Of Hand-Me-Downs From Overseas

If you go in the streets of Lagos and other cities in Nigeria and indeed Africa, (it has since spread all over the continent) you’d observe a trend that started to spring up fairly recently, just about a year ago, i think. Toys; rattles, balls, puzzles, xylophones, stuffed animals and rag dolls, drumsticks, cars, etc. on display infront of shops, shops that normally should have no connection with these items, say a tailoring shop for instance. Items like baby walkers, strollers, carts, car-seats, feeding bottles, spoons, ribbons, clothes etc. are all on display by roadsides in the open air; exposed to the heat, dust and exhaust from passing vehicles. They’re brought in from whatever western country to provide our kids with stuff to play with.
Maybe.

Some group of kind-hearted westerners gathered their old toys and baby stuff to be sent down to Africa where the kids need ’em.
How nice of them.

Or maybe some ‘businessman’ decided that, scouting for and collecting used and old toys and baby stuff to be sold in Africa where the people will jump on them was a good idea.
How unfair.

These items are usually second-hand and at times over-used. Some times, these items are so damaged and filthy that one wonders if a child would not get hurt or infected while playing with them. They don’t even appear to be worth buying in the first place. There are many that do look relatively new and attractive though.

Whether this is a result of a collection of good deeds or a money-spinner concept, it has indeed turned Africa to a huge trash barge of baby stuff.

If we need baby stuff so bad, if there’s such a big market for them, how about we open a factory or two to provide us new ones?

So already we’re letting our kids experience the second-hand lifestyle?

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