As a Documentary Photographer, whenever i go out to document life of people with my lenses, I usually capture their Joy or Pain. But in the case of these women of Makoko settlement along Third Mainland bridge, Lagos-Nigeria, it is a mixture as they are joyous even in their pain.
These women who literarily live on water strive to make ends meet and keep their families together. Paddling their canoes, they go meeting the fishermen on water to take the fishes to a Fish market in the settlement. Some go get firewood. Some do transport dredged sand from the ocean bed in canoes.
Some of them have irresponsible husbands and they have no option but to ‘hustle’ to care for their children (i can’t called them ‘kids’ because it is ‘Ajebota’ that are kids, ‘Ajepako’ are children)
Some of them are either second or third wife to their husbands and everyone need to fend for their children when the man of the house is out to have his usual “Kai Kai” drink.
Some of them on the other hand have responsible husbands and couldn’t watch him bearing the responsibilities alone, hence, they support their husbands in this regard.
They live in a settlement where refuse dumps share premises with human beings. Mosquitoes have their “Army Baracks” (Artillery division) at Makoko water front.
Sometimes when I travel on the Third Mainland Brige, i wonder what fun people down there do have, having the ocean in front of your house and having the pleasure to fish in the ocean seem a good life to me but you need to come down from the bridge to see the reality.
I am Kayode Balogun
iWrite. iTeach. iDocument