Where I came from I can’t remember nor where my siblings and parents live can I tell. All I can say is that “the street is my home and the fellow street children are of same brotherhood.”
I’ve learned how to become a man at a very young age. Hustling is our street mantra – all to make ends meet and have a piece of our daily bread.
My buddies and I steal, ‘poach’ and borrow never to return to survive on the streets. Whenever the situation becomes hopeless, we result into begging. Anywhere belle face, we go.
One mistake we never make is to walk alone or stray away from our territory. We always watch each other’s back, least we become victims of kidnap, abuse or ritual killing.
Though it really has been a tough and challenging life I’ve learned to be independent. I do all kind jobs to survive against all odds. Then, I reward myself with a meal filled with assorted meats, accompanied with a smoke and alcohol at the end of the day.
Don’t bother to criticize me ‘cos I know that to survive this hard life, I must end the day “high”, so, I know where to buy the best stuff at a good price and get credits at low times.
Least I forget, I also treat myself to a good time with street hawkers for so little. I remember a while ago, I was robbed by one of them of all my life savings. On seeing her the next day, she denied ever meeting me and almost cost me my life when she raised a theft alarm on me.
Are you asking me how I protect myself from STIs? My belief is that disease no dey catch black man – they are figments of some people’s imaginations. If I live today, it’s an opportunity and if I wake up tomorrow, a miracle.
Do you know we have ranks amongst us? The older ones are usually the bullies and commit all sort of unimaginable atrocities against us. You just need to study them to outsmart them.
Life on the street is tough and only the strongest and luckiest survive.
Sometimes, I tried to be good but the street creed seems to be a stronger influence and there’s no hiding from it if you live there. Even, imagine what life would be if I was adopted- living with a father and mother that truly cares about me, have siblings that don’t tear at each other but build up.
I’m the face of every street child with dreams and hopes but no future. This is the life I know now but desire for a better one.