In some Nigerian States like Taraba, some women take poverty and idleness by the horn and wrestle it into the dirt; by crushing rocks.
Generally, African women tend to fend for themselves when all seems to be lost. In countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe, the rural women travel for miles to the “Big Cities” to work on construction sites, carrying bags of cement on their heads, and shoveling bags of sands and laying bricks and plaster. Women all over the word go through one struggle or the other, and most of them overcome those obstacles through the power of sheer will.
African women especially those from the rural areas where the basic social and communal amenities are either deteriorating or completely not available, the struggle is almost impossible. Take the women from Plateau and Taraba States in Nigeria; most of them are widows, their husband’s former miners who died either in the Tin or Ore mines, or husbands who lost everything in the past sectarian crisis. These women aren’t young, some of them are in their late 50s and 60s, with children to feed, clothe and fees to pay, and grandkids to do the same for.
These women could decide to say that they are old and can’t work, or say there are no jobs, but instead they decided not only to work, but to pick up a hammer and crush huge rocks just to survive. A job which most people would say is predominantly a man’s job. They risk good health and limbs all in a bid to provide a hot meal, school fees, good clothes and a roof over the heads of their families. Even when they are sick, they still find the strength to go to the quarry to work, just to sustain their families. Some of the younger women attend school in the morning or at night, while they go to the quarry in the afternoon to work and still take care of their families.
These women are the true embodiment of the strength of the African woman. They are strong and have an unbreakable character, they have shunned weakness and have not lost hope. They have put their families first, all in a bid to ensure that the next generation have a better chance at life.
All photos are credited to EduAfrica.