Stuck in traffic today, I happened to gaze through the window and I saw a woman. This woman was quite young, she had a baby at her back and two other ones dragging after her. The oldest couldn’t have been any thing over five, while the other child was about two. This woman bent to assist her little daughter in retying her shoe laces, obviously they had come loose in the middle of a busy road. The other girl not knowing her mother had stopped continued walking forward and almost walked into the mouth of a coming vehicle. She was quickly dragged out of harms way by a sympathetic passerby. The nice woman waited for the mother to catch up with them before moving towards her own business.
In my mind, I wondered how the woman did it everyday. The same struggles, the same thing over and over again. Dragging sleepy, irritated little ones to God knows where, she herself tired from the stress of the day and trying to stay sane, knowing quite well she still had a lot to do when she got home.
I wondered for a long while and I remembered Iya Bisi.
You see, when I was in Junior secondary school, a very mad woman lived on a dump the next street to ours. I did not know how she got mad neither did anyone. It seemed that she had been there forever. She would eat whatever she found, some days she would dance to front of shops and try to cajole a Naira or two out of the shop owner. That was Iya Bisi.
Iya Bisi could dance. She would sway her waists in tune to the beats played by little kids who would run after her in their spare time. To them, she was a way to catch fun. She always gave them a run though, as unexpectedly, she would stop dancing and chase them off. She could run quite well too.
Iya Bisi was pretty. Beneath the soot, dirty rags she wore, her brown and dirt invaded hair, you could see that she had once been a beauty. Iya Bisi could also smile and smile she did even with her yellow stained teeth.
Surprisingly, Iya Bisi got pregnant. No one knew how that happened. All we knew was that we spotted her with a bump, a very round one at that. She carried her pregnancy successfully, still eating the rubbish she ate daily and one morning, tenants woke, shop owners resumed to find a baby laid on the dump beside its mother. It was a girl!
Who named her Bisi, I cannot recollect but I know that everyone called her that. Bisi was a surprise to many. So many people gathered to discuss the matter, the birth of a baby by a mad woman. “When did she go into labour? Who helped her? Who cut the umbilical cord? Who bathed the child?” They were so many questions asked but no one had an answer.
Bisi grew with her mother, a healthy baby, rings and robust. So full of life and smiles. Who taught her mother how to breastfeed, no one knew but she was breastfed. When she was bigger, she ate from the rubbish her mother ate, drank the water she did, and did all her mother did with her.
One day however, Bisi was nowhere to be found. Rumours had it that someone, perhaps a relative had come to take her to live with him. We didn’t know, we only hoped it was true.
The truth is we humans only try. It is God who finishes it all. Try as you may, if God does not want it so, it wouldn’t be. No matter where you are or what you are going through, if BISI could make it, you would make it too. We have a GOOD father and he is perfect in all of his ways. Stay in the moment and don’t lose hope!