Everyone knows the fairytale story of Olajumoke Orisaguna, the bread-hawker-turned-model whose life was radically transformed by a twist of fate. And there are many like her, bread hawkers who, by circumstance, are stuck with the necessary livelihood that requires them to hawk bread to meet their daily needs.The ubiquitous nature of bread as a staple in most Nigerian homes can’t be overemphasized and Happenings Media writer Bernard Dayo met with 18-yr-old bread hawker Abeebat Ahmed in Surulere, whose story is sad as it is reflective of the dire economic situation in the country that inflicts hardship on Nigerians.
Why do you hawk bread?
Because no money. My mum die when I was 17 in Niger state and I go Osun to stay with my uncle. I leave secondary school that time because no school fees. I come to Lagos and my uncle take me to bakery where they distribute bread and I start from there to sell it.
On the average, how much do you make daily from the sales of your bread?
500 naira, but if market is good, it can go like 700 naira.
How much is the worth of the bulk of bread you hawk around?
2,500 naira. Sometimes it can go up.
What are the challenges you encounter on your day-to-day hawking of bread?
I come from very far to come sell my bread and there are times when the bakery does not distribute bread to me. And it means that I don’t hawk bread for that day.
Are you happy with what you are doing?
No. I’m not happy. Because of that, I go learn tailoring in one shop not far from my place. I’m still learning.
I don’t like this bread that I sell. If I gather money when I become tailor, I want to go to UniIlorin to study law.
How about your uncle? Does he help you in any way?
I feed myself every day. Every day and night. My uncle no help from him.
Do you hawk bread every day of the week?
I sell my bread every time. Even on Sunday like this. I go about selling this bread so that I can have money.
How do you think the government can help you?
I want to go to school to continue. I sell bread because no other job for me to do and I want government to help me.