His name is Bashir Suleiman, he's a Mai-barrow and a proud one at that. I was privileged to have him gather my groceries and produce for me as I shopped in the market today.
First of all he was very well dressed with his clothes well ironed as if he was going to a proper office work and I was told by the fruit seller who saw my initial surprise when Bashir approached me that it was his custom to dress well daily to his Mai-barrow job. It got even more interesting when I caught a whiff of his "perfume" and noticed his socked feet in a pair of well polished sandals😀. Other barrow pushers approached me but with my curiosity already piqued and biased towards Bashir, I felt it an honor to have him gather my stuff for today.
Next, he had very good communication skills, his grammar may not have been ivy-league standard, but we communicated very easily while he helped bridge the gap between my Hausa language spattering and my needful communication in same language with my customers who spoke little or no English.
Bashir was very much involved in every bit of my shopping making sure I wasn't cheated and my change was properly counted out and given to me.
Bashir also showed me the best places I didn't even know existed in the market to buy the freshest produce at competitive prices.
Bashir was attentive, involved, sharp, smart, fast and market savvy too.
Whilst we were shopping, Bashir got as many as 3 different phone calls from customers like me who were en route the market and wanted him on standby for them. One told him where to wait for her while the other told him she was prepared to wait till he was free to serve her since he was currently engaged.
Bashir did his job with a great attitude and a smile, he was polite and courteous yet humble and ready to serve.
At the end, I had to give Bashir much more than I have ever given a Mai-barrow( and believe me I always tip them generously) because Bashir beat all stereotypes and made my life much easier today.
Of course I left with Bashir's phone number decisively saved in my phone book. People like Bashir have further strengthened my belief that the future generation of our country can and will excel and be better than the past generations. Tomorrow we may just see a registered company--Bashir Uber-Mai-barrow Ltd, with clean, well dressed and courteous service boys...making shoppers' lives easier, earning good money, even paying taxes to the government and contributing their quota to the system versus the modern day entrenchment of criminality by the teeming unemployable youth that are not ready to work yet maraud the society today.
Now this is what I call, progress, long sightedness, wisdom and imminent vital prosperity. Let's all join hands and make the skies of these young men a stepping stone by encouraging them in whatever ways possible.
Thanks for reading....