It’s not a scene you see and forget in a hurry. It places a big question mark in your mind and it stays there. All around Lagos I’ve seen kids and teens hawking packaged water while dogging the adept moves of commuters on Lagos highways, but picture this; He’s 34, dark and tall- above 6ft, dressed in shorts and slippers and stands at the bus-stop selling “pure”(packaged) water.
In response to deoluakinyemi’s makeover initiative I decided it was time to unravel the mystery behind man’s predicament. Treading carefully because of the background knowledge that people had mentioned he had once been psychiatric patient, but with the confidence inspired by over 6years of martial arts training, I advanced towards my subject.
I was instantly confounded by the revelations that cowed my day in style. Frank (not real name) speaks English maybe because he’ from Edo state. It became more shocking that he possess a life residency permit in Australia and was married to an Australian woman. After finishing his secondary education, he left the country to Tripoli (Libya’s capital), from there to Kenya, Abidjan, Johannesburg and landed finally in Australia. He got himself a loving wife who works as an administrator in one of the hospitals in Melbourne.
Trouble started along the line when mental wires snapped, and he had to be deported leaving behind a worried pregnant wife. He jokes he landed in shorts and singlet and landed the day he’ll never forget 9th February 1995.since then he’s been moving from one job to the other while his wife sent him money. The money was usually sent through a parcel delivery service. This source of finance hit the rocks when some delivery official got smarter than him, and began to keep the money. He turned the office of the delivery upside down and was reprimand back to mental home. His insistence on being normal created a communication gulf with his wife.
So there he stands a stands till today…hawking pure water feeling good(that’s true!). This career has taken him to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Stadium in the name of hawking! e.t.c. He admits he needs help, and some Naira notes can help improve his business. You really do not know some people until you get close; I left for home feeling like a reporter.