A Memory…

Have you ever lived in a shack? Have you ever set foot on the sandy carpet of a shack where they can’t afford to get cold cement put in? Here is the funnier part, have you ever been too poor to own that type of shack? Have you and your family ever had to place black disposable bags over that sandy carpet floor, all four of you, sleeping on that in a make shift living room where strangers had taken pity on you because you had nowhere to go. Have you ever had to sleep next to a rusty punctured bin burning with coal because the body heat of four bodies was not enough to keep winter from penetrating the metal? Many a times I watched my mom wash our uniform and hang it outside overnight, only to take it down in the morning after we have had our meal from the paraffin stove, so that the paraffin smell won’t cling to us, so that the scent of poverty won’t escape from our colours blazer in our model C schools. What’s scariest is that I never, not once did I see my mother cry. Everyday she burned the imboula and every day she washed our clothes late at night long after the candles were out that marked our homework, and every day she went to work and disguised the poverty as hard labour.

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