Having a place to sleep at night is a challenge for many hustlers in Nigeria. For those who have great jobs and are able to fend for themselves with ease, this is simply grace. Legit.ng had an encounter with a petty trader who has lived in a shop for fifteen years.
Simbiat Raifu is a mother of five who struggles hard to make ends meet. She sells food condiments like onions, tomatoes, spices and oil in a shop she converts to a bedroom at night for herself and the children.
Legit.ng got to know that the brave woman has spent many years of her life in that shop during a visit to her area. The shop becomes a makeshift room at night when she and her children pack the wares they sell to a corner and spread mats on the floor for them to sleep.
Raifu’s husband had gone back to the village as he could not fend for the family. The woman, however, stayed back to hustle hard and fend for the children in order for them to become successful in the future.
Life has been hard on Raifu and her family as she lamented bitterly on their poor living condition. The roof of the shop she manages is bad and gives way to rain whenever it falls. She has tried fixing a part of it but water still gets in.
Trading is also hard for the mother of five as she revealed that she borrows money to run her business almost every time. All she wants from Nigerians is to find help as the responsibility of fending for the children rests solely on her.
Legit.ng got to know that her first child is about twenty years old while the second is nineteen. The remaining three children got a spacing of three years between them. Four of the children were given birth to while she lived in the shop.
The first child, a boy, does not sleep in the shop with his mother and the other children. He stays with his friend from time to time in order to create more room for them in the shop.
Raifu encourages her children to learn skills; one is into carpentry like the absentee father while another wants to be a tailor. Despite this, she still has kids enrolled in school. She withdrew one of them from a private school when she could no longer cope with the expenses.
The determined woman wants to be freed of debt; she said that she often hides from people she owes if she doesn’t have money to pay back. Many of them are often mad at her children when they say their mother is not around.
Raifu pays N4000 per month in the shop where she lives. The rent was recently increased from N2500 to the present fee. She has a good relationship with the property owner hence, the reason for being able to stay there for years. She confessed to owing rent from time to time.
I have slept in this shop with my five children for 15 years| Legit TV