People

Inside the world of child hawkers (2)

Hawking-groundnut-to-survive-2

Child labour remains a major source of concern in Nigeria, in spite of stiff legislative measures. Child labour is defined as work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children and deprives them opportunities for schooling and development. Child hawkers have continued to increase despite the effort of government at curtailing this development.

Parents scared of finding themselves on the wrong side of the law, rein in their children during the day. However, child hawkers simply come out in the evening and at night when law enforcement officials are scarce.

ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to some child hawkers about their experience…

YINKA BELLO, Pure water seller

Why are you hawking on the street?

I am hawking to assist my mother.

Do you live with your parents?

No, I am staying with my uncle.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I go to school and hawk when I come back.

How much do you make per day?

At least N500.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

May be when I stay out too late but I try not to stay too late. I also avoid selling close to the main road because of motor accident.

How do you protect yourself from danger?

I avoid the busy main road.

CHINEYE ANOKURU, Orange seller

Why are you hawking on the street?

To help my parents.

Do you live with your parents?

I am staying with my parents.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I am in primary three. I will go to school and hawk when I come back from school.

How much do you make per day?

I make N1,300. At times, I don’t make that much.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

I don’t face any danger. I sell my wares carefully and I go back home.

How do you protect yourself from danger?

I don’t move alone. If not with those selling oranges, I move with other hawkers.

ADA, Groundnut seller (9)

Why are you hawking on the street?

I hawk to assist my aunty so that she will pay my school fees and also give me food.

Do you live with your parents?

No, I live with my aunty because my parents are late.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I hawk when I come back from school.

How much do you make per day?

I make N600 or N800.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

I don’t encounter any danger.

EMEKA, Groundnut seller (12)

Why are you hawking on the street?

I hawk for the survival of my family.

Do you live with your parents?

No, I live with my aunty

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I hawk after school hours.

How much do you make per day?

I make up to N500 or N700.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

The hot sun and rain are the only danger I face every day.

How do you protect yourself from danger?

When the sun is too hot or it’s raining, I take cover.

 

FOLAKE, Plantain chips seller (13)

Why are you hawking on the street?

I hawk because my family needs to survive. My mother fries plantain and as her child I need to assist her in making extra money.

Do you live with your parents?

Yes, I live with my mother.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I hawk when I come back from school, but not every day.

How much do you make per day?

I make close to N3,000 per day.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

I don’t encounter any danger because I’m very smart and careful.

 

MERCY IGBIN, Pawpaw seller (14)

Why are you hawking on the street?

I am hawking to assist my parents. My mother sells fruits at the front of our house. So, I hawk to support her.

Do you live with your parents?

Yes, I do.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I hawk when I come back from school, but now school is on holiday, I will hawk from 12 noon.

How much do you make per day?

I hawk pawpaw worth N1,500. Sometimes, I return home with the remaining one worth N200 or N150.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

None, except when drivers buy and they refuse to pay. I leave them for God to judge.

 

KEMI, Groundnut seller (12)

Why are you hawking on the street?

My mother said I should hawk so that she will have money to pay my school fees and eat.

Do you live with your parents?

Yes, I live with my parents.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I hawk every day when I come back from school.

How much do you make per day?

I make up to N1,000 some days.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

Sometimes I misplace money and when I get home, my mother will beat me.

How do you protect yourself from danger?

I am very careful.

 

MAMA, Agbalumo seller (15)

Why are you hawking on the street?

My aunt said I should hawk so that she will register me in school and also have money for our feeding.

Do you live with your parents?

No, I live with my aunty.

Do you hawk before going to school or when you come back from school?

I haven’t started school yet.

How much do you make per day?

Sometimes I make N1,000, sometimes N800. It depends.

What are some of the dangers you encounter?

Sometimes I fight my fellow hawkers.

How do you protect yourself from danger?

I avoid trouble by minding my business and they also go their own way.

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