah
Lagos, Nigeria