Co - founder
Let me take you back to a 16yr old me, jeez ! seems like just yesterday.
It has been 2yrs since I saw my father. We left him behind. I miss him.
This will be my first visit back, I hope my friends remember me, I hope they still like me, I hope I remember the road home, I hope the house is as I remember it, I hope I stay safe
I can’t believe everything has changed so, everything seems smaller, the sofa seemed smaller, my room seems smaller, I tower over everything. My new found nickname has become “Iroko tree”
There is something familiar in the air, subtle, comforting, clean, crisp, i stretch out my tongue to taste it, and there it was - Rain.
It rained so hard, the vibrations as it dissipated across my skin could be felt, I make no haste to find shelter, my leisure stroll home soaking wet with a grin caused the look of dismay I got from strangers.
“Are you mad!” the sound of my moms voice reverberated me back to earth. I am familar with the look on her face, it is usually followed with an ear twisting; I assume the stance - cover my ears with both hands and shut my eyes to generate some pretend tears, however I soon realise the folly in my act as my already wet face does me a disservice. So distorting my face in a cry like manner will have to do - however to my surprise, I am met with a beautiful smile. I’m stunned, so I keep the cry face a bit longer while I determine where I stand.
Her laughter follows, and I loose the cry face and replace with a smile, I realise by the look in her eyes, she too has missed the Rain, the smell, the sound, the crowns formed when a droplet strikes the ground.
So moments later, I get dry, change my clothes and seek out my dad. He lies on the sofa, newspaper in hand. I get closer and make out he is reading his favourite “The Guardian”.
“Daddy can you take me to the place Sigho volunteered?” he responded “mhmmmm, why do you want to go there?”
“I want to buy a bag of rice, some yams and provisions to take down there” “I’ll give you the money” I said.
“Ok, why not buy school books, pen and pencils so they can practise and improve themselves”
“Daddy I want to buy the food items” I answered back.
“Ok give me the money, I’ll buy it tomorrow and then we can drop it off in the afternoon”. He smiled, I realise that he knows that the laws of nature just occurred, the younger sister emulating the older sister they look up to.
The next day, my first visit to the charity home and I’m excited. I ride in the front seat with my dad with my neck turned to face the side window, I want to absorb this into my memory, I want the frames flashing before my eyes to be stored and never leave.
We arrive and when dad opens the booth of the car, I realise there is double of everything I bought. His eyes meets mine and he responds “I doubled your effort”.
We offload the items, and he gave me enough money to return home later. I spent the rest of the day sat amongst teenagers from the same age group, we play a game of draughts, and I’m feeling so at home. It feels so natural and effortless, and lots of laughter.
Now, it was getting dark and time for me to go HOME. That was the difference, I could get up, walk and make my way home. But they could neither walk nor go home, truth is they were orphans and quadriplegics.
The divide was born. I “have” and they “have not”.
This was the birth of purpose - my constant hope is that people remember how I made them feel - a feeling of sanguine.