ALICE KAYIBANDA

Photography & Film

I used to be a beggar

October 16th, 2015

MH2A0121

I am 80 years old and I used to be a beggar. I would be roaming around the market and beg for money of the people in cars who had come to shop at the market. I had two kids and three grand children to take care of. Sometimes I would spend the whole day begging and only get RWF 100 or when I was lucky maybe RWF 300. I would buy a kilo of potatoes but we would finish it the same day. The following day I would go back to the market to beg and wouldn’t get anything. I tried to get work but It was tough because people only want to hire young people with a lot of energy. When I was lucky , I would cultivate in exchange for maize and beans.Life started to smile at me when the sector selected me among poor people and they built me a house in the village. Five years ago I got a job here. I am learning how to process wool. I am paid RWF 36,000. I can buy food, soap and clothes. I wish I could have a cow so we can drink milk at home. I would not even sell it the milk. We would just drink it at home. Every time I get paid I tell myself that this time we will drink each a glass of milk but I always have a lot of bills.

I can’t afford to buy milk.

Photo: Alice Kayibanda

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