I was balanced on the concrete pavement in front of the stall of my orange seller in Olomore market as she was peeling them for me.
Then I saw him. HAUSA man. Apparently blind, being led by a boy of around 8 years old. Both of them in tattered clothes.
The market was full and for a blind man led by a bored and tired looking boy, the half broken stalls and gutters, wares displayed everywhere was difficult to navigate without bumping into somebody’s wares.
I was surprised they were actually coming beside me. Ok I was sitting on the pavement of a Mosque.
His face and chest drenched in sweat , the Mallam used his hand to feel for a spot on the pavement and quietly settled his walking stick and himself, took off his cap and calmly felt for the head of the tap, turned it on and started abolition . Washing his feet, forearms. Head, ears, nose, forehead. For a man over 70 he has done this ritual for decades.
By the way I’m greedy about oranges and fruits generally. I had bought 25. So I had enough time to wait as the Mallam went inside the Mosque and as I was paying, he had finished and came out of the Mosque. Then I looked across to his face and I saw calmness. Peace. He had gone to touch his head on the ground as supplication to God.
Then it struck me. All over the world you have men and women who have private jets. Exotic Mansions, fleets of futuristic cars, drink Wines with cobwebs around the bottles; play with gold and diamonds as if it’s rubber. Yet they can’t praise God. Can’t spare the time to acknowledge his awesomeness.
But this Mallam that has no ambition, and is not dreaming of Cadillac and cannot possibly have successful children, in his condition. Sweated and struggled to get to a space where he can praise his Maker.
What does a man like this request from God? Why does he still feel compelled to honor his God despite the fact that his physical condition has not altered over the decades?
What do you think a man like this will be requesting from God as he kneels down five times a day?
-Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin Dudu
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