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How a tea seller’s kindness and generosity changed my life forever, by Elisha Bello, Ph.D.


How a tea seller’s kindness and generosity changed my life forever, by Elisha Bello, Ph.D.

Yesterday, I embarked on a nostalgic journey to visit the son of the late Mallam Ahmadu, a kind-hearted individual who had significantly impacted my life during my entrepreneurial venture in Buni Yadi, Gujba LGA, Yobe State. I used to design and sell posters and stickers featuring Hausa Movie Kannywood actors, Bollywood actors, and football players. My business trips would take me to Kano, where I’d purchase these posters and return to sell them in rural markets like Bumsa, Goniri, Kukuwa, Wagir, Buni Gari, and Tarmuwa.

Mallam Ahmadu, may he rest in peace, was a constant source of encouragement and support. He’d often welcome me with a warm smile and a refreshing African Tea, accompanied by bread and egg, all for just 450 NGN. I’d make it a point to deposit some money with him in advance, ensuring I could enjoy his hospitality whenever I returned from the markets. On occasion, he’d even offer me free tea, a gesture that meant the world to me.

One fateful day, I faced a significant setback when I lost my business capital due to unforeseen circumstances. With my SSS 3 school fees and WAEC/NECO exams looming, I was desperate for a solution. Despite pleading with those around me, I couldn’t gather the required 13,250 NGN. Feeling defeated, I considered abandoning my education to focus on my business. That’s when Mallam Ahmadu noticed my absence from school and inquired about the reason. I shared my predicament with him, and without hesitation, he asked me to return in the evening to collect the necessary funds.

True to his word, he handed me the exact amount from his wooden drawer, saying, “Allah ya Bada Nasara, Doctor Elisha” (May God grant you success, Doctor Elisha). I was overwhelmed with gratitude and asked how I could repay him. He simply said, “Whenever God blesses you, come back and pay me back.” Mallam Ahmadu’s kindness and encouragement stayed with me, and he fondly referred to me as “Doctor Elisha” due to my ability to read and interpret both Hausa and English languages.

READ ALSO: How a single act of kindness changed lives: The Story of a Widower and a Street Beggar

Fast-forward 20 years, and I recently had the opportunity to reunite with his eldest son, Salisu, who has continued his father’s legacy. As I shared this story with him, we both became emotional, reminiscing about the past. I treated myself to a cup of African Tea, and the memories of Mallam Ahmadu came flooding back. I’ve since repaid the debt and purchased food items for the family. Moreover, I’ve committed to supporting Fatima, his daughter, with her school fees until she completes her university education.

As I parted ways with Salisu, I shared with him that I’ve finally become a Doctor, just as his father used to affectionately call me. He was overjoyed and offered his prayers for me. This heartwarming encounter serves as a poignant reminder of the power of kindness and the impact one person can have on another’s life.

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