Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Newspaper Man

In the simplest form, Capitalism is the survival of the fittest

Donatus (not his real name) has been selling newspaper even before we moved to Omole Estate (in 1995). Everyday when I pass by, I cannot help but wonder,
who is Donatus?Does he enjoy being a newspaper man?
Sometime i want to stop and ask him but such conversations could position me for unwarranted requests on funds transfer (and I personally am not that keen on such information).

But just as a mental exercise, I cannot help but wonder how life being him is. As human we have our little habits, ways of doing things that makes us uniquely ourselves. His presence is such that he has become a permanent fixture in the Omole morning landscape come rain, sun and all the holidays taken in Nigeria.
I tend to wonder the size of his market (in terms of profit returns) as his "lucrative" business has created competitior. There are over three newspaper seller located at strategic points across my estate.To me, understanding Donatus gives insight into the Nigerian struggle. Suffering and Smiling without knowing it.

I sometimes think they are a different species entirely. Just think about this questions. I mean really think about these questions in the context of their livelihood. How is life being a newspaper man?
1.What is his perception of a lucrative business?
He earns an average of =N=10 per item sold. Assuming he sells 60 Newspaper. That is a profit of =N=600 per day; about $5
2. Does he love his jobs?
3. Beyond becoming a newspaper man, is there a career progression path in view?
3. What is his work-life balance?
4. Is he married?
5. Is he the perfect husband to his wife?
6. Are they happy?
7. Do they express their love they way we do?
8. What is a holiday to them like (because I see him in the on the street everyday)?
9. What are their day to day challenges?
I have seen him on the phone a couple of times (hands on the red button ready to cut the line.. I think he was flashing).
10. Does he have friends?
11. What jobs do they do?
12. How/where do they hang out?
13. Do they have "Recharge card" girls that disturb them daily, and who are they?
14. When they hang out what do they talk about, and find funny?

Behind that embodiment of a newspaper man is someone just like me. The failure of our welfare system has placed him in a position where his views are neglected and people over look what value he adds to our general life experiences; aiding smooth transfer of information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha, really nice one, begs me to ask myself these questions too.

i can assure you that "Donatus" does not sell paper aklone, at night he will be a night guard or fry akara at a junction or even pick pockets.