The stench deep as the body of the dead peeping through a room abandoned for days.
My stomach sensed an unwanted connection from the two openings sitting above my mouth and the lines on my face wrinkled into a frown.
My younger brother seemed not to notice this odor in the air. We were driving pass Olusosun, the home to many homes refuse scavengers. The stench was crazy.
But my father dis. He hastily picked his handkerchief off the dashboard and clamped it over his nose. He drove on with a hand on the steering and another on his nose.
“Daddy, what’s the name of this place?” my younger brother asked.
“This is Olusosun,” Dad replied through his handkerchief.
“Why did they pack all these dirty here? Shey they cannot put it somewhere else?”
“This is where they pick the refuse from our houses and separate the useful things among them.”
“Okaaaay. They separate them into plastic, paper and others shebi?”
“Yes,” My dad, now looking calm as we drove past the mountains of waste, placed his handkerchief back on the dashboard. “Who told you that they separate the paper and plastic?”
“I read it in one book in my school.”
“Okay. That’s good.”
A little bit of pause. Dad hummed a song under his breath. I focused my attention on the hawkers we drove past. The foul air lingered in the car.
“What’s the name of those who pick those things?” My brother questioned.
“Boy, can you just shut up!” I thought to myself.
My dad’s eyes fixated on the windscreen, his hands relaxed on the steering.
“They are called Scavengers. They have an association: Scavengers Association of Nigeria (SAN)”, my dad explained.
“Is Fashola part of them?”
I burst into raucous laughter. Dad joined me.