The road to another Makoko
- 3 Posts
- Age 28
For a moment I thought I was at the popular 'Makoko' in Lagos state, Nigeria. Kids running around naked, houses built on wooden support, schools sited on a large expanse of wastes as in a slum and yet people living normally as though they were on a gold mine! This is not Makoko, but another Low income community in Lagos; and this is where I met her.
She should be in her early thirties or late twenties and already has four children with no husband or support. As we talked, the sun shone brightly; exposing her already wrinkled skin. She was young, meant to be full of life, yet frail.
I always thought enrolling a child in a government primary school was one of the most affordable child-investments to venture into; at least it was tuition free. Until I met her; and realized not everyone could afford the cheapest things in life.
I watched as her little child played excitedly, oblivious of the fact that she was missing out of school because her mother couldn't afford the uniforms. 'So it's because of uniform this child will stay out of school, Hian!'.
But while I looked worried, she was hopeful. She believed, she would work and save enough money to buy uniforms for her two children and send them to school.
She is not alone in this. There were other women, who also watched helplessly as their children ran the streets aimlessly, while their counterparts were in school learning. They need help too. So, while planning that next low-income community (LIC) initiative; don't just think Makoko, think 'OTHERS'.
Think of the woman who combines two or more odd jobs to save enough money to send her child to school.
Think of the woman who misses the aso-ebi; so she can buy a uniform for her child.
Think of the woman who chooses to wears slippers so she could buy new sandals for her child.
Think of the woman who doesn't give up on her child's future despite her socioeconomic status.
And today, I celebrate all women in the various 'Makokos'.
Happy International Women's Day!
P.S: 'Aso-ebi' is a yoruba slang used to describe a particular clothing material choosen by a group of people for a festival or ceremony.