I saw this on Graciano’s page and decided to share it here. It really is a true story from Graciano Enwerem.
Yesterday, after the radio session with members of GAFOSTO (Graciano And Friends’ Operation Salvage The Orphanages) Team, I had a visitor who came to see me from Delta, his friend joined us and we had a great time. We finished very late and I rushed to Waterlines Bus Stop to pick a cab to evade being drenched by the rain that was speedily gathering momentum.
Story short, I got to the bus stop and there were hundreds of people waiting for vehicles going my route. My first instinct was to walk into KDC, where my church is and order for a cab straight to my house. I thought of what 1,500 to 2,000 Naira would do for me in these times that I have lots of projects on my neck with very little funding. I decided to brave it.
The first vehicle came and people rushed in. It was a matter of who is faster, braver and stronger to stand his/her ground. I don’t have those qualities, I am the qualities and more. So I decided to get into the next one no matter what happens. My eyes quickly caught a cab turning to where I was. Just one chance in front was left, so I was the first to wave it and the driver beckoned on me to come to the front while he parks well.
With the speed of light I got to the vehicle first but some other guy stood in the way, stopping me from opening the door. I politely told him that I waved the car and the driver asked me to get in. I looked into the vehicle towards the driver and he confirmed with a nod but the dude refused to bulge. I just had to open the door anyway.
As soon as the door touched him, he let a tiny t-shirt he was holding go flying onto the wet floor and screamed stuff that I can’t recollect, saying that I pushed him and stained his new shirt. The touts on the streets, 8 of them pulled me out of the car, rounded me up and were turning round me, screaming obscenities. I was waiting for the worst but nothing happened at first.
Then the young man who had acted this Nollywood movie asked me to take off my eyeglasses, “So dat you go see am well.”
As soon as I took it off, he screamed,
‘oya give am!’
A resounding slap hit my right ear from behind. And then he said,
”Mark my face, na me do you. Do ya worse”
He flagged down another vehicle and vamoused!
I stood there in disbelief about what had just happened. I tried to get angry but I was shocked at how calm I was until some other people waiting for vehicles as I was, came to me to say that I made the right decision not to fight back. How these guys are always eager to lynch anyone for no reason. While I was still standing there trying to process everything that had just transpired, the youngest of the 8 came back and said with a husky voice that seemed borrowed from an 85 years old grandpa,
”Seniorboy, some kind man dem just tell us say we don f#₦k up. Dem say you no be winchiman. No wam! I go fine motor for you make you tuama here before you go reason us.”
Turns out that one of them told them how I’d come there once to give some homeless kids who live with them at one big incomplete building there at Waterlines Bus Stop, some handouts and cash. I remember even requesting that my church welfare sends help their way and Pastor Victor (the pastor in charge of outreaches) said, we’ve been on it and would do something about it.
Few seconds later, 4 of them joined us and said so many things in the lines of,
”we didn’t know it was you”.
Well, you know me. I’ve said it countless times, I am more a teacher than an artiste. I teach, praise and punish. They’re in the police net probably receiving slap now. I’m not that gentle I guess. However, I learnt something yesterday. Did you learn anything from my long story? Let me know if you did.
Meanwhile, there are so many projects I run alone quietly for years. Going to the orphanages twice a year is one of them. However all these years, I knew there was something we were not doing right. This year I want to correct it. I want to take a dive again as I always do and this time I hope you help catch me. The dream is bigger than my pockets but I believe that since it’s a great idea, it’s going to be a success. We shall be visiting 4 Orphanages, giving them handouts as usual but that would not be all. We shall pick 20-50 teenagers among them and:
- Give them a skill set
- Teach them the business of the skill
- Set up businesses for them
- Set up a ‘finance team’ that shall monitor the growth of the businesses for 12 Months.
- Connect them to potential clients/customers
These 12 Months, a percentage of their earnings shall be ploughed back into the business, another shall be sent to the orphanages, the rest shall be theirs. We believe that by this time next year, they shall be the ones training other members of the orphanages.
We shall be paying a discounted fee to the partners who shall be training them between 1-3 months, depending on the skill.
SKILLS ON GROUND
✓ Fashion Designing
✓ Gele Tying
✓ Photography & Cinematography
ITEMS WE NEED
- Used clothes, shoes & books
For items other than cash, kindly call us via:
For cash donations, click here
For more details see video here.