After discovering $50,000 by the side of the road in Liberia’s northeastern Nimba County and returning it to its rightful owner, a teenager has become a national hero.
Emmanuel Tuloe, 18, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was driving his motorbike taxi on a highway when he came upon a large sum of money wrapped in a plastic bag that had fallen unnoticed.
On Tuesday, when he saw the money, he said:
“I was afraid because it was plenty; and so I brought it home and gave it to my aunty to keep until the owner could ask for it.”
On the same day, the owner of the money, businesswoman Musu Yancy went on the radio, desperately looking for anyone who has found the money. So he returned it to her.
While many Liberians applaud his acts, Tuloe claims that others, including some friends, mock him for doing something unconventional in the post-w.a.r country.
He said he had dropped out of seventh grade and has been working as a motorcycle taxi driver to make money.
“Since my decision, when I have a breakdown on the highway and some of my rider friends see me, they don’t help; they say I acted stupid to find and return money. I should let the money help me
They tell me I will never get rich in my lifetime; they say because I returned such an amount of money I will live and die poor.”
Tuloe said after what he had done, he had even received threats.
He then said:
“I need to protect myself.”
He, on the other hand, stands solid in his integrity, recommending others to return any money, telephones, or other valuables they may pick up.
Tuloe was given a reward of cash as well as materials worth around $1,500 by Yancy. He said that he would share the reward with some of those traveling with him while he would give the mattress he received to his grandma.