She was born with no silver spoon, no educational background, no siblings, she was just born. At 15 she was very intelligent and smart even without support from anyone. She had high hopes and high dreams, she didnt know of they will come to pass but she just believed.
Nadia lost her mom two Years ago to tetanus in the ancient city of benin. She remembers that day like it was yesterday. Her mom had been pierced by a big nail two weeks ago on their way from their daily hustle. Her mom had taught her to always be hardworking and never be lazy. And so what they do is go from dirt to dirt picking bottles and empty cans, wash them thoroughly then take them to the market for sales. Since two weeks that the nail entered the mother’s leg, she had managed to press the leg with hot water. That was the only medication they could afford. For whatever they got from their sales of bottles and empty cans went for their feeding.
So that day when they came back the leg was heavily swollen , and Nadia’s mom was wailing heavily. One could see she was in serious pain. Nadia was very worried but what can she do, there was nobody to call for help, not even neighbours because they lived in an uncompleted building that has been covered up with grasses before the mom cleared the inside, but the road leading to the building was still very bushy.
They had to move to that place after Nadia’s dad died and her uncles seized all of his properties, the mom had chosen to move to the uncompleted building that was far inside the Bush because she believed the owners of the place would not find out easily that there were people living in their property and true to her thoughts they had lived in that place for more than a year! Until this happened to her.
Nadia watched as her mom wallowed in pain, she wished there was something she could so to help her ease her pain.
”Nadia my daughter” # she began, ”you are my daughter, my light, my everything, you are the only thing that your uncles couldn’t take from me therefore you are the only true possession of mine. You have to be a very strong girl, in everything you do remember that God is always with you, remember to seek his opinion on everything and every decision you make, everything she said stressing on the everything. One day Nadi, my child, your uncles will come and apologise to you, please do well to forgive them, hold no grudge in your heart for anyone. Before you make any decision rake your time to have a second thought on it. I love you so much Nadi my child, and if I have the strength and the power I wouldn’t leave you. Nadia looked at her mom again and immediately understood that her mom was dying, so she started crying, mom please don’t leave me, don’t die please, let me run to the road , let me seek help please.
With tears in her eyes, the young beautiful woman whom suffering had made old held her daughters hand and continued. ”My child weep not, I am not leaving you, I may not be here physically with you but never forget that I am with you at all times. Your father and I will always be with you, to watch over you. Nadia my child, your joy Will come, you will go places, those that have caused you pains will come back and seek your help.
Then she pulled the necklace from her neck, it was a very old chain, Nadia had always seen that chain on her mom, she stretched it and gave it to Nadia. My child this is the only thing I can offer you, never take it odd from your neck. Let it remind you that I am always with you. Also its going to bring you luck wherever you go. Put it on she urged nadia who wore the chain but didnt stop crying. I love u my child, and she stopped breathing….
Mama, mama, mama, Nadia was screaming shaking her mom from head down but the woman was gone. Nadia cried for hours before dragging her mom to one corner of the building and digging a small pit she buried her mother there. I promise to make you proud she cried amidst tears.
When she got back inside of he building she was scared, she wanted to leave the place but she had nowhere else to go and so she decided she will stay until she finds somewhere for her to go. She counted the sales they had made that day it was about four hundred and thirty naira, she had no appetite to eat, she knew she could no longer continue with that work , she couldn’t do it alone. That night as she slept she knew it was a new beginning for her.
The next morning, Nadia still didnt have the appetite for food. She knew what to do for she thought about it through out the night, and so after washing up, she picked up the money and she knelt before her mother’s grave, mother you said I will make it, this is the first time am going out without you, please go with me today, dear Lord bless my hustle today. Amen putting a little of the sand where her mom was buried in a nylon bag she left the place and went into the streets of Benin she has seen little girls Carey coolers of satchet water on their heads hawking, she spoke with one of them and she was told she can rent the cooler. She was happy when she finally rented the cooler for 20naira and bought a bag of satchet water for naira60 she still had about 350 naira with her from the money her mom left behind. She started Hawking with the other girls. In almost an hour time her water was finished and she sold everything for 100naira, she quickly ran to carry another bag but by then she was very hungry. She took 100naira from the 350she carried and then she bought fufu and Edo native soup she ate quickly and then continued her hawking.
By the end of that day, Nadia had sold 12bags of water. She sat down to calculate the money with her, she had 1200, she quickly returned the cooler she rented, she bought food to eat for the night, she was super excited. She took a glance at the wall clock on the woman’s shop it was quarter past 9. She carried her nylon of food and headed home . she saw some few girls still selling but she was done for the day. It was a good start for her. She waved some of them goodnight and walked fast she needed to get past the thick bushes to her house……
To be continued
What does the future holds for Nadia?