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The bread seller’s code



By Joseph Edgar . . .
Let me reveal a small secret. I have sold bread before. I sold on the streets of Shomolu for about two years and in all my waka, I never met T.Y. Bello talk less of getting a modeling contract and being shown all over the world.

I am very envious and remain angry at this twist of fate. We were the early bread sellers and yes, I also slept in the bakery so that I could be the first to jump into the smoking hot oven to collect the freshest breads for my eventual hawking.

Fate never took my weary legs to where I would find solace like it has done for this young lady. As I look into her eyes I still see the fear that one evil eunuch could rudely wake her up from her sleep and forcefully throw her back into the doldrums that was her life until that fateful evening.

Fate is wicked. It left me alone on the streets of Shomolu while it suddenly woke up to the reality of its responsibilities by tapping this lonely Yoruba girl and thrusting her into the klieg lights of fortune. She is today celebrated even by those who had bought her bread and refused to pay. Her fortune changed today with no effort other than walk past that particular street at that particular time, and given her children an opportunity to be counted, and also given the rest of us hope that our bread selling days where not in vain.

This usually doesn’t happen in Nigeria. This is the fabled American Dream, where hope is suddenly ignited in a seemingly hopeless situation. I read her story, making just N700 daily from trudging along sun patched footpaths of the poor. Sleeping on bare dirt floors of the bakery and yet not even for once thinking of leaving her poor but obviously very loving husband.

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Yes, the husband. I saw his pictures cradling his child still stunned at just what had happened. What kind of a man is he? Is he truly a lazy man or just one of us who despite all our hard work still find poverty a reluctant partner? Our society is crazy, people hiding billions in soak away pits while the rest of us send our wives to the bakery floor to eke a living for the family.

He must be very gentle, the type that would have given his all for his family hence the continued support of his newly minted kardashian of a bread seller wife. If he wasn’t loving, she would have rebelled now with her new friends and fancy clothes.

I know this is temporary. The users will milk all the media mileage that they can from this and dump her when they are tired. Today she is everybody’s friend and you will start hearing stories of how they started the bread selling business together. In fact, I have just heard of how she was pointed out to T.Y. Bello who took the iconic shot. My prayer is for her to achieve some sustainable benefits that would at least give her two kids a better chance just before the hyenas finish with her and face the next victim.

As for me, I stand beside a bakery at Sabo waiting to collect my own bread for onward hawking. I hope T.Y hasn’t gone to bed for she must discover me. If she has, I will wait by her gate and scream as loud as I can, ‘buy your Bread’ for it can never be too late. I sold bread before.

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