Growing up as a child I will go round every Saturday in search of weddings. I attended the reception, got a good place to sit so I could be served food when it was time. I never knew the couples, haven’t met them from Adam. I was just one hungry young boy, who hustled for every food he ate, except for Saturdays when I got free meals from weddings.
The days I don’t get served, I returned home hungry and slept. Praying for God’s provision.
One day, this woman jumped me purposely and served the next guest. It wasn’t the first time I was being jumped in weddings, but that one touched me the most. She had known me. Probably seen me at one or two weddings before. Despite being begged to serve me food, she refused. She sent me out of the wedding. And when she was confronted she fought back.
“I know him. This is not the first time he is doing this. He comes to your occasion, attends it, and eats your food. Then he goes home. If you don’t stop him, he will continue. It is a bad habit.”
That day I went back home in tears. Hungry, disgraced, and tired.
So a month ago, at my friend’s sister’s wedding, I sat beside this mechanic boy whom I noticed had been standing there for over an hour. He squatted. Stood up and squatted again. Every chair was filled up.
I stood up, offered him my chair to sit down, and decided to stand. An usher saw me standing and brought me a chair to sit down. I sat beside the boy.
When it was time for food to be shared, the food got me, the mechanic boy was to be given next, but the usher gave it to the next person and jumped him.
I was angry.
I was upset.
I called her attention and asked why she had jumped the little boy even when she saw him sitting.
She apologized. Told me he doesn’t look like a guest for the wedding.
“Yet he is sitting, clapping, cheering and he doesn’t look like a guest? Please get him a plate to eat.” I instructed.
She left but never returned.
I handed the mechanic boy my plate of rice. He collected it. Thanked me, and without wasting time he began to eat.
When he had wiped the plate clean with his spoon, he stood up from the chair and walked off.
And I said to myself.
That was me.
That was my little self many years ago.
You will not feel a person’s pain until you have been in his shoes once. No wonder the rich who have been through poverty, strive to raise the poor out of poverty. Those who have been raped and sexually molested, seek justice for women and young girls who have gone through the same fate. Those who know what hunger feels like, strive to feed the poor even if it means using their last.
When you know you’ve passed through similar challenges in life, and you’ve seen someone going through the same, give a helping hand.
My name is Praises Chidera Obiora and I am the best at what I do.