Abigail migrated from Atuobikrom, in eastern Ghana, to Accra nearly two years ago to help her mother with her business and save money to pay for her training. With no school education, Abigail is behind the 90% between 15 and 24 years old who speak English in the country. But her dream to attend school is bigger.
She wakes up every day at 5:00am to do household tasks. Later, she arranges the plantains that were fried the night before in around 100 packs and place them in her orange basket. After walking 600 yards carrying 10kg over her head, Abigail arrives to a busy junction in front of the police headquarters to sell the “Sister Mercy” chips, branded after her mother. Despite the city’s hot-and-very-humid weather, she works for six or seven hours straight.
Abigail returns back home at 5:30pm. She puts charcoal on the traditional clay oven, grabs a cooking pot and heats the oil to fry the next-day chips. Her mother helps her cut and fry the plantains to let them dry overnight.
After a long day, Abigail is exhausted but cheerful because she has saved 20 cedis. Over the past year, she has only saved 180 cedis, as she had to use most of her savings to help her sick grandmother in Atuobikrom.
Despite challenges, Abigail is hopeful. Standing on the porch of her apartment, she thinks about the name of her future hairdresser salon.