Nigeria Matters

The Forgotten

I have often heard the slogan, “where you are is a function of choices you made in the past”. This is very good but I also think our environment has a lot to do to our past and present decisions. No one can achieve what he has not seen. In a world where what is seen is delusion, confusion and depression. Where the term, “survival of the fittest” is best expressed, where every one is living to survive the next day and in order to survive you have to join the only known route, “struggle”.

I have often wondered why most people forget them. They are obviously in the world of their own; a world where everyday is war. They are hardworking (Not questionable), yet we do not honor their work, we all avoid them.

The Mushin People are not just forgotten by an average Nigerian, they are also forgotten by Lagosians. Despite the enormous development going on in Lagos, this part of the world knows no pleasure, the environment is very very rough but the people are not.

In Yoruba land, when a child is born, there are some prayers that will be said on the child, blessings will flow like rivers and expectation of what the child will be is always very high. In Mushin, the options of what to become is not that much. Everybody knows the path the other will take. It is very simple. The very first thing the child will learn will be curses and how to fight, especially when he is a male while a female will learn abusive words. This is often used to prepare them for the harsh future ahead because the future will be very hard to the child.

Going to school for them is for the child to learn how to calculate money and speak Pidgin English. There is no need to learn good English and no need to learn the act of writing; it is of no use to their future. By age14, 80% of the girls are expected to be tending towards getting pregnant for the first time and by age 16, quite a number of them would have heard their first abortion. This is the procedure that takes place every time.

For the boys, school would have been forgotten by age 14 and the desire to start having money sets in. Almost everybody ventures into the transportation business, starting as bus a conductor which is always very tough. Most of them get beaten by the Agbero’s. Some fall from moving buses and get wounded, in the long run not every one will stay, some will but not everybody. Some of them will become Okada riders while others will end up selling meat. Some carpentry and very few will become electricians. In all, they all start a race for survival, just as their parents did because that the pattern set for them by the society.

They strive to be human, but their only way of expressing humanity is through aggression, they really wish to live in the VGC’s and Lekki’s but they are used to fighting for survival so even the rich amongst them find it difficult to leave the environment.

It is a shame that we avoid them when they can be loved and corrected. They are humans who only need means of expression.

The major thing that surprises me about them is that you can never find them begging for money. They have been taught hard work.

If we claim not to have time to reform this people, then we are joking with our future because no matter the vision 2020 that we have, if we do not include them and start work as soon as possible there might be problem.

They are the forgotten but hard working. Forgotten but friendly. Forgotten but a Nigerian.

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