Lagos: An action packed city that never sleeps. Travelling through Lagos can be an eye opener into hustlers’ life. To the hustlers on the streets of Lagos; the spirit of Lagos is their story of survival on daily basis. I’ve read several books on the chronology of changes in people’s lives but none scripted a hustler’s life so comprehensive like that of the autobiography of Malcolm X; a legend that lived the street life to the fullest and later turn out to be an inspiration to many that believes in change regardless of their background or their past.
Sometimes in May, I had the opportunity to attend a program with Eric Obuh also known as Vocal Slender as a guest speaker. His life story is a touching one that left eyes with tears; the story of a hustler; a story of hope.
Eric Obuh is a fine young man who was bred and brought up in Ajegunle, Lagos. He was a school dropout who works on dumpsite by collecting recyclable materials to sell and then use the returns from it to support his dream of becoming an artiste. He was featured on Part 1 of the BBC documentary “Welcome to Lagos” and since then, he has been invited to speak at different occasions to share his story of survival. He now runs his music studio with a football academy that helps engaged young slum dwellers.
Of everything he said during the program, his emphasis on basic education being the fuel that propels him to greater height got stucked with me. According to World At School, a UK based Non- Profit, Over 58 million children are not in school and not learning.
The backbone of any society is education. There are lots of kids out there roaming around the street barefooted, sleeping under the bridge, hawking, some are already engaged in thievery and some already trafficked into prostitution. Some of these kids wish they are enrolled in school; wish for a better life but are born into challenges to live life in their own terms which makes their dreams of a better future seem unattainable.
Education to most of these kids on the street is the difference between life and death; a life saver that can break the vicious cycle of poverty in their family. These kids when not attended to are likely to become a threat that will sniff the peace out of the society and deny the society the freedom to live out fear.
The journey of a better society start with the society giving the future leaders (kids) access to opportunities which helps in improving their present state for a better future. There are genuine organisations out there that are equipping the less privileged children with opportunities for a better future through quality education and learning. These organisations can’t do it alone and need as much help as they can get from the public to continue in their philanthropy act of bettering the lives of the less privileged children through providing them with scholarships for quality education.
Education is our hope for a better society and a weapon which can be engaged to change the world