I sat there at the traffic lights waiting for red to become green.
All of a sudden he appeared by my car cloth in hand, two cups.
I started to say no thank you in Kiswahili but stopped. The boy pulled out the cloth and proceeded to wipe the window and the bonnet, patiently raising the wipers and dislodge the trapped twigs from the grating beneath.
I was first in the queue as the lights remained red, he obviously knew the timing well as he patiently worked his way across to the passenger side with a few seconds to spare. I gave him some coins. Not much by my standards but a token of appreciation.
I did not ask for my windows to be wiped, but this disheveled boy was doing something to earn something.
There are many street children in Mwanza. Most beg. “Give Me My Money”, grates on the ears far too often. I don’t give to these beggars, the local charities urge us not to as it discourages them to find real help and often monies given are stolen by older boys.
At least this boy was doing something, not just relying on handouts, from Mzungu.