By Omordia, Efe Alexandra – The fact that West Africa is home to so much talent is no longer news. However, what is yet to make the headlines is the fact (albeit subjective) that the World’s fastest people reside in the sub-region. Forget what the rankings depict. Right here are a large number of young men and quite a few courageous women who would give people like Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and the like a run for their money in any race track. These groups of undiscovered sprinters are hardly aware of the gift they possess as they are more concerned about making their daily bread than they are about anything else. Their gifts like that of most of their contemporaries remain untapped and it’s not for lack of being visible as an interested (or even an indifferent party who is stuck in traffic) is bound to view them in most major routes. These hawkers, who are hounded by their lack, as well as the authorities (who try to get them off the streets without any adequate alternative), carry goods ranging from shaving stick to Sausage Rolls and these they try to sell in a desperate manner to people in their vehicles. A sudden surge in traffic is of no concern to these hawkers who run after the cars as if their lives depend on it and in certain cases, it really has as every once in a while, one unfortunate vendor gets trampled by a vehicle for trying to make a living in this dangerous way. The ease at which these vendors run after vehicles and criss-cross in-between them is a marvelous sight to behold and the look of satisfaction on their faces as they make a sale seems to beat that of an archetypal Gold Medalist as he/she crosses the finishing line in an international competition.
Daily, their numbers are increasing as more and more young people are forced to the streets in the bid to make a living. The elites and politicians in their air-conditioned vehicles who pass these groups of people daily seem not to spare a thought for these street urchins who expose themselves to the elements and other hazards. However, hope is not lost. Something in the stride of these youngsters as they try to make a sale, point to greatness, something in their fast and deft movements suggest a reversal of fortune, one in which they will end up in the race of life with greats that once started out with similar humble beginnings.