Her eyes welled with tears. The sight of her sleeping daughters, who had now become unusually skinny reminded her of her inability to provide them with a decent meal. Though she was just a roadside hustler, she was, however, able to feed her teenage daughters, who were as hardworking as she was. Their recently developed habit of continuous drinking of garri was beginning to cost the widow and her daughters their health. They would exhaust the last cups of garri that afternoon.
“I am going to the construction site that I told you about. If I get hired, I should be able to make some money to buy foodstuffs. We’ve had enough garri in this house”. Iya Ibeji woke Taiwo up to inform her about the job that her friend informed her about. They had barely survived on the token that was collected from Iya Alajo two months before when the lockdown began. As a result, the news of the carrier job that the mother might get that day renewed their hope of not starving to death eventually.
“Taiwo, Kehinde, Get up. Let us go out and join Baba Wale and the others. We don’t have money but we still have our voice.”, Iya Ibeji said to her daughters who were surprised that she came back home after about thirty minutes that she left for the construction site.
“She probably didn’t get the job. That’s serious.”, Kenny said to her twin sister. They both became sad. They quickly got dressed and followed their furious mother out. They were going to join the group of protesters led by Baba Wale, their landlord’s eldest son, who was a bus driver.
“Enough is enough oo. Hunger virus go kill us before coronavirus…!” The protesters chanted loudly as they walked down to the nearest Government Council.
“Isn’t that the woman who lives in the house beside our house?” Iya Ibeji asked her daughters rhetorically, pointing at a middle aged woman who was attending to four different customers by the roadside.
“Yes, it is Iya Leke. When did she start selling roasted corn? And people are patronising her oo. Wow, see! Those two people have stopped in front of her. They want to buy corn too.” The twins wondered about the whole situation. The trio exchanged known glances and returned home.
It’s six months after the outbreak of Covid-19. Shalewa, the twins’ only friend returns from a long journey and comes to the house to see her friends. They are not at home; so, she is directed to where the family is.
Kehinde sees her first before calling Taiwo’s attention. The three friends jump on one another. It is more like a reunion. It doesn’t take long before Shalewa sees the boldly written words “T & K Place: Your No. 1 Stop for the best Ewa-Agonyi” on a banner outside the small-sized shop.
It doesn’t take too much explanation from the twins before she gets to understand that the aftermath of Covid-19 actually forced them to think of a way to survive by taking advantage of their culinary skills.