I met a little girl last Tuesday selling chilies in the market.
She wasn’t sure of the price and didn’t want to lose the coin I was carrying too. In a haste, she runs in search for her mum.
I tried leaving but she pleaded with me along with the other traders to hold on, so I did.

She returned after confirming the price and began packaging my order.
In the process, I noticed this little girl pick these chilies (in their moist state) with her unprotected tiny and pretty hands.
I dislike rinsing chili with my bare hands because the capsaicin gets into my skin and then burns.
Here was this young fellow with her hand covered with it.

I asked myself, What will make a young girl be on the market while her colleagues were in school?

I wanted to tell her to wrap her hands with a plastic bag. But how long was she going to that?
It would only be whenever I’m present yet so not in the presence of her mum who may yell at her for wasting a plastic bag.

When I asked what she was doing in the market and not in the classroom, she only lifted her head, looked into my eyes, and smiled, but quickly looked down to continue what she was doing. I went on to ask of her class to which she responded as Primary 3.

As I turned to leave, I asked the question again; “why are you here and not in school?” This time the surrounding traders came to her rescue. Her mum wasn’t fit, so she was there helping her trade.

Now, this young girl isn’t the first I’ve seen in such a state and pitied, nor on that market, I’ve come across loads of them in the capital. But on my third visit to that particular market, she was the first my heart went out to. Maybe because I took a closer look at her.

On my way home, and for the rest of the day I only thought of her.
What is she doing for the remaining four other school days?
Is she at school or on another market on their marketing days?

If these young ones are the future, how well are we preparing for that future?
If these are going to rise to become inventors, scientists, Artist, Engineers, Medical Practitioners, and so on. How well are we preparing them?

I know she’s going to learn something on the market and maybe can rise to excel at that corner, but how well will she apply the book knowledge to it?
Or will she also grow up, have a family, and have a daughter who follows her to the market?

As I walked past them again, one woman jokingly said; “she may not even complete that basic school before she’s married off”.

We’ve all had our fair share of struggles in life, even from childhood. The difference has been, some of us had our eyes glued to a destination out of the hope surrounding us. Some others look and move on with no source of hope. Not that they don’t long for it, or pray for it. But there’s always been a single path before them, no option, and it’s always been; “Take it, or leave it!”

Today, you may have risen to a level you are proud of, and it’s so because you are one of the fortunate ones. It doesn’t make those who were not less of a human than you are.

As you go about your routine this week, look around you. If you can find one without hope, become the reason they live to tell their story of Hope. Let’s build a better and greater future together, starting from now. If you think you have nothing to offer, show them love and give them your smile. It may be all they may ever require from you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s