Salisu (not real name) was found on a dump site by a cripple (beggar) some where around Kano road. This was like 22 years ago.
The mechanics around there told the story that a beggar selling akamu (pap) heard the chilling cry of a child and shouted until people gathered to behold the boy wrapped in some tattered wrapper and kept in a ‘kwali’ (carton) & dumped on a ‘boola’ (refuse dump).
The beggar took care of him till he was old enough to help push her around to beg for alms.
But there was something special a Salisu, he had a knack for learning and was exceptionally smart.
Amongst his peers, he would sing and dance better. He tries to write and would ask how words are pronounced.
We’d always sit outside the gate close to the office on Yakubu Gowon Way, eat, discuss, laugh, share jokes. Fantastic guy. If he doesn’t see you around, he’s quick to ask from my colleagues, “where’s oga mai gemu?!”
Got the news that Salisu’s beggar mom passed a few days ago and I ran into him after the burial. He’s now well polished, looks very different.
“Oga Segun, tall time sir!”
“Chai Salisu. Ka girma fa!” (You’re all grown up now).
He laughed and I saw his ‘akorin Mecca’, “…kai Salisu, you don go Mecca ma ashey?”
He laughed some more.
“Ai I am now kwampotabu inshallah.”
“Eheeen, what do you do? I hope it’s not Yahoo Yahoo?!”
“Neba! I ab a shaago, shob in Kano, Sokoto and I trabel to Dubai, China and Saudi Arabia to buy goods por my shop. I swell wrappers, gold, shoes and co”.
“Wow!” My face lit up. “That’s, that is beautiful! I’m so proud of you man!”
We shook hands and hugged. He showed me pictures of his family from his phone. He’s git a beautiful wife and two sons.
“Where’s your wife from and what are the names of your kids?”
“Abu and Salisu jr. My wife is from Kebbi. She’s a business administration graduate from BUK”.
“Wow! You this guy!”
“…she used to kwom buy clothes prof my shaago so we started small small and I told her I wan marry her and she agree.”
“Wow! Your kids, I hope they are in school?”
“Yes. It is bery imfortant. The edukashan I neba get I wan gib dem.”
He told me about himself again and how he never knew his mother and his father and the need to protect his own family and be there for them.
He was passionate about it and even took 5 of the beggar boys from the beggar house that’ll work in his shops.
Heard he does that from time to time. Some, he’ll set up in businesses.
He gave me a gift, I won’t mention here.
We exchanged phone numbers and we’ve been communicating ever since.
Life is what you make of it. You want to succeed and be all you desire, just believe and you’ll attain your dreams; no matter your situation.
SW&SH is a weekly series in here and Jokes Apart with SMG.
I’m done, I’m gone, I’m ghost!