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Dear Ibadan People

I am that little-clothed old man with dirty matted hair who has not had a bath or a bed in years. I am that old woman who talks to invisible beings as she jealously guards a pile of rags and rubbish.

I I   am that bare-breasted young lady who energetically harasses traders for a plate of food even though she has a baby growing in her. I am the young crazy man who entertains the little primary school children with unusual dance moves.

Most of you walk past me in fear or disgust. Some drop a few naira notes in the dirty bowl I hold. A few of you actually care for me and pray for my recovery. Very few do something to get me off the streets.
I am a human being too. Stop treating me like a lesser entity. I may rummage through dumps for something to eat. I may strut around half-naked while I twist and turn to an inaudible tune. I am occasionally get violent and attack somebody.Truth is, I am just like you- a creation of God.

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Stop using me for money rituals. Start giving some money to foundations that assist mentally challenged people. Stop twisting your lips in disgust when you see ms. Use those lips to campaign against the ill treatment of mad people.
Please, fight drug addiction with all your strength. Never allow abuse.
Most importantly, start loving me just the way I am.

Yours sincerely,
Wèrè Ìbàdàn.



Author’s Note- The writer of this letter is fictional but the writeup contains reality.

Author- Keziah Laz.
Column- Letters from Us.

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