Heart of Gold

“June last year, I had a construction site I was part of the supervisors in Enugu. We scheduled some labourers for the digging of the foundation. My superior wasn’t around, so I was the only architect on site that period. One of the labourers who happened to be the youngest amongst them resumed late on the first day. He had a nice name, Olan. I assigned him a portion, just like I had assigned others before him and left to inspect some building materials that were being delivered to the site. Some 30 minutes later, I returned to the site and realized the young Olan hasn’t done anything. In fact, he had found a good position under the sun to relax. When I asked why he hadn’t done anything, he burst out in laughter. ‘Who is this little girl? Na because say I no say anything before? Abeg call your oga make I reason with am.’ I was amused but not angry. I get that reaction alot because of my petite physique. Some even scream out loud when I show them my career portfolio with a Master’s in Architecture. So I understood his bias. I walked away without uttering a word. I heard his coworkers urging him to start working unless he doesn’t want to get paid but he called their bluffs. He was waiting for the oga to assign a portion to him. During lunch, I invited everyone who worked to lunch and paid for their lunch. When he saw I was the one in charge, he started apologizing for looking down on me as a lady. I smiled and told him to resume tomorrow and join the rest. I know what it means to work everyday to earn a living, I hope that experience helped him to become more cautious when dealing with total strangers. It also helped me to be more tolerant of people too. It is not always easy, but I often try my best knowing if they knew better, they would’ve done better.”

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