This is a story of Athler unrelenting quest for happiness and fulfilment. A story of love, happiness, courage, determination, and leadership of a boy in an African country that learnt to be a leader for his family, his tribe and his nation.
I was travelling to Angola to see the ruin of Kongo. Our plane landed at Malawi’s airport due to technical difficulty. It seemed we were stuck there until the issue to be sorted out. My tour guide checked his map and told me there are some villages nearby that we can go and visit while we are waiting. We decided to go to the closest one to us. When people especially kids saw us, they ran towards us hoping for some food or drink. We shared our suppliers with them, and everyone soon walked away having some share of food and drink. A few steps from the place that I was standing there was a 6-7 years old kid laying down on the ground and looking at us. I approached him and asked why didn’t you run for the food and drink, aren’t you hungry, or thirsty? Yes, I am hungry and very thirsty but if I lie down on the floor, I feel less intense. Plus, all these kids are my brothers and sisters, or friends and they deserve more than me, he said. Why do you think they deserve it more than you? I asked. Because I am stronger and when is not enough to share, I let them have it, he said.
I offered him my bottle of water and some biscuits. He took them and ran towards a dirty tent on the corner. I followed him. I saw him helping an old woman to seat and he was trying to give some of the water to her. Then he broke the biscuits into small pieces and gave them to her one by one. The tears were running on my face. The old woman looked at me and smiled. Thank you, she said. I lost my voice as well as losing my mind. Coming from one of the richest cities in the world. A city that tons of food and drink through in the rubbish bins daily. I just sat there and watched them eating and drinking joyfully. She soon lay down again. This is my mother, he said. No one comes to visit her here, as they say, she has a contingent disease. In fact, you should not be here, he said. But you are here, how about you? I said. I don’t get sick, he said. Why not? I told you I am stronger than others, so I won’t get sick. I decided to stay healthy and help my mother and my small brothers and sisters. If I’m weak then I can’t be there to take care of them.
You don‘t talk or act like a kid. How did you learn to talk and act like a true leader? I saw my dad died in front of my eyes. I didn’t cry as I believe he went to a better place. A place that there is plenty to eat and drink. But, at that moment, I promised to don’t let that happen to my mother and brothers and sisters. So, you see why hunger, thirst and diseases can’t hurt me, he said. OMG, I knew there must be a strong reason for us to get stuck in this place and not be able to continue our travel. It was you. It was the extraordinary power of your mind that made us come here.