Walking with my camera few months ago, hunting for stories I can tell with my craft, I sighted this aged woman who would probably be in her 80’s or even 90’s begging for alms from a man in his luxurious SUV. As a compassionate being (only God knows why I get emotionally connected with people’s needs easily) I didn’t know when I started shedding tears forgetting I was on one of the busiest express ways in Nigeria. Realizing this, I quickly stylishly wiped my tears and raised my camera to shoot, getting landscape and portraits orientation, I decided not to take a full image as I know I won’t be able to stand it. It was a torn bathroom footwear she was wearing at her age (and I know that danger if she should slip on a mud or tiled floor).
I wonder why we have been so insensitive to the needs of people around us, especially those who can not help themselves. Like this woman, no one will employ her. And maybe her family is all dead or something, still we need to look into housing these precious ones. They have labored on some of us and it’s time to give back to them.
It always hit me hard to see older ones beg. Such should not be, especially in the midst of such wealth as a nation. I am tasking the Nigerian government to do something about this. Save our older ones from begging and roaming the streets and let’s create homes for them, especially the homeless, internally displaced and dysfunctional older folks. This is one of the responsibilities of a functional society.
The woman pictured lives in Ifo, Ogun state, Nigeria. She goes about with her mat which she rests on when tired. She routes the environment daily, begging for alms.
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