Touched With ‘Mad Obsession’ – By Kofi Yankey

It is not always that a singular act of generosity, care, benevolence, loving-kindness, thoughtfulness and other adjectives of compassion for fellow humankind fill you with awe. It is all the better when someone of little means goes out of his way to lend a hand to someone, his little means notwithstanding, despising shame, with the view of seeing the good of his fellow man. All these thoughts and many more ran through my youthful mind as I watched Sunday’s episode of Airtel’s Touching Lives Reality TV Show.

 Prior to Sunday night’s show, I had seen promos flying around the various social networks, but paid little attention to them. Well, I would not deny that it struck in me a curious craving to watch the show itself. Once the show started and a brief skit of the Skating Soccer Stars was shown, I shook my head in disbelief!

To think that an individual had thought of getting our dear brothers off traffic intersections onto the football pitch was an act that merited a national honour! Watching the team’s game with their Nigerian counterparts, I personally dubbed their situation, Turning misfortune into a blessing, and it was not out of place for me to say so. No doubt Airtel saw the good in that act and lent a helping hand!

Just when I thought the Skating Soccer Stars story had made my evening, the Mad Obsession overly amazed me. What it called to mind was the Biblical story of the widow who dropped two coins, of little value, her all, into the temple’s treasury chest? How God was pleased with that act! Illyasu, the brain behind the deed, a herbalist, himself a little challenged in movement, hence his use of a pair of clutches, really earned my respect.

To think that such a man of little means, with a family to cater for, will want to share his source of livelihood with his mentally-challenged brothers, was an act I just could not understand. And the motivation? Just to see the good of his fellow man. Did he care if people attributed his deeds to any money-making ritual or even shunned him for mingling with insane ones? Not at all!

He remained resolute and if not for anything at all, the entire nation on Sunday night acknowledged his good deeds; feeding the mentally-challenged, bathing them, clothing them, without any governmental support whatsoever. Like the poor widow of Jesus’ day who is mentioned anytime voluntary donations are being talked of, Illyasu will also be mentioned alongside, Ghana’s very own “poor widow” who’s offering surpassed that of the rich and wealthy.

Airtel made my evening too, by supporting this great man, who has earned a special spot in the hearts of all Ghanaians who watched Sunday’s Airtel Touching Lives show. That is the height of corporate social responsibility! I may not be an Airtel subscriber but I dare say by means of Airtel touching Illyasu’s life, mine has also been touched!

* Touching