The Pain Of Survival Inspired by Covid19 Lockdown
My name is Chinyere. I’m an orphan from Umueke southeast Nigeria and this is my story…
In January 2005 my Dad who is a trader got married to my mom a Secondary School teacher, they had me a year after their marriage and had my little sister Ngozi 4 years later. Everything was moving fine in our family and everyone was happy. My Dad was one of the richest Traders in our community.
One day my mom went to the farm 50 miles away from the residential area, to harvest some cassava and was attacked by some unknown men. They brutally raped and murdered her in cold blood, took some private parts of her body, and dumped her corpse by the roadside.
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It’s almost 7 PM and my mom hasn’t returned from the farm..so strange and unusual. My mom doesn’t spend more than 2hrs on the farm as my Dad instructed her not to over labored herself since we lack nothing. My Dad even tried stopping her from farming but my Mom wouldn’t listen. Her excuse was that she can’t have a fertilized farmland and still buy Garri, Ugu, Okra & Ose from the market. Her points look a little bit convincing, hence my Dad couldn’t argue it.
Now it’s late already and she’s not yet back from the farm as usual. I and my Dad became worried, my little sister is just 3yr old and doesn’t know what’s going on.
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My Dad Immediately rushed down to the nearest police station to make a report. And on his way back from the police station he met with the community vigilante group on evening patrol duty and also reported the situation to them. They immediately him to the farmland where my Mom always goes to every weekend.
They got to the farm, searched the whole farmland but couldn’t find her. Some hours later the police came and joined on the search. Sigh ..they all searched and searched until they got exhausted and decided to go and come back the next morning. But on their way home, one of the Vigilante men stumbled on my Mom lying lifeless by the roadside, where the unknown men raped, killed, cut off her private parts, and dumped her.
They took her corpse to the mortuary, after several unfruitful investigations by the police, she was buried. Then life became lonely for me and my little 3yr old sister. She cries every day and night calling”Mommy Mommy Mommy”.
My Dad was all I and my little sister got. He always makes sure we don’t lack anything. At times he won’t go to the market, he will stay at home with us to make sure I and my sister are okay. He plays with us, buys us anything we wish for even some things that are not necessary or needful. He was the best Daddy in the world.
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Then lately 2017 the worse happened. Some groups of Military men by the name “Operation Python Dance” invaded the market where my Dad was selling and took him alongside other traders and non-traders. They were badly punished and tortured until my Dad passed on in the process.
After my dad’s death, life became hard and miserable for me and my little kid sister. My uncle ceased everything my Dad left behind and wouldn’t allow us to have access to any. I was in SS3 then while my little sister was in JSS1, so I had to drop out so that I can hustle to make sure my kid sister continue her education.
Sigh! I started hawking sachet water popularly known as Pure Water. I started the pure water selling business from the money some good Samaritans and some of my Dad business colleagues dashed I and my little sister.
At my age then, I couldn’t figure out any better lucrative business to start up with, than pure water selling. So I bought a plastic bowl and a bag of pure water from the money they dashed us and started hawking on the streets of Umuahia.
At times after the School period, my little sister will join me to hawk. But I stopped her from joining me due to how I regularly get abused and molested by some area boys and touts. My little is all I’ve got, so I don’t want anything to happen to her.
Now my state government has ordered the total lockdown of the state due to the Covid19 pandemic. But I and my little sister are hungry. We survive by daily hustle. If I don’t hawk pure water for a day, we won’t eat. The hunger is too much for us. I had no option than to violate the government order by hawking on the street alongside my little sister since School is closed and I have no one to leave her with.
A military man saw us hawking, he asked us what we are doing on the street instead of sitting at home. We explained everything to him but upon the explanations, he went ahead to dragged my shit, hit the pure water bowl off my head with a stick, hit my two legs with the same stick.
Right now I’m in severe pain and hungry at the same time. I and my sister haven’t eaten anything for the past 4 days. I don’t mind dying, but I don’t want my little sister to die of hunger. I want her to live and tell the world our story.
Help us with the little you can. Food, money, or anything. At least for the sake of my little sister.
My name is Chinyere and that was my story. # Covid19Lockdown VS