COVID-19, states and the poorest of the poor

Nnedinso Ogaziechi


She had tears rolling down her pale sunken cheeks, her faded and torn piece of wrapper barely able to cover her nakedness. She had one baby on her back and was holding onto one, both showing clear cases of malnutrition. I had asked her whether they were twins but she then told me their ages, three and five. The children were of course retarded, a condition common to most children in the country.

Mama Jide sells vegetables at the street corner. I had checked on her the previous day and but her table was covered and her blue plastic chair turned upside down. We had become friends since she told me her story. She had been married for four years without a child. So her husband, a bricklayer had married a second wife. Her own two kids came years after but the gulf was already too deep and she virtually has had to financially sustain herself and her kids. Her older sister had given her ten thousand naira to start the vegetable business.

So Iya Jide as she is…

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