There was a place I use to have lunch at ojodu when I was in Lagos.
The canteen was owned by a Ghanaian family.
The husband was in charge of logistic, the woman was in charge of the kitchen while the children took care of customer service.
I was addicted to their delicious foods.
It was in the evening, after eating, I stayed behind to catch some breeze before leaving.
A conversation led to the other between the husband and other men and he started this story with….
“Take good care of yourself if you don’t want to die untimely, I almost lost my life years back when I was working and not eating…”
This followed a happening at ojodu concerning a hardworking man that lost his life due to low blood count and bad nutrition.
The Ghanaian man narrated his story.
Few years ago when I came to Nigeria with my wife, I was working as a load carrier at Balogun market, I help people carry the goods they buy from the market to the park or cars and I get paid.
That was what I could do then because there was no job available for me. My wife’s family on the other hand, didn’t want me to marry her because they thought I won’t be able to take care of her.
Not even when I was taking her away from home to Nigeria. So I was doing everything possible to prove them wrong.
I’ll work from morning till evening and when I’m going home, I’ll go to a nice boutique and get her beautiful dresses.
I’ll buy her good things and I didn’t starve her, all these was to prove that I am a good husband.
I never worried about myself.
I leave home as early as 6am so breakfast was off for me and I’ll get home by 6:30pm.
After working and I had bought what I wanted to buy for my wife, I’ll just remove transport fare and hand over the remaining cash to her to get anything she likes.
Guess what I do eat just to save money.
Gala and coke.
Sometimes, Bread and coke.
I thought I was strong until this very day when I had loads on my head and my legs failed me.
I couldn’t control myself, I fell down with the loads and started shaking. Everyone thought it was epilepsy so people did not come closer.
I was hearing voices from afar.
I felt my tissues stretching out and my empty stomach rumbling, my feet went cold and my tongue went sour.
I thought I was going to die.
That was all I remembered.
Few minutes or hours later, I woke up on a long wooden bench and saw people using books to fan me, I opened my eyes and all I could say was, I am hungry.
I had a friend then, he was the one that introduced me to the work, he ran to buy amala, I think 5 wraps and brought them, I was on the third wrap when I slept off.
I slept for 2 hours.
I woke up to meet my head on my wife’s laps, she was crying.
That was my last day as a load carrier in that market. When we got home my wife insisted that I was not going to continue that job because it was too stressful and she never knew I wasn’t eating good food at work.
To my surprise, my wife brought out like 7 mud-moulded piggy banks and broke them.
Guys I wanted to go crazy, she had been saving all the cash I gave her since, I didn’t know when I started crying.
We counted it and it was like 700k or there about, I can’t remember. We planned on what to use the money for and she suggested we start a canteen since that was what her mother does in Ghana and that was it.
We started small and here we are today.
But this story is sweet because I was lucky to be alive, if I had died that day, you won’t be here listening to my story.
No matter what you are going through in life, eat first, because you need energy to pull yourself through those challenges you are facing.
And thank God for a good wife