The Begging Industry Booms
My observation is that Sierra Leone is now enjoying a booming begging industry; beggars have mushroomed, they have become iniquitous, they are here, there and everywhere; on the streets and even the high offices.
Many Sierra Leoneans have taken begging as an occupation from which they are deriving much to make a good living.
Our begging industry is not just limited to the paupers on the streets but cuts across all classes of our society, from the lower class, the middle class to the upper class, even our governments do beg in a civilized manner in the name of projects. So, we have all become beggars in one way of the other.
It is usual to see the corridors of our top government offices being paraded by well-dressed highly-lipsticked, well-perfumed, and attractive ladies in high-heeled shoes. Many go to these offices to beg certain government functionaries. You also see well-attired young gentlemen parading the same corridors going to the offices to beg big Dons.
On several occasions I have been embarrassed on the streets of Freetown by visibly healthy young men and ladies who accost me demanding financial assistance after cataloguing their problems.
The clearly healthy and physically fit state of some of our beggars leaves me with no alternative but to conclude that they are begging not because they are not capable of generating income, but because they have decided to resort to begging as an easy occupation that does not need much effort. So, laziness could be one of the root causes of the rampant begging in this nation.
What has worsened the situation is the unpleasant fact that even our little kids have now taken to street begging. Just walk around Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni and other major towns and you will come across the beggar kids who, instead of going to school, spend their time begging few Leones.
I view the situation as a national disgrace that must be addressed.
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