An 18-year-old homeless nursing mother has told her story to the Mirror newspaper in the hopes of obtaining governmental assistance in achieving her aim of becoming a hairdresser.
My name is Maame Akua. I am speaking from Accra.
I hail from Asankragwa in the Western Region.
I followed my friend from Asangrakwa to Accra to sell water because my grandmother who used to take care of me had grown older and couldn’t do so anymore. We used to stay with my mother, but she passed away. I have never known my father.
When we reached Accra, my friend run away and I could not find her anymore.
A certain man who approached me and said he would help me find my friend took me in.
I was a virgin and he slept with me.
Next, I realised I was pregnant. He gave me some medicine to drink to terminate the pregnancy but because I refused to, he run away from me and I could not trace him anymore.
Anytime I called my grandmother, she cried, so I stopped calling her. Now I can’t get through to her number again.
I asked a woman for help and she said she didn’t have money but could give me lemons to sell on commission basis.
So I started selling them at traffic lights in Accra. I stayed stay at a place where I was charged GH₵15 a week, in a shared room, but because I could not make enough from my sales I couldn’t pay anymore and I have ended up sleeping on the rail tracks here at the CMB market.
My beddings are what you see lying behind me on the ground. When I was in labour,I went in tears and pain to a nearby clinic. The nurses there helped to deliver me of my baby. They gave me clothes for her.
The woman who supplies me with the lemons takes my daughter to sell at Tema station because I am almost always in the scorching sun.
I need help, but every man wants to sleep with me before they do so. I sleep on the rails. I pay Gh₵1 to have my bath, GHc1 to even go to the washroom. I even have to pay GH₵0.50p before I am allowed out of these gates here everyday. At dawn, I have to wake up, when it rains I take refuge under the shed here.
I beg for money to buy diapers for my daughter. I need help. A hairdresser is ready to take GH₵ 1200 to teach me so I could become a hairdresser.
I would be grateful for any help to achieve this so that I will be able to take care of my daughter. I want her to become what I have not been able to become.