Memoirs of a Bolt Guy: Giving, as a universal principle

By Victor Kwame Sampong

I noticed something these past few weeks or even months sef. It wasn’t until I took Big Ralph and his friends to an orphanage somewhere at Eagle Island that it really dawned on me that this is actually a thing.

There were four young men in total who got into my car. They said I should take them to Market Square for some shopping. I asked about the nature of the movement and they told me the places they were likely to go. We discussed and agreed on terms.

I joined them inside and we put heads together to get some basic household items like noodles, vegetable oil, biscuits, soft drinks, eggs, detergent, soap, and a whole lot of other stuff. Everything got loaded in the boot of my car and we set off for Eagle Island.

During the course of the journey, a disagreement ensued between Big Ralph and one of his comrades, Daniel. Daniel was accused of not contributing enough to the shopping spree despite being the ‘richest’ amongst them. Big Ralph wasn’t happy at all. The excuse given by Daniel was that he had plans for his funds, which he said were tied down elsewhere. These excuses all fell on deaf ears. His friends felt he was being too stingy.

Big Ralph admonished him that giving to Orphans has its own unique way of opening doors for them. And it’s something he shouldn’t take lightly. They tried to bring me into the conversation once in a while to get my thoughts about the subject matter. I chipped in when I could anyway.

We got there and we were ushered into the premises and the parlour of the orphanage. Different kinds of children were housed there. I took time to scan around the room with my eyes and observed how happy the kids were when they saw visitors coming to their aid. Honestly, I was moved to tears.

Many of them have never known a parent of any kind. The closest thing they have to a family are those around them right there. I am an orphan but not in this mould. I’ve been lucky in life though and I should be more grateful for the chances I’ve been given thus far.

Like it’s their routine, the kids sang to welcome us. One of the staff addressed us in the absence of the guardian, who she said went away to check up on their other shelters within the state too.

After receiving the goods, we were asked our heart desires. We all stood up to hold hands in a circle and prayers were offered on our behalf by the children. This part was exactly what brought Big Ralph and his crew to the place. They believed that the cries of these children penetrated the heavens easily and got to the children’s God faster than theirs. So, they do these acts regularly as a means to open more doors and gain more favour in their chosen line of businesses.

They’re not alone in this line of reasoning. Within the past year, I’ve gone on such trips about five times if I’m not mistaken, with different sets of young men and to different locations too. It’s not in my place to tell them otherwise.

However, I do believe that the children in those centres deserve more love and care from the larger society. I remember celebrating, my son, Don Carlos’ first birthday at an Orphanage somewhere in Rumuokoro. I had wanted to make it an annual ritual but unfortunately, I fell off that task.

This particular trip was a rude awakening to me. I’ll try to visit there once in a while with my widow’s mite whenever I can. Old but good clothes, shoes, and any household items my lean pockets can spare would be sent there once in a while. Not for the same sentiments my clients carry in their heads, but for the simple reason that ‘Giving Is a Universal Principle’!

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