The ideal notion most people have about superheroes is majorly adjudged by some fancy looking geared up character with supernatural powers. That’s to say the heroes we have come to know and accept are those dedicated to fighting the evil of the universe, protecting the public, and battling super-villains. These ‘super’ individuals are best described as indispensable and the masses last resort to save the day, they are arguable everyone’s best friends and fantasy in their shiny ‘slim fitted’ armor and capes flying high in the sunlight to cheers and rapturous applaud from the populace, as fictional as this seems, these heroes are around us, living with us and helping us make life better even today.
Africa ranks as the most impoverished continent on the globe, with 422 million people living in abject poverty, these poor people are unable to get a sustainable meal daily. Like it or not, these atrocious numbers are bound to increase or maybe double over the next few months as Africa (and indeed the globe) battles coronavirus. The pandemic has institutions and government on their knees, enforcing them to take drastic decisions as regards the health and safety with stringent conditions imposed on citizens. In Nigeria, the federal government recently announced a further 14 days lockdown extension order in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states after the preliminary 14 days of lockdown trickled off with increasing numbers of infected patients and deaths.
The reality of the lockdown on many is that food is not necessarily available, where available, the prices have skyrocketed, and many don’t have the funds to purchase these food items at this time. The lockdown has crippled commercial activities across the nation as the economy slowly nosedives, with thousands expected to lose jobs during and after the exercise.
In response to this, the Cellulant food marketplace team has been working tirelessly day in and out to ensure that farm produce and food items get to the unreached. In the last 14 days, over 20,000 metric tons of food has either been moved, distributed and processed across the country.
This is largely to the will of field staff Elijah, Mathew, Felix and Haruna who have taken it upon themselves to be the agents of hope to millions of Nigerians who would have little or no access to food. These Gentlemen braced hours of gathering grains and other farm produce from the farms and ensure they are adequately collected, packaged and transported to food processors to convert into finished user consumable goods. These products are then transported to retailers/wholesalers to ensure they are ready for the market. This process has an immediate effect on the communities and markets where farm produce and food items will ordinary not be available now have access to food and consumers can purchase.
These men have single-handedly made sure Nigerians feed and are well-fed in the face of a raging pandemic that has claimed 138,487 lives globally. To them, feeding Nigerians is not a job, it’s a duty and honor they hold in high regard and carry out with utter determination and diligence.
They may not be wearing high tech customized bulletproof gears with a big symbol emblazoned on their chest, yet they carry out their day to day jobs in simple clothing like the rest of us and ensure that we have food to eat, one less thing to worry about in this times. Although there are no capes attached to their shirts, they have etched their names in our hearts and memories as the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 era who made sure Nigerians had food to eat while waging a war against the deadly virus.
Giving us the strength to believe that together we can survive this virus if we all play our parts. While staying at home seems like the best decision to take in tackling and curbing the spread of the virus, we salute food marketplace team for their sheer determination, tenacity and drive, and in particular our front line heroes who put themselves on the line of duty at a time when the world feels paused.