On April 24, 2015, while I was running errands with Portia Mwinbeter-ib Dery, we both had problems with our sandals so decided to get a cobbler to mend them. Close to the former administration block of the Tamale Senior High School in Sagnarigu sat a cobbler with well arranged tools working.
I must say I have seen the man sit there for over four years and never suspected he had a deformity. I had to take a good look at him when he butted into the conversation Portia and I were having. What he had to say got our attention.
“A man must be one who thinks about his family. Of what use are rivalling women when you can build a home with one? I have three children with a beautiful woman and I work hard to take care of my children. Many Dagbons do not think before acting, so they take many wives and have many children even if they cannot take care of them. That is very sad indeed”
Then Portia asked if I was listening, and I was.
“I work hard here. Many people bring their bags, sandals and others for repairs here because they know I repair well. If I repair them well, I know that it will last longer and the people will have no problem if I charge them more. How people here shout on their customers baffle me. It is as though they think they are doing the buyers a favour but it is rather the buyers who do them favours. I come here as early as I can and leave as late as I can.”
We looked and saw he was a cripple. Then we decided to take pictures of him and let the world hear of this inspirational being, an inspirational being from the Upper West Region of Ghana who does not think of begging on streets like others. One who finds the shows of pity on streets by deformed beings preposterous, and he so gladly obliged.
Bags he was going to mend
He really chats his customers and makes sure they are relaxed and feel at home
He takes his time to really work on whatever he works on
This is his vehicle, he parks it right in front of his base always. Amazing how it never caught my attention
The puzzled Portia stood in watch, saying how incredibly inspirational he was
You are likely to always see him this way, always working to make a living for his family and himself
Asked for a good pose, he still held on to his work
Cares are rare in fairs
Rabbits hop free now because
Craving teeth are busy
If ants walk and run,
Search and carry while careful
Whose excuse is laze?
A Kyaatuur takes his stick
Drags himself and rides through the
Weathers high and low
Who are you to sit?
Who are you to create such lazy scenes
Of hunger and deprivation?
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015