Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Count your blessings

Speaking to vendors here, I hear the same heartbreaking stories over and over again. So often, the stories involve school fees and the need to raise them, either for oneself or for one's children.

This is Blessing Akpa. She's 19 years old, from Ebonyi state in Eastern Nigeria. Her father died when she was young, and ever since her mother died, in 2004, she's been selling pomo (cooked cow skin, aka shoe leather) on the street to pay school fees for herself and her three younger siblings. She makes about $7 a day.

KAI arrested her yesterday and brought her to court, where I met her. Today, she'll go before the magistrate, who will probably impose a sentence of 10,000 naira (about $70) or a month in jail. Hopefully, her uncle will be able to raise the money; otherwise she'll spend a month at Kirikiri prison, where one vendor told me the cells are packed so tight that "you breathe out, the person next to you breathes the same air in."

1 comment:

  1. ohhhhh my god I can't imagine those prisons!