“When this is over, I will make you a big bowl of yam porridge”, Mama Biodun pacified her crying child even though she felt bad. Breakfast was ẹ̀kọ, again. While her older children understood why things were that way, it was harder for her five year old.
She dished the food and settled down to hers with a sigh. It was not like she liked the meal but there was no choice. Since schools closed, the family had survived on the meagre earnings her husband got from transporting people with his marwa.
“Funny how life could change so much in such a short time”, she thought sadly. If only someone had told her things would be like that.
Three months ago, it was a different story. As one of the fruit sellers in a public school of considerable population, she made enough daily to feed and clothe her family. She learnt the trade from her grandmother, so she knew when to get what fruit and where to get the cheapest and most succulent fruits.
Mama Biodun had gotten to school that day to the news of schools closing down. Covid-19 had seemed so far away from her that except for the curfew, she never spared it much thought. She was devastated. What would she do with the basket of cashews and oranges she just bought? She would have kept the money if she had known, at least she would try selling other things.
She hawked the fruits with her oldest daughter and even with that, roughly half of them got spoilt. Getting more was out of it because it took a while to sell the ones she did and the money was spent as it was earned.
She hoped she would be able to retain her space as a vendor and most importantly, get enough money to start her trade again. If not for anything, to fulfill the promise she made her son.