I was returning.
From my morning workout.
When I decided to pick something.
Somewhere close to 6th Avenue.
I got down, earpiece plugged in.
I was waiting at the entrance to clear out so I can go into the mart and pick what I wanted to pick.
When someone tapped me on my back.
It was a young man, of average height.
He was not looking quite good nor was he looking happy.
He had a sack bag he held behind him.
I greeted him first before he found his voice to greet me.
I didn't know him from anywhere as I was wondering why he tapped me.
So I said.
"Please, can I help you?"
He stuttered a little.
"Please, sir, I no mean to bother you but I no know whether you go fit find me something make I chop."
I wasn't surprised.
Because I get this similar approach almost every time I find myself walking down the street, in traffic, or standing by the mall or supermarket.
So I said to him.
"I am sorry I don't give strangers cash."
His jaw dropped.
I looked across the street and I saw a small kiosk restaurant.
Where majorly okada riders and laborers eat.
"Do you mind if I take you to that place to eat and I will pay for it?"
And his smile was genuine.
"No problem, sir. Make we dey go. Thank you, sir."
"Okay, please just give me a few minutes let me pick something here I will join you soon."
So I stepped in.
Got what I needed.
And followed him to the kiosk.
He told the seller what he wanted to eat, while he waited for his food.
"Thank you, sir. God bless you, sir. Thank you, sir."
"It's fine, it's nothing. So what do you do?"
"I no get anything I dey do for now. But before, before I dey carry people dirty throw way but since they steel my wheel barrow where I dey hide am I no get any other thing I dey do. Before that time I been dey ride Okada but the owner don carry am, he said he wan sell am. I no get work now, sir, I still dey find. I am from Yola, sir."
"I am so sorry about your condition. I believe you will get a job very soon. How do you survive without a job and where do you sleep?"
"I dey sleep with my people for somewhere we gather small money rent. I dey beg people money to eat until I find a job. Sir, I can do anything even if it's carrying block."
"It's okay. I will pay for your food now and also give this woman wey dey sell food some money so any time you are hungry go meet am she go give you food until you get a job."
I saw the tears in his eyes, he couldn't speak.
He was just shocked.
The Okada riders and other people there thanked me so profusely when they overheard what I told him.
Including the woman who sells food.
I paid for his food and gave the woman a small something for food he will eat in advance until he stands on his feet again.
He kept thanking me while he fell to his knees.
I smiled and told him.
"It's not like I have the money in the world but it's just a little something to hold you for a couple of days, I am believing by then you will have a job."
So when I left.
It was about ten minutes drive when I saw a gate wild open.
It's a private house.
A nice duplex.
And the person who opened the gate had driven his vehicle in and came out to close back the gate.
When it struck me.
"Talk to him."
The voice kept nudging me.
So I stopped.
Approached this man in his 60s at the gate, who appeared to be the owner of the house.
I introduced myself to him and greeted him.
Before I found myself asking him.
"Sir, please do you need a gatekeeper?"
He paused and looked at me.
He was typically examining me before he said.
"Aah, you want to be my gateman? Big man like you? I don blow be that. I can't pay you, my son. You are two big for this job."
"No, sir. It's not me. I just saw someone looking for a job and begging for help. It touched me so well. As I was just passing I realized you don't have a gatekeeper, and it struck me that this person could be your gatekeeper. Although I can't vouch for this person as I don't know him. But he seems a good person who is willing to work. Please, sir if you need a gatekeeper please I will plead you employ this young man."
He looked at me for a moment.
"Hmmm you are such a kind person, you don't know this person you are talking about but you decided to seek a job for him. Actually I have been looking for a gatekeeper. But the challenge I am having is that it is hard to find a good and trusted person. Tell this person to come, I will interview him, if I am convinced I will employ him immediately."
"Thank you, sir. I will do so."
"Do you live around here?"
"Yes, five blocks away from here."
So I went back to where I met that young man.
Fortunately, he was still there so I told him I found a job for him, gatekeeper, and the owner wants to see him for an interview at the moment.
He couldn't believe it.
Job he had been looking for months, he couldn't find.
Just the same day he begged me for help, telling me how he had been looking for a job but he couldn't find.
I came back to tell him that I have gotten a job for him.
I took him back to the man.
And reminded the man again that I can't vouch for him as I don't know him.
He is someone I just saw on the road seeking help and I was led to help him.
The man asked him some questions, about where he is from.
And about his former job.
He told him everything and where he came from.
He asked him again if he has done a gatekeeping job before.
He said yes that he has experience.
Then again he asked him if he knew me from anywhere.
He said no.
In his words.
"Sir, I no know am na person wen I just see for road this morning, I beg am make he find me money to eat he said he no dey give strangers money but he go fit carry me go where dem dey sell food buy food for me. So he carry me go to one mamaput restaurant, buy food for me so he kon ask me wetin I dey do I tell am say nothing say I dey find work since but I no see. He ask me which kin job I dey find? I tell am any job at all so I fit dey see money chop. He told me that I will find, I should not worry, meanwhile I don dey find job since for like two months I no see I don even lose hope. So he give the woman wen dey sell food some money tell her say anytime I wan chop make she give me food that this money he give am go last my feeding for a week, I dey cry dey thank him, he left, only for him to come back less than 20 minutes to tell me say he don find work for me. Na him I dey here so."
The man was so touched by this kindness.
"Wow. Such kindness. Na God remember you like this. Congratulations. Can you resume work today? Your salary is 40,000 naira monthly?"
He screamed in happiness.
"Yes sir. Yes sir. I fit start now, now."
The man employed him immediately.
"Congratulations once again. This is your new house. Your salary is 40k and in three months if you do well I will increase it to 60k."
I was shocked.
The young man fell to his knees and began to cry, he couldn't believe it at all from the beginning, it was like a dream.