by Tade Falana
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
I met my first angel when I was 6 years old. He was perfect. His presence brought so much happiness and joy and everything he did was a wonder to everyone.
This angel was my baby brother Duro. He liked to eat raw onions and he perpetually smelled of them. He liked to kiss our dogs and once challenged our “Ileya” ram to a contest. My mum saved him just in time, before the ram could obliterate him off the face of the earth.
He liked to put pebbles in my dad’s car tires and whenever dad was going out, he’d run out to hear how they’d sound and he just could never understand the concept of a revolving fan. The poor fan didn’t live to tell the story.
I took Duro to class on his first day of school and when it was time for me to leave, his little face crumpled and tears filled his eyes. It broke my heart.
All of us will agree that children are angels(Well, most of them at least). They instantly light up your day and give you something to look forward to.
I personally believe that God knew how crazy our world would be and so he gave us children to compensate. And that’s why their perfect little smiles warm our hearts and hearing that tiny “I wuv you”, or in the case of my niece Tomi, “I lob you”, makes all the difference in the world.
The children of the world are suffering. They are faced with starvation and disease and are exposed to sexual predators and murderers. These angels are now being neglected and abused.
In Zamfara State of Nigeria, hundreds of children are dying of lead poisoning due to gold mining activities. A sum of about 600 million naira is needed for a cleanup. This amount is not forthcoming from the Nigerian government.
They would rather spend 16 billion naira on an official residence than save hundreds of dying children. The great Nelson Mandela once said ” There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” I wonder what hope there is for Nigeria if we continue like this.
It is our individual and collective responsibility as a nation to take care of our children and not just those related to us. Show love to a child today. By so doing, you are loving an angel and touching the very heart of God.
– P.S: (I would like to apologize to my little brother Timi, I really tried to describe you as an angel, I just couldn’t find the words).
Tade Falana is a graduate student of Psychology Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. She hopes to come out of the closet someday.
30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija