It was a cool morning as the rain showers fell gracefully and rendered the weather perfect for those who were in bed. It was soe minutes to six and the street was scanty. It was a Friday morning and as such most workers were getting prepared for work while the students snored as they slept as they were on holiday.
There was a church on the Babalola street. They held their vigils on Fridays and this Friday was no exception as they were rounding off program. Minutes after, the congregation dispersed slowly. While some left there for work, others retired to their homes.
Two men were walking on the streets, they were members of the church. They were headed home and walked behind a girl of about fourteen years who had just come out from one of the houses on the street. There was a reasonable distance between them.
‘Ahn ahn! Is that not Kike, the daughter of the vegetables and pepper seller?’ He looked at his friend’s face puzzled. ‘I thought they lived in that their shop or have they moved?’ He added has he wiped the mud on the hem of his trousers.
‘My brother, you’re right, oun kuku no, they haven’t moved o, they still live in that shop,’.
‘So why is she coming out from that house, do they have relatives there?’ Ade wouldn’t let the matter slide easily.
‘Relatives bawo, what she has there are clients,’ He winked at his friend. ‘She is of high class as you’re seeing her like that’.
‘Ehn ehn, i thought she was in JSS 3 class’
‘See you. I mean the kind of men that carries her are not the hungry type. This is not the first time I’d be seeing her come out of houses early in the morning like this.’
Kike was the second of the two girls her mum had. Their father had left them since Kike was two years old. Later, rumours had it that her father already had a family before he married her mum. This was no good news for her mom who had no educational background and was a full housewife when her husband was around.
Kike’s mother, Labake struggled to make ends meet for herself and her daughter’s. She did menial jobs to put food on the table for them. After two years, she was able to gather money to rent s shop where she begun selling vegetables and pepper. They slept in the shop for a whole year before she was able to rent another shop as their new home.
In no time, her little Kike grew up to be a beauty. She began going with men and although Labakeknew, she looked the other way since she had no choice. She loved her daughters. She hadn’t wished for tgis kind of life for them but it was what fate had in store.
During the day, Kike would go to school, return home to hawk and at night, meet her clients. When on school breaks, she’d resume her apprenticeship at a fashion designer’s shop. Since her mother was unable to pay the whole fees, Kike has to spend and extra year with her boss after completing her apprenticeship.
This is no fiction. This is a true life story. Beloved, the hustle is real.