Life is different in Africa.
How can I tell you this... I think I will start by letting Peter tell you his story, in his own words.
"My name is Peter Abounu Onyilo. I am known on Poetrysoup as Charles Melody Lightning Ink as a nickname because I am both a singer and poet. I am also a plumber and artist. I am not very educated but I studied for many years under the white missionaries who came to our village. I was living happily in my rural area in Jos, the Plateau State in Nigeria. Doing my plumbing and living happily, though the State of Plateau has been in a religious crisis between the Muslims and the Christians. Politicians and Boko Haram Jihadist terrorist groups are also unleashing terror and mayhem.
The terrorist were bombing and killing n Borno Maiduguri, Adamawa Yola, Plateau Jos, Niger, Kano, and so many other Nigerian states. However, it had not reached our community, so we were living at ease. As soon as the summer of 2015 clocked in, the government changed hands and a new government sat on the throne. In the blink of an eye a new kind of gunmen terrorist, marauding beasts, or what have you, called Fulani Herdsmen, surfaced and increased the killings. That was the beginning of our sorrows. The killings went rampant mostly in Benue, Plateau, Zanfara, and Maiduguri. Our village was raided one fateful, bloody morning and 215 people were killed, mostly women and children. Our house was burnt, and my younger and elder brother were killed as we were fighting to defend our families. We had no place after the resettlement so we dwelt in uncompleted buildings. Before the invasion of the terrorists in our compounds we had a small room, and two-room building, separately built with outside latrine. We also had three beautiful huts in the middle of our brownish and greenish bamboo fenced compound.
Now there are exactly 7 children in my custody. Three of my elder brother's children, and two of my younger brother's children. Also, two of my wife's younger sisters plus myself and my wife, making 9 people. There was no one else to take my brother's children so they became orphans, and my wife's younger sisters were affected by the genocide in their village, so they were brought in. That is how I became obligated to be the new father of seven children. There are four girls and three boys. The eldest is 14 and the youngest is two. I am 36 years old and my wife, Onyeche, is 23 years old.
The constant fightings, killings and incessant bombings changed everything. The economy got deflated and hunger captured the town The plumbing trade was badly affected because people stopped building. There were no more jobs, so I started breaking concrete stone with a big sledgehammer for rich people, earning only a few cents a day, in order to put food in the mouths of my people (family).
As God would have it, I encountered my longtime friend on Poetrysoup, Catherine Lindsey. I explained the problems, and ordeals to her, how we were barely able to survive, with sicknesses and none of the children being able to go to school. She offered me the highest kind gestures on earth by supporting and helping me financially, inspirationally, motivating and educationally. She educated me on how to have hope and how to bake bakery items such as bread, cakes, pizza, sandwiches, etc, plus also different kinds of beverages. I came up with the idea of constructing an outdoor oven and Mama Catie inspired me to bake and sell the items to people in my village. My village people were all happy and especially adored the sweet aroma of the bakery. People were patronizing my bread business, the miners were my best customers for they said eating my bread took away their constant hunger. Suddenly, as my bakery business started growing and gaining popularity and patronage the authorities came and said I must stop baking or get a permit and business license or get imprisoned.
When I started baking the bread I got up at 3 in the morning to bake 14 to 16 loaves of bread to sell each day. My village bakery is held in high regard by the village natives. They line up to pay 35 cents for a large loaf and about 20 cents for a smaller loaf. I have named my bakery Praise God Delicious Loaf. The business is so beautifully lucrative and very liable to bring me and my family out of poverty, for I earned 4 to 6 dollars in one week."
And there you have it, in Peter's own words. He needs $250.00 to get the permit, license and inspection upgrades which will enable him to continue his bakery. BTW ~ he has never once asked me for anything. When he told me how they dwelt in a half-built hut, in the rainy season, I was simply moved by the Holy Spirit to help as much as I can. And all this trouble from the authorities came at a time when he has just contracted with the miners to buy 20 loaves of bread each day at .42 cents a loaf. That's $8.40 a day. Neither Peter, nor myself, thought that a license might be required for a small village bakery. But...we were wrong. But there are things that Peter did not mention, such as his wife, Onyeche, is ready to deliver their only living child. We are simply waiting for her water to break, at which time Peter will put her on their donkey, named Ginger, and rush her to the hospital. Might I mention the doctors in Africa seems to be lunatics. They told Onyeche that the baby grows skin in the last two weeks of pregnancy. (and it gets worse from there.) Another thing that Peter did not mention is that he is a Christian Minister and does travel around to far villages to preach the word of God. Again, Ginger is his means of transportation. They are building a Christian church in his village, and only need to finish the roof, put in a door and windows.
This is no scam. Please do not insult them. He is a man of integrity, and he has a wonderful wife. These people are real, and you can see this young man is trying his best to provide for his family. If you have been moved by his story and might desire in some way to be of help, it only cost ten dollars to send up to $150.00 to Nigeria. So if you can only help by sending ten dollars, remember this young man was thrilled to have earned 4 to 6 dollars in a week. Please contact him or myself by soupmail, and either of us will provide the needed information to send a donation if it is in your heart to do so. I tried to load current family photos but was unable too. Also I could not load the pictures of the oven (now two) that he built himself, or the pictures of his finished packaged bread.
But if you are friends with him on Facebook you can use messenger to speak with him and he will send you the photos. If you contact me on messenger, I can also share the photos with you. If you choose to contact t him through Soupmail, please be patient in waiting for a response, there are electricity issues, and difficulty using links on the website. But he WILL get back to you, so please be patient.