It was crowded;

The whole place jam-packed with everyone minding their businesses

I also went about mine,

To do what I came to do

After all, I came so I could eat

Others were there for the same reason

Some to sell, some to buy

It was called a market.


Full of the old

Full of the young

The market, it was.

Full of the extortioners

Full of thieves, full of the Gullible,

They called it a market place.


Buy your oil, a voice called out.

E wa  ra eran o, another hoarse voice bellowed!

Your carrots madam, I heard from another corner.

Fresh okra! Fresh vegetable, one light skinned woman sang!

Follow me buy plaintain, another cajoled!

It was a market place,

A home of wares, a home for all.


Aunty, grind your pepper, a little voiced said gently.

Follow me sister, I go grind am sharp sharp, another hurriedly said.

Fighting to earn my hundred naira.


Looking at the two

One, an adult, a baby strapped to her back

They had to feed, diapers to be bought

Bills to be paid, she was called a mother, a wife.

The other, merely a child.

Rough looking but still pretty

Soft spoken, lovely hair

Yes, I noticed.

She also had to feed.

After all, wasn’t she there to earn her living?

“God bless you if you no bring many people con grind pepper with us”

Her mother had bellowed that morning.

Yes! She had to earn her living;

She had managed to convince just four people to grind with them.

Mama wanted more.

She had to earn a living.


Who was worthy of my hundred naira?

It was ten naira in ten places!

Ten places? Wow!

So much money, isn’t it?

Who would grind my pepper?

The older or the younger,

The one with a baby or the baby herself?

The most rugged or the gentlest,

After all, they both had to earn a living.

It was called a market place,

I looked at the two,

The one with a child, and the child,

And, I followed one!


One Reply to “THE HUSTLE”

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