One of my grandmother’s tenants is a young man named George. At 26 years of age he’s a tall, humble, very slim guy, and possibly one of the most gentle men I’ve ever met. Although he has a keen interest in martial arts movies, this guy would not harm a fly.

George loves God. I forget now what church he goes to, but you could tell that his religion is a very important part of his life, and it directed everything he did. I have a cousin who lives with my grandmother whose job it is to help around the house but he was never to be found when there was work to be done. However, George was: from fetching water, to washing dishes, to running errands, if George saw my grandmother in need of assistance, he was there for her. With my mother, sister, and I, it was the same thing: a true gentleman, George would gently take the water fetcher from our hands and help us fill our buckets with water and carry them to where they needed to be. I think it’s fair to say the three of us fell a little in love with George because he was the perfect son, brother, cousin, and friend. He had this gentleness that attracts people to him, and an innocent charm that made you feel protective toward him.

If you were ever looking for George, you could find him surrounded by the children of the other tenants. It was he that they would go to after school, and he’d patiently help them with their homework, explaining things to them as if he had all the time in the world. He was firm but kind in his instruction. George seriously helped everyone that crossed his path.

During our stay, it soon became clear that George knew a little bit about everything. There were few topics that would come up on those evenings that we’d sit on my grandmother’s verandah that he couldn’t educate us on. He loved that I could speak Yoruba (somewhat) and happily helped me improve my vocabulary. He asked me constantly to help my sister master Yoruba to the same level that I had.

One interest that he and I have in common is an interest in computers. I don’t think I told him that I blog, but he was taking a course to learn the basics of computer operation, and when he’d come back at the end of the day he’d show me what he learned and we’d discuss it. He told me he’d soon get an email address so we could keep in touch that way.

About a week before we left, he asked me when we’d be leaving because he would be going home to visit his own parents in a neighbouring city in a few weeks’ time and he didn’t think we’d still be around by the time he returned. When I told him that we’d be gone before he left to visit his parents, he was sad, and he told me that he would miss us so much. He had two ways of calling me, either “Sister GNG” or “Sis GNG” so cheerfully that even if I was irritated by the constant heat, or tired, I’d instantly find a smile for him. Once he knew that we’d be leaving Nigeria soon, he tried to spend as much time as possible with us, and brought me close to tears every time he told me how much he would miss us.

Anything you gave George, big or small, he responded with genuine appreciation. I loved the way he would say “I am very grateful”, so solemnly, that you knew he really appreciated what you gave him. That humbleness of course just made you want to do more, and give more to him.

The morning we left my grandmother’s house for Lagos, he was among the people there to say goodbye. Although we cried for the family members that we would miss, I also cried because I knew I’d miss George, who had a tear or two in his eyes. George, who did not have a lot, yet shared what he had so freely. My mom loves Nigerian gospel music and George loaned her a few of his tapes to listen to. Unfortunately there wasn’t a tape player handy, so he let her borrow his, which he brought from his own room to my grandmother’s sitting area. When we saw his poor tape player, dented, broken, and decrepit, it seemed doubtful that it would actually work, but it did. My heart sort of broke because if we had known sooner that his player was in such rough shape, we would have tried to get him a replacement. It would have been a gift he’d use well since you could often hear him blaring gospel music in the morning as he cleaned his room or did some chores to help out our grandmother or other tenants.

George’s disposable income is next to nil. He lives very modestly, works very hard, and lives within his means. So imagine my shock when I received a package from him yesterday! He spent 500 naira to mail us two audio gospel cds (he must have paid for an expedited service because it arrived here in 2 days!). He also sent us a letter that yup, brought me to tears. It was just so…him to give though he has so little. I said a prayer for him through my tears and feel so blessed to have met him. Like he said in his letter, Ipade wa bi oyin (literally, “May our next meeting be like honey”). I hope it is.

I gave him a call to thank him, but unfortunately he was en route somewhere, so he couldn’t really hear me. I didn’t even get to thank him for his gift but I will as soon as I can reach him again. Like my sister said, he’s the kind of person that after spending time with, you want to be a better person yourself. I thank God for George.

24 thoughts on “George

  1. I am humbled!

    This guy has got a heart of gold…

    He is a role model obviously and I'm glad he's making impact within his territory…The only way for people like that is UP!!!

    Mere reading about him…is inspiring me(even as I type) to be a better,nicer and kinder person @ work today(hopefully forever!)…how much more meeting with him!

    He's a true star!

  2. I stumbled across your blog and I must admit (and I am ashamed to say this) I was waiting for the crunch, when you'd say he turned around and stole your goods or something like that. Decent Nigerians are so hard to come across these days and we must encourage those that we meet. I am glad he encouraged you to be a better person, he encouraged me too and honestly this story brought a tear to my eye. Where you can, remember to pray for him and where you have, remember always to bless him.

  3. @ Ivie, i almost agree with you. But there are good Nigerians, especially those not in the city.

    I like George already and he looks humble too.

  4. They are one of a kind,one in a million..

    i really wish i could help you thank him enough

    and tell him much the world out here appreciates his kind heart..

    maybe you can give me his number….

    will love to know that kinda person

    i'm home in motherland here in Naija

    maybe i could help brush up on His computer skills

    and learn from his meek heart..

    i don't know wat to say anymore cos all u said about him brought me the memory of someone i lost long ago..but his memories lives on..eventhough i was still a kid when i lost him….

    I will join the saints of God and keep praying for him aswell… Hope you are doing ok,i guess the weather is just good

  5. wow! Your post brought me to tears. May God be with him and his family. I love people like him, and I wish I could be more like him.

  6. @NoLimit

    He really does have a heart of gold…and yes, he's such a role model, even to people much older than he is. I'm glad you were inspired by him.

    @Nollywood Forever

    Yes, it sure is wonderful to meet someone who makes you want to be a better person. Thanks for commenting!


    It's funny, when you put it that way, it does sound like the story could have taken a turn for the worse!

    Such great advice: I will surely pray for him and ask God to bless him as much as knowing him has blessed me.


    :) He's just awesome!


    Isn't it just great to know that people like that actually exist?


    Yeah, George is the picture of humility, let me tell you!


    Thank you for your comment. I will send you an email regarding it.


    Aww at your tears! Amen o! God will be with him and his family. No, that's not me in the pic…I didn't take a picture with him, sadly. Next time!

    @La reine

    You said it perfectly! Merry Christmas!


    Amen and Amen!

  7. Guess again its the classic example of someone living his/her life "by the book", giving a caring word, helping out where help is needed and meeting needs….irrespective of his/her own needs…..good to know there are still world-class people who still make a difference with their everyday lives…..

  8. if only we had more people like George in this world.

    on a lighter note…that notice on the door of the second pic is funny.

    is that u in the first photo with George?

  9. GNG,

    Real good site you got.My first time here..The Boy George stuff is interesting and inspirational.

    Thank God for someone like you who appreciates the likes of George.We got a lot of humble Naija,unsung,unannounced.

  10. Wow! This post really touched my heart. May the lord continue to bless him and grant him his hearts desires. I always say that the little things count and this post really shows it.

  11. Looks like excellent husband material – would you consider. I mean these are the kinds of men one wants to marry.

  12. George is a bit younger than I. If I didn't have sisterly feelings toward him yes, he'd be superb husband material.

  13. Sisterly feelings? Friends have such feelings about each other and some of the best marriages that I have seen have been between friends.

    You said it already: He is YOUNGER than you. And as a Yoruba person, that matters a whole lot.

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