Q: How long have you been working? A: It’s been over twenty years. I’ve been here for a long time. My children are in school. Q: Do you train them with this work you do? A: I train them fully with it. I don’t pray for them to suffer like I did. They used to work with me up until they went to school. Q: You mean your children were scavenging alongside with you? A: We all scavenged together. They did that with me when they were younger. During one of our visits to Oto Ilogbo slum in Ebute metta area of Lagos state, we met with this woman who says her name is Yinusa. And then of course she says she is a scavenger here. As you can see and that’s why I am standing very close to her. She’s been doing this for over twenty years. One of her children is even over thirty-five years. Or about thirty-five years old. She’s been doing this to fend for her family. So we decided to speak with her and ask her why she’s been doing this and what prompted her to do this kind of business in this place in spite of the dangers associated with doing this kind of work. My name is Damilare Okunola and you are watching Legit TV yet again. Big shout out to Emmanuel Osodi, the man behind the camera for bringing you this footage yet again. Q: How exactly do you describe this job that you do? A: It is scavenging. I pick the floor. Q: Why did you choose this of all jobs? A: When the hardship became unbearable. I suffered so much I had to do it. I am suffering. If we are into trading, our goods get seized. Council representatives don’t let us be. So a woman advised me to become a scavenger. My aunt. She brought me here. Q: Did she bring you to this exact location? A: Yes, it was this place. Q: Has this place always been like this? A: This place used to be a river. (Q: River?) A: It had water flowing through. Filling it made it look this way. Q: Does it mean you are the only scavenger around here? A: Yes. Q: What do you do with the stuffs you pick? A: I sell them. Q: What exactly do you find to pick? A: We pick empty plastic empty bottles broken containers that can still be used. Like these ones. Bottles. Q: How much do you make daily from scavenging? A: We don’t make much. It sometimes takes up to a year before we make money. However, we sell used clothes to Mallams. That’s how we get money to feed and move around. It sometimes takes up to two years to get money. See how full the ground is. Those collecting them are not ready. Some companies will come pick them. Q: You mean these sacks are filled with goods? A: Yes, those are things to be sold. Nylon, empty water bottles, broken containers, bottles. That’s all I have in there. Q: Where are your children? A: They are fine. Q: What about your husband? A: We are all doing well. Q: What does your husband do? A: He is a driver. Q: Does he know you do this kind of work? A: Ha! I didn’t let him know at first but I eventually opened up to him. Q: Why did you do that? A: May we not encounter difficulties. It’s not a job many like to be identified with considering my husband’s status. Later he questioned me as I leave the house very early in the morning because I was selling meat before. So I decided to go into scavenging. Q: Apart from selling meat, what other thing can you do? A: I’d been selling meat since I was young. When the meat business got bad and I stopped making profit I decided to quit. Q: Where do you live? A: Alaba. Q: Alaba? Where? A: Ajegunle. Q: You mean you come here all the way from there to scavenge? A: Yes. I start picking things all the way to this spot. Q: Do you dress this way when you are leaving your house? A: I’m getting ready to go home. I’ll soon clean up. No one knows. Except those I tell. You don’t seem happy with what you do. If there is no other way one has to accept her fate. Q: Are your children in school? A: My children are enrolled in school. Q: How old is the eldest among your children? A: She should be over thirty-five. Q: You mean your eldest child is over thirty-five? Is the person now married or what? A man or a woman? A: She’s a woman. Q: Don’t your children tell you to leave this work? A: They do. I don’t listen to them. Q: Why is that? A: They are still young They are struggling so I can’t frustrate them with my burdens. They are young. Once they have stable jobs I can lean back and rest. I’ll make them cater for me. But right now, they are still small I can’t make demands of them. Once they are settled, I will rest. Q: It’s about past one already and you are planning to leave, like how much have you made today? A: I haven’t made anything today. Maybe tomorrow… we can sell up to N500 or N1000. We sell in bits. Q: Are you here everyday? A: Yes, after all there is nothing else to do. Q: What about the yam here? A: We consume them. We use them for yam flour. Q: Did you buy or pick them? A: I didn’t buy them. They are mostly from yam tubers thrown away. We pick them then peel afterwards. Q: Are they still good? A: Yes they are, once peeled. This is not cassava. It is yam. Yam that can be used for yam flour.