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The Serving Beggar

Posted by STAFF on August 20, 2011 in AUDIO, Feature, Social Views · 13 Comments

A while back, I had the opportunity to camp near a bevy of Ladies who in turn inspired this article. Not that I knew any of them from Adam -nope- I just happened to witness a conversation that I would love to share before I proceed.

                                                            *conversation starts*

Beggar:   *pleads for aid……the ladies look away and refuse to look his way……he walks on*

Lady 1 :    *snort* “I hate Beggars”

Lady 2 :   “always begging for our hard-earned money”

Lady 1 :   “non-sense”

Lady 3 :   “especially those dirty children who wash our wind-screen….who send them sef”

                                                            *conversation ends*

At this point, I couldn’t resist looking so I directed a cursory glance towards them and I was inspired to write this article. After that encounter, I came across another rant but this time via Twitter and the person was vexed by the said people who render the service of cleaning the wind screens of motorists without being asked.  I think it is safe to generalize them as “beggars on the streets”.

They want in on our pockets and hard earned money. They litter the streets like flies perched on a carcass (am I exaggerating?) wait a minute, where were these beggars when we were pleading for money from our parents? Receiving all manners of queries from horrible bosses, ehn where? Did they give us money to “bank” for them?

How dare they?!

These men have the makings of a menace that Lagos needs to be rid off.

However consider this, wouldn’t we prefer that they sit/stand by day to beg than they become men of the underworld at night?! I personally have no vendetta against them. If I have some loose change, I give and I give happily. I give because I believe in the saying “givers never lack”. It is left to the discretion of fellow Nigerians to dole out “Kudi” as they wish.

My concern is for the ‘serving beggar’. The ‘serving beggar’ that has refused to sit or stand by day to beg but has decided to serve the community in exchange for cash to put food on their table. I have come across not one but many crippled people who instead of begging have opted to sweep the roads/over-head bridges. They are serving the community. I have been in a car when out of no-where a young lad pops out and squirts some soapy liquid on the windshield,then begins to clean as if his life depends on it leaving it sparkling (almost glittering). In exchange, they expect us, the more privileged members of the community to press some paper into their hand. The ironic thing is that a lot of us don’t reward their efforts, yet the wind shield washers cannot sue us for “defaulting on payment” after all it’s not as if we asked them to. They walk away albeit upset but in no time they are attacking the next windshield with fury. I don’t consider this act ‘random begging’. They know it is a tad bit unrealistic to expect to earn a living simply by sharing oxygen with their more illustrious planet mates.

I would  go out of my way to give them something for their services.Giving is subjective  but I have written this article for us to consider more carefully ‘the serving beggar’. The boys who clean the windshield are committing no crime. In fact, they are giving the driver a clearer view of the road they ply, which will in turn help curb the rate of accidents on our road.

In all this, do spare a thought for the ones that would love to work but are denied that novelty by nature. If you can spare it, please give.

Long live the Beggar……..Long live the ‘serving beggar’.

Long live the Beggar……..Long live the ‘serving beggar’.

Written By Tayo Adelekan (@Teeonair)

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