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That people will have so little to eat

A BOY, about 12 approached   my car as I stopped at a traffic light in Abuja. It was difficult to guess when last he might have had a bath. His bushy hair might not have felt the touch of a comb in a long while. When I looked more closely at him as he asked for alms, he was a beauty; like gold in a mud. I asked him his name. “Abdullahi.”  His surname? “Abinchi.” That means food in Hausa. So I explained what I was enquiring. He replied: “Abinchi.”  He was not smiling, so it wasn’t a joke. But I was convinced that could not be his surname. It might simply mean the reality he faces; hunger.

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How many people have you led across the road?

The routine is fairly the same. Early in the week, every week, I try to sit or lie still for a while and allow my mind to dwell on things I had witnessed, observed or read during the week. Sometimes my mind is crowded, in which case I silently pray for divine help in choosing a topic. Sometimes, on very rare occasions I must admit, the topic chooses itself with such clarity and force that I can’t wait to get to the computer. On some other occasions, it is the other way round. I am blank. I lie or sit there sometimes for a stretch, pondering what to write on.

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