The Abandoned Child Episode 13


There were no more innocent girls in the Village. All the little girls I left in the Village have become Baby mamas to some elusive boys. They roam the village with their babies strapped to their backs while their boy friends eke out their living by riding commercial motor cycles in Ado Ekiti, the capital City. Their only hope is to be married eventually to a widower or to be second wife to a local rich farmer. It was sad to see how low our girls had degenerated.

They were shy to come to my house for fear of being ridiculed by the elderly, especially Baba Landlord who has made my veranda his resting place in the afternoon drinking palm wine until evening.

The new house built for me after the Alabi’s gang incident had an extended terrace where one could sit and relax while watching passers-by as they go to or return from their farms or market. It is a four bed room bungalow built with modern architecture and the first of its kind in my village. The floors of all the rooms were tiled wall to wall; the walls of the kitchen and the convenience rooms were all tiled. A well was also dug at the back of the house during the construction of the house. I bought a pumping machine and mounted a GP tank so that I could have access to water in my house as the plumbing job was properly done by the builders. I also bought some electronic gadgets and a medium-sized power generator to argument the inherent epileptic power supply so my house was always full whenever there was power outage and an important programme was been telecast on TV, especially football matches.

My villagers are poor people as we were basically peasant farmers. Money was very scarce and on seeing the way and manner in which I was living in the village, they thought I was a rich man. Apart from those very close to me, none knew much about my life achievement and what I had been through in life. They saw the young boy that was given money by community and government years ago, a young boy that was given scholarship to university level and a good job waiting for him. So they came to me with varied problems.

Some widows would come to my house very early in the morning to beg for money to feed or money to pay their children’s school fees. Some young Baby mamas would stalk me till I am alone or when I am with Tunde alone and fall on their knees begging for assistance to start a business that could help them carter for their children’s needs. Many of the Baby mamas have learnt one trade or the other but needed money to buy sewing machines, weaving machines, hair dryer; the list was endless. I was helping everyone that came to me for help and the news went viral throughout the Village and neighboring communities that a philanthropist has arrived.

It was Baba landlord that spoke some senses to me.

My son! He had said while we were seated outside my house drinking palm wine mixed with legend extra stout; “a fool and his money are soon parted”!

Meaning what sir? I asked

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Our people are not good! They will milk you dry! At the end when you are broke, they will say “we wonder what the fool did with his money”! It is good to help people; it is very, very good! But you must help your self first! Not all of these people who come to you for help actually need help! Some are pathologically lazy and have refused to help themselves because they leach on people like you!

Have you started working?

No sir! I replied

Then why are you spending money on people like you are working and your salary is in seven digits? And from my findings, you have not even gone for your NYSC programme!

Yes I have not gone sir! I replied

You worked hard to train your self in school; you disciplined your self to save up some money! Not so?

That is correct sir!

How many of these villagers that you are dashing out your money to would do what you are doing, having gone through what you have been through in life?

Our people say that “it is the oily fingers that people will lick with you! Not the bloodied one” when you were toiling, no one was there! That is why you see that I buy my palm wine while coming to sit down here with you! I hate parasitic human beings! They will ruin you! For your information, my finding is that most of these villagers did not even know that you lost everything to Modupe and her mother; they did not know that you lost the scholarship due to the bank collapse years back! When they come to you they come with the mind-set of reaping from what the government has planted in one of theirs! They say it is government money! Our money!

Jesu christi o o! I shouted; I was shocked.

Look! I am a pensioner in this village but no body can come to me for any yeye help because we know ourselves. How can you come to me for money when I know you have a well to do son in Lagos or in Port Harcourt? How can you come to me when I had seen you and warned you to stop frolicking with a never do well boy that keeps pressing your Bosom under the orange tree every night until he impregnated you and left the village to ride Okada in Ado Ekiti? I know something about every one in this village. That does not mean I do not help o! I do! I help those hospitalized that needs genuine financial assistance. I help those in need and not those in want!

Ha! Baba I am short of words; I said.

Don’t worry my son! He said; just be cautious and learn to sometimes say no!

My money was running low; it was time to leave the village. I had planned spending a week in the village but I ended up spending two months. Village life is very exciting especially when you have some money in your pocket.

I gave Akin some money to start a small business; he wants to go into the Cocoa purchase and resale business. I reminded him to be careful not to end up like the legendary Alabi. I gave Baba Landlord some money too but he refused until when I told him it was for Tunde’s education and upkeep, he collected it and prayed for me. He said he feels he owe me something; he said he had gone to Lagos severally to help track down my mother to no avail before he gave up hope. He asked if she ever contacted me, I said I never met her and if I do I would not have known it was her. He said there are things he need to tell me about her but I told him I was not interested, I told him to take care of Tunde, I had agreed with him that Tunde will move in with me immediately I settle down. That was when he told me that “a man can never fully settle down until the day he dies”!

To Be Continued…

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