Habiba Ladan

Khadijah Ibrahim is 15 years old and the only child of her parents. She is a brilliant young girl in secondary school and also a fruit hawker in the streets of Kano State.
In an interview with DPH NEWS she details why she’s into street hawking.

DPH NEWS: How many years have you been hawking?

Khadija: I have been hawking for two years now.

DPH NEWS: Do you go to school?

Khadija: Yes I do attend school, I am a jss 1 student currently.

DPH NEWS: Why are you not currently in school?

Khadija: it is because today is Sunday and school doesn’t open on Sundays. I only come out to hawk when there’s no school which explains why am hawking today.

DPH NEWS: Are you not supposed to be at home preparing yourself and reading your books ahead of Monday?

Khadija: I will do that when I get back home after I finish selling my fruits.

DPH NEWS: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Khadija: I want to be a successful business woman and a philanthropist.
I want to go into exportation of fruits to other countries which is why I must go to school because it’s only through school that my dreams can come true.

DPH NEWS: Why do you hawk?

Khadija: My parents put me up to it. They wanted me to be contributing financially to the household expenses.
I am an only child, I have no siblings so it’s only natural that I help out.

DPH NEWS: What do your parents do for a living?

Khadija: My father is a Trader, while my mother is a local cleaner and dish washer. Their wages are not really enough to take care of all of us so I help out in a way I can.

DPH NEWS: When you go out to hawk, do boys approach you?

Khadija: Yes they do sometimes approach me and sometimes I do stop and listen to what they have to say when the person looks decent but I don’t listen to indecent looking guys, I leave immediately and they never disturb me after that.

DPH NEWS: How do you feel when you go out to the streets and hawk?

Khadija: I really feel good about it.
Everytime I see people with their hawking tray, walking in groups, chatting and having a good time I always admire them and that’s another reason why I hawk and honestly I still feel good about it.

DPH NEWS: Don’t you admire school like how you admire hawking?

Khadija: I also admire going to school too. Going to school and hawking are the two things I love doing.
I never let street hawking hinder my school in any way because I admire the two together.

DPH NEWS: Do you have any challenges you face regarding school?

Khadija: well there are challenges which I face regarding my education.
For a whole day, we mostly have only one teacher who comes into our class and if we are unlucky enough we don’t even get a single teacher.
Our teachers don’t even take our education seriously and I feel like hawking will help my parents more right now.
Also the teaching techniques used sometime makes it difficult for me to understand, we lack writing materials, have inadequate ventilation and crowded classrooms brings about a great challenge what it comes to my education.

DPH NEWS: If Kano state government introduces a law to ban hawking, will you be happy about it?

Khadija: No I will not be happy about it.
I hawk to help my parents earn a living and banning hawking will hinder our livelihoods.
And like I also mentioned earlier, I really enjoy hawking and that will affect my happiness too.

DPH NEWS: Do you know that Kano state government have put forward a bill which will make it compulsory for children to go to school called the ‘Child Protection Act’?

Khadija: Yes I am aware of the Bill.

DPH NEWS: Do you know that education is free in Kano state?

Khadija: Yes I know it’s free but they always ask us to pay the sum of N700 and nobody is doing anything about it.

DPH NEWS: What advice do you have for Kano state government?

Khadija: The Kano State government should be just to the people.
They should also put up a body that checks the affairs teachers when it comes to attending class and also pay them on time.
They should also provide security for students in schools.

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