Justina Obi, a widowed 39-year-old washerwoman has received a lift of N100,000 from one of the esteemed readers of BusinessDay Newspaper. Justina started the business a few weeks ago and earns less than N10,000 monthly. With eight children to cater for, life has indeed been very tough.
Concerning her late husband, she said, “He died in 2010. He is the only son of his mother and I was his only wife and was expected to have many children. He took adequate care of the family until he fell sick and died.”
She added, “I was selling foodstuffs such as rice and beans in Rivers state. After my husband died, things became very difficult.
He was into sales of electronics and was doing very well but during the three months he was in hospital, a large part of his business funds was gulped up in the battle to save his life. So by the time he died, the business had practically folded up. If he had survived, he may have been able to revive the business.
I did not know much about electronics business and the proceeds I was earning from my foodstuffs business was not enough to take care of the children and the capital dwindled. Things became very tough for us. A friend then came from Lagos and asked me to come and work to earn extra income and send money home to the children.
I came with her but the work I was introduced to was not the type a God-fearing person should be doing. But there are many other good opportunities to earn money in Lagos if one is very hard working. I have decided to work very hard so that my children can have a decent living to grow up as responsible adults.”
So in addition to washing clothes and cleaning people’s homes, she plans to return to foodstuffs business in Lagos. She says, “With additional income from washing clothes and the bigger market in Lagos as I would be able to cope better. I also want to get more people to wash clothes for.” As she is currently squatting, she hopes to get a one-room accommodation with about N90,000 and then start the foodstuff business gradually.
On receiving the donation, a surprised Justina assessed the BusinessDay Dollar-A-Day cheque and asked who gave her the money. She was informed that it was one of the many esteemed readers of BusinessDay newspaper who have the lofty ideal of ensuring a better society through giving the less privileged the opportunity to do better in life. An overjoyed Justina then expressed profuse thanks to the unknown donor and to BusinessDay for the opportunity.
Justina believes strongly that with the financial support, her ability to work hard and God’s backing she would be able to earn a more decent income to provide for her children who are currently staying with relatives.