My Experience as a Road hawker.
I was tired of sitting at home with nothing to show as the reward, I decided to contact my street friend Uche who i really envy because every weekend when he was at home he bounced from earth to heaven and back to earth like a big boy while the small boys like myself in the area looked up to him. On this very day after i had made that determination I went to him “Uche abeg i dey find work,help your guy” I said as if i was praying rubbing my palm over the other. He was silent for some minutes i guessed he was thinking of helping me or not,after what seems like hours he considered me “guy tomorrow na Monday so you go need reach here by 5:00am if i nor see you by that time then forget am.” he said as he picked up his phone to answer a call. “5am bawo” I thought, Me that 5am is the best sleeping hours for but on the other hand i needed money,beggars can’t be choosers,therefore the next day I was at Uche’s house at exactly 4:40am,things we do for money. Getting to his house I met other street big boys as we all started the long ride to our workshop as they say “it is where a man works there he shops that’s why it is called workshop” (pidgin).
After one hour of the drive we got to a popular market in Lagos,before i could say ABC guys were already out of the “danfo”(a yellow Volkswagen bus in Lagos) changing into another cloth,I saw Uche too removing his shirt and slipping on another cloth as i didn’t bring any cloth i just stood still observing,before I could breath in guys were already moving towards their area of specialization collecting their wares into a carton while Uche led me to a woman whom he introduced me to as his brother,the woman took two cartons and filled it with gala,one for me the other for Uche, He led me to where we were to resume,guys were already there running after cars,buses,bikes etc Uche soon join the race while I carried my own portion of the gala like I was new in Lagos. If Nigeria really want to win gold medals in track event then this was the place to picked up raw talent and groom them,they run with skill and zeal,some of them sold more than three cartons a day while I had manage to sell one gala and made a loss of three galas due to all those wicked buyers in vehicles that will pick one gala and drive away and I wasn’t ready to run after them,Uche paid for the loss thinking I was new to the trade.
The next day we were back to the road but sales was not really moving,then Uche received a call on his phone,he ended the call “them say hold up(traffic jam) dey Oshodi o” he told us before I knew what’s up guys were already boarding vehicles with their wares to Oshodi,Uche drew me aside “this place we dey go na danger zone o because them no dey allow us hawk for there once you see any vehicle watch very well before you move close,no dull yourself o” he told me while we boarded our own bus to Oshodi. The hawking soon began while we were happy with the traffic jam people in the bus were visibly angry but that didn’t stop them from buying gala at least to keep their mouth busy. I was lost in the euphoria of making sales when I heard “Ambode boys don arrive o” I saw guys running here and there,then from my part of the road I saw six boys pleading as they were being dragged by their trousers into a bus, I quickly carried my wares and took to my heels. As we return home as guys talked about those that were caught,I knew deep down within me that was my last day with them.