I have a very weird friend, weird – because everyone that who knows him says he is mentally unstable but I beg to differ. He is just a complicated fellow. Today, he is selling newspapers by the junction… Tomorrow, he is carrying a wheelbarrow of chicken droppings and the next day? He is farming.
Until my friend shreds his clothes and eats from the bin, I will never agree he is mad. I try to think of him as one of those people who are too intelligent and their bodies cannot contain it. He is supposed to be a graduate…. studied Geology. If this guy talks about rocks, mineral deposits and natural resources, your mouth will be left open and he does that in simple everyday English language. He is just too intelligent. Even current affairs, He amazes me.
I see him on the road in his worn out clothes; sometimes happy, sometimes – sad, other times -agitated. People making bad comments, snide remarks and making jest of him.
Some even greet him so they can laugh when he answers but he is carefree.
My friendship with him started with a “Hi” he smiled and answered. I was shocked because I didn’t expect a response because I was just “trying my luck”. Next time, I stopped and asked how his day was going and he actually chatted intelligently with me. Other pedestrians were crossing to the other side of the road and looking at me like I had gone mad. That is how my weird friendship started. Some days, I would be in a hurry to get to work; no time to chat but I would smile and wave. I am not a psychologist but i noticed he always had this big smile for me…any day!!Anytime!!
Now, something happened! I was on my way out when I saw him from a distance, he was gesticulating wildly, talking to himself and shouting at no one in particular; everyone disappeared from his side of the road but I was worried, I asked myself; should I just walk by like I don’t know him?? Or should I follow the crowd?? Well, I followed my heart.
I called him out from across the street….“My Oga..ah ah!! What is the problem na?? Who made you angry??”
From the time he saw me and crossed over to my side of the road, I must have prayed in 5 different languages, because his face was angry!! He wasn’t smiling and he was walking briskly towards me. I started asking myself why I finally allowed my village people use me like this.
He complained about how he cleaned out his poultry and took the droppings to a farmer but they refused to pay him every day he goes there, they tell him to come back the next day and he was going home to pick his wheel barrow so that he can retrieve his droppings.
In all sincerity, this young man made more sense in relaying his complaints than some of our young people whose WAEC results look like BBM pin… but what can I say?? I sympathized with him and encouraged him to go back and retrieve his product till he finds a worthy buyer. That was when he smiled!!! I was able to make him smile again and it made my “moment” as much as his.
Now, how does this relate to our personal lives?
The opinions of people are important but the final opinion should lie with you and be based on facts not sentiments. I don’t care what the whole street says about him because he is not mad to me; he is just a genius in need of direction. People’s opinion of him didn’t deter me from discovering such a selfless and kind fellow.
In this season of love and always, we should;
1. TRY!! Don’t always listen to what everyone has to say about somebody. You just might be the right person to make a difference.
2. Go out of your way to assist a customer, go out of your comfort zone to render service.
3. Never accept never!! Be result driven and strive to proffer solution. If you fail, stand up, dust yourself and try again.

Andikan Inyang
As a Chemical Engineering graduate, former Immigration Officer and present day banker.....and most importantly, a foodie, I hide behind my pen.......therein lies my strength. I hope to pursue a career in writing and explore the world of poetry. So help me God.