His Hustle

Posted: October 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hustle 1

At a glance you may have thought he was high on some cheap alcohol. Yes! His pants were wet, his coat as dirty as it could get but he was busy earning his daily bread, he was less concerned about how others perceived him.

He was sitting next to me in the matatu on my way to Nairobi. I was sitting on the seat closest to the door while two men sat on the other two seats. One was looking young while the other looked a little elderly. As I boarded the matatu I didn’t notice that there was some liquid on the floor but when the young man sitting between me and the elderly guy, I noticed the liquid and the big sack that he was holding. I took a better look as at the elderly man, he was looking weary, afraid and completely absent minded. He wasn’t as old as I had first perceived him. The sack that he was holding looked dry and he held it closely lest either I or any other passenger that may have been sitting next to him complained that he or she was being pushed or pressed by the huge heavy looking sack.  When I moved a seat closer I wasn’t sitting as comfortable since he was occupying my seat as well. He paid the same fare as the rest of us. The fare he was charged made me remember of how in a different route he would have been charged twice or even three times more for the heavy sack that he was straining to hold and sit comfortably. I didn’t pay more attention to him as our journey proceeded. When we got closer to his destination, he politely requested the taut to drop him off at the specific stage.

For him to alight, the taut (who was now sitting next to me) and I had to alight. The taut helped him remove the large sack from the vehicle. He was thankful, he removed his phone, I think it was to call for help. It was at this moment that I noticed his wet pair of trouser. It was soaked with something but for sure it wasn’t urine. My heart went out to him. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans. He didn’t look as bothered with the wetness but more with the discomfort of wet jeans on a hot morning. I could imagine and see how people would be looking at him when he passed by anywhere in wet pants and a huge sack on his back.  If his children were to see him, what would they say or think of their father. How about his wife would she be embarrassed, would she embrace him, insult him or get him another pair of pants? I tried to fit in his shoes and I would have literally collapsed of shame in a similar scenario, imagining that I have to move around in wet pants despite the fact that it isn’t pee and am sober.

This man was wearing a brave face for that situation or circumstance. He wasn’t going to turn and go back home just because of that, he was going to embrace the day and carry on with his business. He wasn’t going to let such a thing ruin his earnings.

How many times we have passed out an opportunity because of our so called “social status”, thinking about how the other people will view us. We are always in search of white collar jobs like our parents, teachers and mentors have always convinced us to do. Can we allow ourselves to carry such huge, heavy and wet sacks? Sacks that will keep licking knowing that we will still make money or would we be more at ease to look for a way out? If there is a way out why not but we should always respect other peoples effort and work. Only they know where the shoe pinches, only they know how rough or smooth the road is. Only they know why allow the wetness on the pair of trousers and not any other way even paying for an extra seating space for the sack.

May our good Lord bless the work of this man’s hands, may he always provide for he and his family. May He help us respect all hustles in this society, may we appreciate the work that others are doing because in one way or another it affects us and we affect them.

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