• Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Sweeper says paying children’s school fees is her greatest worry

Name: Beauty Japhet

State of Origin: Delta State

Dependents: Three children

Business: I sweep people’s compounds for a living and I have been doing this business for seven years now. I also do laundry jobs but that does not come often.

Currently, I sweep three compounds all in Ikotun area of Lagos but because of the situation in the country, some people still owe me while others say they no longer need my services.

My husband is into sliding doors and windows but he went back to the village two years ago in search of another job. Business had been bad for him and he could not get another job in Lagos but since he travelled back to the village he has not found any job. He only calls once in a while to check on us when he has money to buy airtime which in once in many months.

Profit: I sweep three compounds thrice in a week. In one of the compounds, I’m paid N2,000 monthly and the other two, I get paid N2,500 and N4,000 monthly but I’m still being owed.

Sometimes people call me for laundry jobs and pay me between N300 and N1,000 depending on the quantity of the clothes. I also clean people’s houses but its once in a while.

Effect of the recession:

I hardly get favours like before and people are not giving me gifts the way they were giving me last year. They called me more last year for laundry jobs than this year. After working for people, when it gets to the time to pay, they will start complaining saying they don’t have money to pay. I cannot pay my children’s school fees now and feeding is even another problem.

School fees: I have not paid my children’s school fees since September last year. Out of pity, the proprietress of Heritage Nursery and primary school in Abaranje, my children’s school does not collect school fees for my daughter who is in Nursery two. She told me to pay N15,000 for the fees of my two children but still I still cannot afford that. The location of the public school is far from our house and my children are still very tender.

House rent: My landlord has been on my neck to pay the rent or vacate his house but I’m still begging him hoping that my debtors will pay me so I can pay part of what I owe him. I pay N2,000 every month and the last rent I paid was in June last year.

Challenge: I want my children to go back to school because education is more important. If I had gone to school, I won’t be a sweeper and life would have been better for my family. I also want to start selling foodstuff because it’s a very profitable business.