Hawking in Calabar was just the last thing I ever imagined I’ll get into.
Hawking indeed has shown me the irony of life. Permit me to share a little before I tell you one of my HAWKSCAPEDES as I call them.
The bricklayer earnestly prays for the sun to shine so that his blocks will dry. The vegetable planter needs a fair weather so that her vegetables won’t perish. The pure water seller wishes that the weather remains hot so that you’ll thirst.
So it was around 2007 and my dad had lost his job. Mum had just completed her NTI training. She was offered a job that will pay about 15 thousand naira monthly. This paltry sum wasn’t enough for her to cater for the family well. The next alternative she saw was going to the market to buy goods and sell.
She informed me that I SHOULD SEE REALITY AND HELP MYSELF. This news broke my heart. None of my friends hawked, that I knew. How would I do this? This was pride playing drums on my head, I later discovered.
My first day of selling pure water was unique. I practically avoided every street I know my classmates lived in. I hurriedly rushed back home after selling about half of the content.
One fateful hot day, I picked up my cold sachet water to sell as usual. I have no idea whatsoever what meeting my class mates had that made them to return from school late. I saw them from afar and someone amongst them was yelling for “Pure Water”.
I couldn’t turn back because I wasn’t sure if I had been seen. Turning back would be more horrible, I told myself.
I took the opposite direction, twisted my legs like I was partially crippled. I turned my face towards the other side of the road while maintaining the polio infected human movement. I could hear one of them saying that
“the pure water boy we passed resemble Prince Ekanem o”. Another remarked that “e fit be him cousin o”.
It didn’t take long until the whole class knew about my Hawking status. They were all very supportive and never did they use it to ‘yab’ me. I really wouldn’t have cared even if they had used it. Pride is a self destructive weapon that can make one do THE UNTHINKABLE. Kill pride and you are free.
My name is Prince Ekanem.
I really don’t know how to start this bio data something. I was born on June 16 199 something… I just graduated from History and International Studies, Unical.