The Beggar's ReligionHis voice was a familiar sound -- we had heard it so much that we almost thought it part of nature. Abu, as we always called him, was the town's famous beggar. No one knew where he came from -- people had postulated theories about where he came from; some said he came from the North because of his name and funny accent, others claim that he probably came down from heaven while others were of the opinion that he was from our town and was indeed family.
The first postulation was the most believed because most people found the second extremely silly while the latter was extremely improbable because if he was from our town we would have known a family member or two but people who believed in that theory were far from wrong; Abu had lived in our town ever since anyone could recount. If this didn't qualify him as family, I don't know what else would.
Everyday he would sit beside the church and shout "If you have some, give me, my God will also give you." We had heard this so much that if one day, he was to sit down and stay mute, we would have all imagined him saying it. When one drops a coin into his broken calabash, he would clasps his hand together, put it on his face and mutter a word which no one heard (probably no one cared to ask).
So one day, as I was passing by, I saw Abu looking very ill, so when I got near him instead of putting some few coins into the calabash, I bent down and asked him if he was okay, he looked at me shockingly. I understood him perfectly because no one really cared about him; it then occurred to me that no one knew where he lived. To be honest, ever since I had heard his name, I had never heard anyone say Abu lives here or Abu lives there.
So I asked him again "Abu, are you well?" He replied"Meet me at the river tonight". Although this answer beard little meaning, little relevance, I couldn't help but wonder why he wanted to meet me. So I dropped some few coins,stood up and left.
At eight in the evening, I headed for the riverside and there, Abu sat waiting for me. He was dressed fabulously! And for why a beggar should dress fancifully was a mystery I was yet to explore.
"Behold! Today is my happy day! I am about to join my maker. I will join her in Paradise, I will sit beside her with three beautiful virgins fanning me" he said.
"Abu, what do you mean?"
He gave a high pitched laughter "For thirty years, I have sat near the church, giving blessings to all those who have been kind to give me some few coins or note"
He brought out a polythene bag full of money! It was so strange that a beggar should have such money.
"What're you doing with all these money? Didn't you ever spend the monies you got?"
"It was never mine to spend"
Before I could stop him, he run to the river and poured all the money into the river! I was there transfixed; he rolled himself in the river and the last thing he said before drowning was "This is the beggar's religion; I am going to meet my maker and the money I threw away is my lorry fare to heaven. I hope its enough for "dropping". Then I heard him no more; it was easier to presume he was dead.
I was a bad friend, I didn't help Abu, I was so shocked to help him. Three days later, he was washed ashore and the people who saw him said that for the first time they knew Abu, they had seen a smile on Abu's face. I prayed to God and assumed that finally my friend had found happiness.
by J.y. Frimpong
Posted by: J.y. Frimpong
Billy | 8/15/2015 8:55:18 PM
hamdiya | 10/30/2015 12:12:28 PM
nice keep it up dear.REPLY