Alabaru makes N3,000 on a bad day in Lagos. There is DIGNITY in Labour.

Alabaru makes N3,000 on a bad day in Lagos. There is DIGNITY in Labour.


Everything makes me curious and even a hot day can be an adventure. I am in Lagos island shopping with a friend and the usual “alabaru” (please translate, luggage carrier ) helps us with our luggage. I am just curious about how much she makes and how she got into the trade, so I simply ask. She has been in the business for 9years, after her hubby left her and she had to fend for her children. On a good day she makes N5,000 and on a low sales days she makes N3,000. She can make up to N10,000 if a customer requires her services for the whole day. I asked how she manages with all the heavy loads she has to carry everyday. When she first started, she said she used to get dizzy and sometimes it seemed she would tip customers goods over but eventually she got the hang of it. She was all smiles and chatty throughout the transaction but had to leave in a hurry, another client calls. What is it about Lagos that makes you curious? PS. Wipes can save adult lives in the blazing sun.

#lagosdiairies Funmi Akinsola is a writer, radio host, media personality and now a guest blogger on mrsceonaija.

Bonus- Mrsceonaija’s thoughts:

  1. There is dignity in labor– when I was a child, I heard the adage- ‘ise logun ise’ which means work is the drug/remedy for poverty. Please, do not belittle anyone because of what they do. When next you see that Alaburu, give her a smile, give her respect because she is earning a HONEST living. Let us restore the pride that comes with hard work in our society.
  2. From Alabaru to POSSIBILITY. As they say, you never know when fate will beam a smile on you. From an alabaru, this lady may meet someone who will be so impressed with her diligence and take her to do greater things. (remember Olajumoke!) Whatever you find yourself doing today, do it WELL even if it is not what you will love to do for the rest of your life. You can only get positive reactions from it.

Picture credit: digital journal



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