We Are All Beggars – Why are the poor treated like the Living Dead?
Just recently, my joy online, a popular Ghanaian news site, put up a post about the homeless people on the streets of Accra. They were crying out that their lives are in danger. Some homeless people at the CMB area in Accra say their lives are under threat due to the circumstances they face on daily basis. Speaking to Emmanuel Dzivenu, some of the women said they endure harsh weather conditions, assault and the fear of being run over by vehicles while asleep. It seems like no one really cares about the homeless and they are usually ignored and treated like the Living Dead.
The Kwame Nkrumah Interchange has now become a home for the homeless.
Ever wondered what you’d do if you suddenly found yourself homeless – unable to pay rent in Accra and away from close friends and family? Where will you sleep? How will you survive on the streets of Accra?
For some who came to Accra looking for money and economic opportunities, the area around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle interchange isn’t for business; it’s home too.
It is at the Nkrumah Circle Interchange that many homeless people – some with jobs in offices spend their quiet moments.
Although Kwame Nkrumah Circle has transformed after the construction of the interchange, it is still no place for people to spend their days and nights.
Look at some of the photos here by City News to understand how bad the situation is.
I’m Homeless and Here’s my Story:
You probably see me everywhere, in the corners of the street, from Kade to Bantama, Kpando to Tachieman…. Well, I guess you don’t know who I’m referring to but it’s me, the living dead, yes! The wretched man in rags always fighting for your used cloth, begs for the leftover from your dining table, the blind and cripple who sit and beg along the road and shield himself in that uncompleted building.
I’m talking about those that life has never been fair to, he that gets poorer while you grow richer, the living-dead with faded skin living like a refugee in their own land, the one who cry for survival but no one responds, it’s me the light skin migrant from the north who beg to feed and sleep along the road!
What would you do if you lost all your Family?
These poor folks don’t know what it means to have parents or family, they don’t know what we call home, but just a place to rest for tomorrow, they sleep and sometimes wish never to wake again. What is a bowl of rice for them? They only need a grain of rice to call a diet.
They’re all the image of God put in the hands of fellow men to take responsibility of just to glorify His name. They don’t need a mansion but just something small to call a shelter, a loaf to call a diet, a slipper to call a shoe and a cedi to say God bless you. Their hope depends on you, all they need is to see that someone cares for them.
You have several alternatives to choose from but they only need what their legs will enter and their body can adjust to. Some have no idea of education… perhaps, think it’s the power of the affluent. What is fun to someone who looks like dying tomorrow? We see them in our neighbourhoods, along with the streets in the scorching sun, in our villages and we care less, thinking they’re a menace to society, filth that makes our environment dirty forgetting they’re our responsibility, my duty and your mandate to take care of. Why do we waste resources that someone somewhere desires for but has no hope?
What does it mean to have Nothing?
Consider a day having nothing, not even a cloth to cover yourself and you’ll understand what it means to have nothing…that very moment you felt hungry and the time you felt dejected, but they have been in such condition in a lifetime. They look blind and expect us to be their eyes, he’s cripple and needs my legs to move, she’s dump and needs you to speak for them, they’re lifeless without you and me.
Remember when you awaken to this dark earth you never had the chance to choose to come from the palace or the street, It could have been you or me. Once, think of wiping their tears, think of being the reason behind their smiles, think of the positive impact you can make in their life they live.
Help me while alive, it’s now or never. We always see them along the road begging for a daily bread, and you pass by with the thought that they’re going to use against you spiritually when you give them the aid they request, but have you for once considered those that genuinely need it for sustenance?
See that young man over there, he recently got involved in an accident and could hardly meet his basic needs but his Christian brethren saw the essence to visit with the intention to pray for him, however, left him with nothing to feed thinking prayers alone could solve his problem. Forgetting that’s the moment he needed you most.
Aunty Akosua Berago is wailing bitterly:
Aunty Akosua Berago is wailing bitterly as she sees her bread-winner laid in state while we weep and console her, but what happen to the widow and her children after the burial? She’s left stranded and life becomes a curse to her family. Forgetting that’s the moment she needs us you most.
We build and create a fence around to prevent people from entering, forgetting the wall of Jericho even broke down, spend the money used to create walls on people around you and they will be the wall to protect you. Remember, how wealthy a man is, can never be measured by the amount of possession he owns but his positive impact on the number of lives he has imparted. A wealthy man makes a good mark on others life and people proudly say had it not been HIM…. He eats and makes sure others are also satisfied.
Aunt Betty looks Pathetic:
See how pathetic Aunt Betty looks, she has gone as far as to the peak yet with no hope but you gaze around with the number of possessions and you feel so proud, while she commits suicide because she doesn’t see a reason to survive. Seriously, It has never been the wish of many to go out there begging, but situation forces them to….. how long are you going to wait till that wretched drunkard, the cripple and little kids littered on the street, and the good for nothing cousin, friend or neighbour perish for you to give money for drinks and cry at his funeral?
The dead do not have an eye to see the good we offer them, so give to me when they have breath to survive death, it will be waste if I am no more. Let them know how much you cherish them when they’re alive, don’t wait to give false testimonies and tributes when they’re far gone. Please don’t plan for a befitting burial when she’s far gone, bless her with them to save her from dying.
The Homeless: Whose responsibility are they?
As day breaks, think about expanding the Fathers business, and how best you can fulfil them; think of making sure things you take for granted are also taking for granted by someone else where think of extending the joy you have in life to others with none. Accept the marginal, the wretched and living-dead in the society as Gods handmade and our responsibility for having excess.
Remember, we’re all beggars in this world, their situation is just a condition that could have been you or me, all they desire for is sustenance for survival.
About the Author: John Essien
He is a Journalist with a background in Mathematics from KNUST. He is also the Deputy News Editor at @Focusfmknust and the Ashanti Regional Correspondent @Class913fm. Here’s a link to his news website: