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Of Little Beginnings

Of Little Beginnings
yam and plantain on the roast

It was sunny and I was hungry. I had journeyed from Port Harcourt to Owerri on an empty stomach and it was approaching evening already. While thinking of what to eat to soothe the uprising in my stomach, I had this sudden craving for roasted yam. So I decided to check on a regular customer of mine because I am loyal and because of my previous experiences with her.

On getting there I was met with this crowd of people who had the same idea as I. We were all waiting patiently for our turn. This would have been normal if she was the only vendor around but right beside her was another lady also into the roasted yam business.

customers waiting

While waiting my turn I decided to use my camera and observe the two women. While ‘mummy ji’ which means mother of yams was all smiles and of a cheerful disposition, the other woman had a strong face and only lit her face when she had customers. Anyway, this isn’t about who smiles better but about this woman who has continually grown with this simple business, even training her children in school.

If we do a background check, she may have started this to support her family and put food on the table but as then the bible says “do not despise little beginnings”. She has grown, introducing new recipes, building her client base and being consistent. Content, they say is king and Consistency Queen.

When it got to my turn to place my order, she recognized me and asked about my studies. I told her I had graduated and was currently serving in Port Harcourt which turned out to be where one of her sons served last year. I smiled and asked for more than I needed.

I do not know why I remembered her today, maybe it’s because of a new roasted plantain spot that just started outside my Estate. Waist arched forward with her child strapped behind her back. Bracing the smoke and the heat, determined each day to go home with more.

Many of us start in similar ways, it could be for satisfaction, for daily bread or for survival but we always end in dissimilar ways. Our fighting spirit and the path we ply helps define the aftermath. Our hearts desires sometimes isn’t always enough even though it is what determines our start.

To all bent backs and sweaty skins out there in the sun, who have found happiness and survival in their struggles. Of little beginnings that may remain little but grow in ways, we cannot fathom. I know I will visit Owerri soon and I know I will still go back to ‘mummy ji’ when I can, not because of her smile but because her yam sauce tastes so damn good. And that is what matters. 

Be great in whatever you do, no matter how irrelevant you think it may be.

This here is my medicine. The leaves add this bitter twist to the sweetness of the delicacy leaving the taste buds to wonder

Sorry, i couldn't get a clearer picture, but this is Ugba(oil bean) which can also be used to eat the roast yam and plantains.


  1. A great lesson.

    You've really made me reconsider some of my decisions.

    1. Nice. i hope some of them include sending me money always

    2. Sending money? Lol.
      Well, inbox me your account number.

  2. Now this is something dear. Just like the utazi leaf, bitter at first and tastier at last - little beginnings

  3. I was salivating ☺. Humble beginnings can be tough, and bleak, but we have to keep on struggling

    1. when you come around, it ll be part of my treat to you. we struggle till the smile on our face is real and then struggle some more


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