The country is hard, there are no good jobs to be found and as for getting capital to start up a business, it is easier for the camel to pass through a needle, except of course you have godfather or God intervenes. That is the reality, yea I know that, we know that.

Yet people triumph over these, they find a way around it and survive, some even excel. I recently had a deep interaction with a very young, dynamic, and hardworking lady whom I see almost every day but did not know the burden she is carrying. Her situation and the way she has been managing it make me admire her wit, patience, courage and doggedness.

Frances got married at a tender age. Charles her husband came, handsome, tall, intelligent, educated and managing okay as a contractor and swept her off her young, innocent feet. Despite the warnings and subsequent refusal of her family, Frances went against their will and married Charles. Therefore, they abandoned her to her fate.

Before long, the babies started coming, one two, three children in six years and with their advent came the exodus of Charles income and contracts. Guess what happened next. No, no, you got it wrong. Handsome Charles began to relegate his duties to the wife, after all, he was not getting contracts, who would blame him, economy is bad.

Frances does not possess any degree certificate, (though she has enrolled in a part time programme in the higher institution) therefore, getting a good job was even more difficult for her. So, to eke out a livelihood, Frances began doing petty businesses in front of our office complex and that was how she and I became friends. She sells corporate wears, food, recharge cards, anything she can lay her hands on.

This lady is so beautiful and young that at first, I did not know she was married not to talk of having three children. In time, circumstances brought us closer and I came to learn what a great gem she is.

Every term, she must make sure she pays up every fee for the three boys before they would be thrown out of the school. People seeing how she struggles to pay the exorbitant fees advised her to enroll them into a cheaper school. She refused because she is determined to give her boys a better chance at life than she herself got. She buys every item of clothing that these boys need, except she wants them tattered and naked. When they fall ill or get injured, it is her that takes care of their hospital bills.

Recently, she herself became very ill but could not allow herself the luxury of rest as the doctors suggested. She collapsed a number of times in her quest to make ends meet not minding the illness.

Before Frances goes out every morning, she makes sure she drops enough money for feeding for the day, not just for the kids, but also for her husband. Failure to do so means exposing her children to hunger.

Now, the landlord is on their neck to pay up their long overdue rent, Frances runs up and down looking for way to pay up before they are thrown out of the apartment. After much thought, she decided to approach schools to see if they will allow her sell food inside the school premises since she cooks very well. Fortunately, the first school she approached has allowed her to start during the weekends for the part time students which she did for the first time the previous weekend. In time, we hope she will be able to pay the rent and take proper care of herself and her family.

Are you asking same questions I asked? Where is Charles in all of these? What does he do to assist the wife despite the poor economic situation we all found ourselves in? Your guess is as good as mine.

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