Four years ago, I got talking to a 17-year-old peanut vendor in rural St Mary, Jamaica.
He told me that he woke up at 3 am every morning to prepare his peanuts for the day, roasting them, sprinkling a bit of salt, and bagging them up for sale throughout the day.
I bought a 50-dollar bag from him almost every day for the three months I was there and got used to the sound of his cart whistling on the street.
“Lady, better gwaan come,” he told me on the last day I bought the peanuts before I returned to London.
I gave him a hug, imagining how tedious his daily routine was and how little he made on a daily basis.
Two days ago, I heard the cart whistling and shouted, “Peanut man. How yuh doing?”
But it was a much older man. I inquired where the young man was. “Is mi son,” the vendor told me. “Him gaan a de Agricultural College a Portland and soon done him course.”
I wanted to hug the father with joy but refrained from such familiarity.
As I bought the peanuts for 80 dollars, I smiled to myself.
I just love Jamaican young people. They are always pressing on, no matter what the odds. Bless!
By Neo Makeba
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