My name is Margaret and I am a proud bricklayer. I grew up as a depressed young girl. I haven’t had the fine things of life. I have five younger ones and a very sick mother. My late father was able to buy a plot of land with the meager savings he earned as a messenger where he built our immediate one room apartment and made us promise never to sell it so we didn’t have to worry about accommodation.
I am not one of the bright girls not even when I was in school. I couldn’t assimilate things as fast as my peers did. I have always seen school as a means to end my family’s hardship up until when I had to drop.
I attended a public girls-only school where I was almost abused by a male teacher who later for fear of being reported claimed that I tried to seduce him and had me expelled before I could complete my ss1.
It was painful for my mother to hear those rumors about me everywhere she went but I learned to live with it because I knew I was innocent.I escaped with my pride as a woman and that was all that mattered to me at the time. I joined my mom at the roadside where she made fries for sale.
People started calling me “Maggi alakara “since Maggie was my Nickname. Our gains was what we lived on so I didn’t care what people called me. All my younger ones were brighter than me. I was like a curse to my family as the first child. I had the maturity of a 25year old but I am just 17.
I tried to cover myself with my mother’s clothes to cover my shapes for they seemed to me more of a curse than a blessing. I had men lusting over me everywhere I went.
Seasons changed and our Akara business couldn’t take care of all our family needs so I had to find a job. I couldn’t get anything worthy. I spent more time working and getting peanuts and my younger brother advised me to learn a trade but there wasn’t money for it. Situations got worse until finally I found a building site and begged them to let me do anything to get small profits. They all laughed at me as they saw such work as a man’s job.
The surveyor had pity on me and allowed me carry blocks and pay me #500 daily. I didn’t complain as it was a blessing to get any money from any job so I started that same day and closed 6pm to join my mom at the roadside.
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL