He probably left home before dawn and was the one of the few grateful that morning that the traffic build-up on the Ikorodu road started early.
He was struggling under the weight of the bag of plantain chips balanced precariously on his head while still somehow managing to scan both sides of the road to see where it would be best for him to pitch.
He did not go to any business school to spend hours learning about Quantitative Techniques or Proximate Value Pricing because he knows his product and his market well.
He knows that the lady struggling with two hungry kids in the “Danfo” will probably need a snack to calm them down and he goes there to conclude his transaction briskly.
He moves to the other side of the road to a car full of foreign tourists to whom he will probably sell to at twice the price to make a quick tidy profit.
He stands briefly in front of my car with windows up and air-conditioning on. He is not very sure about this one but he tries to make eye contact anyway because for him it is all about eye contact.
He can read you from looking at your eyes and tell if you are hungry, irritated and frustrated or just indifferent. In a split second he can decide to make a pitch or walk away to a more promising prospect.
Our eyes meet and I keep looking at him with thoughts of the distant past racing through my head. He comes beside my car and I bow to him but he does not understand the gesture.
I bow to him because I know him very well. I was once him and one day he will be a “greater” me. He now owns the street and the world is wide open for him to conquer.
I started selling canned “De-Rica” tomatoes at “Eki Osa” market in Benin City when I was 11 years old. Now I am here. Still a Street King.
The photos are courtesy of Express.ng The man is Kcee. His story is here — http://expressng.com/2015/05/kcee-turns-hawker-on-lagos-street-photos/