Erico the so called ‘Fool’: My Hero in Wum P1


my new friend.JPG
That is Erico shortly after I courted him

Dear World, remember I said I was gonna be away last week right? Yes, I went to a village called Wum in the northwest Region of Cameroon. I mention this village because over 20 years ago it was the scene of one terrible disaster. Will bring that up in another post.

Now, over to my Hero Erico. Some call him a fool. I wonder who is the bigger fool, cause after 8 or so hours with Erico, and all the places we visited and discussions we had and the transformation I saw in his ‘spirit’, I am humbled – simple – Amen!!!

When I got to the compound, I noticed Erico sitting isolated under a tree. Guess he’s used to. I decided to befriend him, and offered that we share a meal. He was so excited.

erico-warming-up-to-me
Yes I wasn’t really hungry but wanted to court Erico and stigmatize some stigma in that area

Now, while am sitting there with Erico, a lady comes up to us and ask me if I know Erico before. I say well I know him now and ask why, she says because he’s a fool and may embarass me. Ha!!! I let her go. Then a second man comes up, and asks me if I don’t want to go eat indoors; I ask why (like I don’t know he’s jealous of Erico), he says well it’s more comfortable indoors. I say no thanks.

You see people, their envy fuels me up with motivation to make Erico my Hero and star of my short stay. And Erico knows that village inside out. He was abandoned with his paternal grandma by his mum when he was 5 years old because she couldn’t cope with such a foolish child. I taught Erico how to take a picture and see his shot below. He was so excited:

He ignored the kids laughing at him when he initially fumbled with the camera, and am so impressed with his improvement. He took me to the market, and the infamous lake and talked about so much. I will be sharing more of those in p2. I end this with another more glowing picture of Erico taken a few hours later. I got him that jersey from the market as a souvenir.

erico-so-loves-his-new-jersey
I wish I could afford snickers that day, he tells me he loves football but the kids don’t let him play: He had graciously taken a shower and was so impressed with himself – he was the star of the day

This is the first part of my short series of a personal experience with one of the marginalized in our society – the ones we stigmatize because of their physical appearance or mental disposition which apparently is not ‘normal’ and so they should be shunned. One ‘Christian’ lady (she wore their uniform) actually made a gesture like they ( yes Erico’s 2 other friends Ndolo and Tangatapan also became my friends) were smelling and should leave the place.

So my e-world, what do you think of such experiences and different perspectives?

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Erico the so called ‘Fool’: My Hero in Wum P1”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to get to know Erico and for seeing him as God does, and not the way the world does! What a gift to him and to yourself. Also, what an encouragement to all of us to do the same in our own communities and nations. Thank you for sharing this, Marie!

    1. Dear Ngumabi, thanks for your comment. Oh in P2 there is a picture where he was dancing. I am so glad I could witness that transformation in a person in so short a period. I have always loved to get to know people personally and not limit myself to what others say about them, their external appearance or circumstances etc. And, the mentally challenged hold a special place in my heart. I am so grateful for the gift of human connection. Hope all is well with you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s