Courage in Humble Beginnings   Leave a comment

Banner Courage

As a boy on the streets of Nigeria, Rocky Peter Ajoku had to eat food from trash cans. He drank water from pot holes and broken pipes. Today he’s an American musician. Brad and I saw him featured on American Idol last year. When Brad found him on Utube a while back, he suggested I feature him as one of my “courageous ones.”

 

Rocky’s young life involved a great deal of child labor. Born in Oklahoma, he moved with his mother to her village in Nigeria when he was two. His mother became unable to care for him and he ended up on the streets, supporting a younger brother, scavenging for food. Music was a comfort for him. “It gave me hope,” he said.

Later their abusive uncle enslaved them to work on his farm. After four years, Rocky reports:

I left his house. Then I served random strangers as an indentured servant. I used the money I made to pay for middle school. By freshman year of high school, I was completely independent and worked in farms and construction sites to raise money for school and food.

Rocky also convinced other street children to teach him to speak English. In his late teen years, he successfully immigrated back to the USA.

Now you can get all exercised by the cruelty of child labor and say this should never happen. In principle, I agree. But then reality sets in. This was a young boy with few options, who overcame poverty by working so he could afford an education and a plane ticket to his country of birth where he had a chance to pursue other, better options.

Rocky says one of his greatest ambitions as a boy was to save up his money and buy a wheelbarrow. A boy with a wheelbarrow could bring water or other goods to the markets in a town, and build up his own business. In economic terms, Rocky sought to increase his capital — human capital through education and physical capital with a wheelbarrow.

In the direst of circumstances, Rocky never gave up. He wasn’t waiting around for someone to come save him. He was saving himself, day by day.

Don’t get me wrong. Child labor is cruel and we should find a way to make it unnecessary, but I admire that he didn’t give up and he didn’t wait around for some government agency to “rescue” him. And, I think making the activities he used to get himself out of those circumstances illegal does not help the solution. That just would have limited his options to begging in the streets.

Rocky Peter’s problem growing up was poverty. His solution to that problem was work. For all the unfairness of that situation, there is a whole lot more dignity in wheeling a barrow full of water to a construction site than there is in begging and eating out of garbage piles.

Advertisements

What's Your Opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Creative Ideas for Starving Artists

Brain juice that revives and refreshes

Real Science

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" - Richard Feynman

Marsha Ingrao

Traveling & Blogging Near and Far

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." ~C.S. Lewis

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

All About Writing and more

Advice, challenges, poetry and prose

Tapestry ~ Treasures

My life is but a weaving between the Lord and me!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

S.R. Mallery's AND HISTORY FOR ALL

Everything Historical And Much More...

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Blog with a view - on books, music, humour and health

The Lil' Mermaid

Dream. Believe. Achieve

susanne matthews

Living the Dream

MomzillaNC

A blog about issues, life in general, and being a mom, and sharing my poetry.

Felix Alexander Writer

Storyteller Philosopher Poet

YOURS IN STORYTELLING...

Steve Vernon - Nova Scotia writer, storyteller and master of the booga-booga

Dreaming In Blushh

You Are In A Beauty Contest Every Day Of Your Life💕 Beautiful.Colorful.You

Breaking the rules

with a smile

Aurora

Where the world begins

Twisted Thoughts

Pardon my Random Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: