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The world of Usman Umar Alhaji, the cripple Keke rider in Kebbi

Haruna Aliyu Usman – Birnin Kebbi

Deformity is natural, a person is either born like that or later in life becomes one depending on the cause and circumstances.

This unavoidable situation has made many victims feeling inferior, or oftentimes such people are seen by society as incomplete human beings, as such they gradually accept what they are seen and perceived. As a result, such weaken their hearts and body as they accept they are nothing but a liability believing they cannot be of any use to themselves and their immediate environment. 

While the lettered interminably awaits government for white colour jobs or any monthly paying work in an already saturated labour market, disabled Usman is standing tall among his peers including the ables.

The avaragely 40 years old fair looking Usman limps with the help of a stick as we entered into a stationary tricycle for the interview.

Usman told me he is the chairman of a factional association of Keke NAPEP riders association as it is called in Birnin Kebbi.

Their park is located close to Kebbi Federal Medical Center Birnin Kebbi.

He was so passionate about his Keke business that so quickly let go of the problems of his faction, he began to dwell on the main point, as he takes names of his members who paid the daily fee.

Though he appeared not formally educated but had his Islamic education at a younger age he learnt how to write through informal education.

“I have done several hand trades for many years before venturing into tricycle business I have put in so far seven years in this Keke business, I do make five thousand and sometimes six or three depending on the market situation, and I am the owner of the Keke I don’t pay the balance to anyone which means paying the owner at the end of the week as he points to the next one on turn”.

With crystal pride, Usman told me he owns a house and is married to two wives with many children in school from the Keke business.

Usman said so far he has well over 300 members most of whom are young men and a handful of them formally educated up to tertiary level, I can personally testify to that as I met him surrounded by able-bodied youth waiting for their turn.

He called on the government to assist them with more tricycles, not money to boost their business adding that, doing so will reduce unemployments because already 300 are employed through the Keke business.

He offered me sachet water and thanked me for the visit, his world is no doubt full of joy as he has been able to beat the stigma of disability. 

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