By Janice Johnson Pemida
After I finished the hairdressing course, my madam at work made arrangement for me to go with a friend of hers to Abuja. Her friend told us she had a big hairdressing saloon in Abuja and needed someone to work for her. Fortunately, my madam recommended me and I agreed to go with her. So I packed my things, thanked Mrs Gbadebo and her husband for accommodating me and helping me with my current achievement, then I went off with the unknown lady to Abuja. My madam trusted her so I didn’t think there was any need to be afraid.
The journey from Lagos to Abuja was hectic because we went by road and it was a very long journey. Prior to that time, I had never traveled such a long distance in my life. We left at night and got there early in the morning. From the park, we chartered a taxi straight to Maitama, where my new madam lived. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we got there. What a beautiful place to behold. After settling in, Madam Eze, whom to me was my new saviour, took me round and showed me the Salon. It was indeed a beautiful place. Far more sophisticated than where I had my training in Lagos. I was happy that at long last, I can start earning something tangible and can plan for my future.
The next day, I started work immediately. Each and every day we had so many customers trooping in and out of the saloon and so we were extremely busy. There were times we worked from morning till 11pm. We were making a lot of money and I was very happy. Madam Eze kept on promising me that she will change my life for good that I won’t be able to remember where I came from and all I have been through. She even told me, we will eventually travel to Canada and make a lot of money there because according to her, hairdressing abroad was a very lucrative business. I was so happy that finally, my suffering has come to an end. I just couldn’t wait to travel to Canada.
However, work continued until one month passed, two months, three months and no salary from Madam Eze. She had an agreement with my madam in Lagos that she will be paying me N15, 000 monthly apart from shelter and feeding, so I was surprised she wasn’t giving me anything. I finally summoned courage and asked her why she hasn’t paid me as agreed and that was when all hell broke loose. She insulted me and told me I was ungrateful. She said despite all what she has done for me by saving me from frustration and bringing me to Abuja, providing shelter for me and feeding me, I am here asking her rubbish. I cried so much that day. What a life, I thought to myself. Just when I thought all my troubles were over and now this?
Unfortunately, I had no phone to contact my Madam in Lagos or anybody at all. I continued working for her but things were never the same anymore after I confronted her. She began to hate me and started treating me in a very cold manner. One day, out of the blues, she asked me to pack my things and leave because she was tired of fending for me. As if I wasn’t also being beneficial to her. I begged her but her mind was made up. In tears, I packed and left, back to the streets, this time around in a place I wasn’t familiar with and had no one and nowhere to go to. I couldn’t even call anybody. I was alone again in my own world, just me and my God.
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