November 21, 2017

Some Cripples Have Two Legs by Chioma Mgbaramuko

Some Cripples Have Two Legs by  Chioma Mgbaramuko

Cripple {Krip- uh l} (noun)

Very common in Nigeria:

  1. A person, whose father is financially deformed, does not have long-legs and so is not found in the social space of those who are connected.
  2. A person, who operates within a bad network and so, does not know somebody here that knows somebody there that knows somebody here.
  3. A person that is born with a financial deformity; so that from year to year, till thy kingdom come, it will only take a miracle for him to come out of poverty’s entrapment.

 

EthiopiaCrutch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crippled ones:

A good example is the old man I saw a few months back, he struggled so hard to cross the road that I feared an unsuspecting vehicle would crush his soul. His figure was lopsided, bent to one side that one would think he was created diagonal. The road seemed to be aware of his tiny frame, and so there were no vehicles in sight in what looked like forever as he crossed the road. The next minute I saw him at the other end of the road, cutting flowers to shape.

“What the hell!” I muttered, my eyes almost popping out, not exactly out of surprise though but this one is too much. What is an eighty-something-year-old man hunched from years of hustling doing? Cutting flowers to beautify our Mega city,abi? Or maybe he was still provider for a family; a seventy-year-old wife and a fifty-something-year old son at home? Or this poor man needs to work because his children; agbero here, conductor there are scattered everywhere struggling to make ends meet and plunged in the mediocrity that God go provide and e go better and have abandoned the old man?  The poor man has lived with this promise all his life, so that he has given up and gone back to fend for himself? Tomorrow he will die and all of them would put heads together so they can bury papa.

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The crippled ones:

I remember the young men I noticed beside the Elephant house at Ikeja. As I walked past them, I saw one of them point to the building with the awe of a child and then he said: “Omo to work for here you must get long leg o

Long leg, indeed…

The words sounded like a tool, a certification that allows you entry. They have to be. I looked at them, their tired shoes were battered from trekking—they were job seekers, the ones who roam the streets of Lagos looking for jobs after spending four/six years of their lives in school. The ties that hung around their necks looked like nooses.

The crippled ones:

They are the ones who wait one month to collect an international passport; the ones who wait outside the shed at the Immigration office, waiting to be called. I have experienced it first hand; that day, I had gone to the Immigration office and as I entered the gate, my heart skipped when I saw the crowd so I called the officer I was introduced to and he asked me to ignore the crowd and come straight in.

Ehen! I wondered in my head as I scanned the small crowd that was gathered under the shed like a tiny mass of coloured water; I could only see the colours of their clothes as I walked past. If I can walk straight in why are they waiting?

Learner!

What did I know? I was paying extra to walk straight in and out while the others after their one month wait, were still made to wait for capturing and collection. The immigration officers strut about straight faced like they are following due process, mtschew—na today?Or was it the newly recruited officers I saw posing for a photograph with their boss and smiling to the camera so much so that a lay man (crippled of course) would think they are being passionate about their jobs. Asi Asi. Lies.

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The crippled ones…

They are the ones who are ‘accidentally discharged’ and the police will tell you the matter is being investigated; for the next two weeks, the press will be abuzz with updates of lies and several consolations and promised compensations here and there. After that, the whole situation is carefully swept, parked and thrown away by LAWMA and the family is left to mourn—everyone goes back to living and hustling, end of story.

The crippled ones…

Are the ones you see suffering and smiling, praying and being preyed on; life is ebbing away as they sit and hope, hope of course, didn’t they say where there is life there is hope? And so their life is flung into desperate situations; they must claim their glory!

The crippled ones are without long legs, their disabled situation is evident in their struggle, hustling and hoping: One day E go better!

 

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InnJoo Reborn

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