The hardship in the land is real! A good Nigerian Natasha Akpoti has
narrated the shocking story of a female graduate who has been suffering
and living on Lagos streets for years because she couldn’t secure a job
and has no one to help.
Akpoti wrote: “Queen needs your help!!!
Last night I, like many were disturbed about the news of a young lad
burnt to death for attempting to steal garri. The images haunted my
sleep. Not only because of the gruesome murder of a human being
bitten hard by poverty, but because of those human beings that carried
the act and worse off, those who stood by capturing his death with their
This morning on my to the Singaporean embassy in Lagos, I saw besides
the gates of Eko hotel, a lady laying on the floor and everyone (black
and white) walked past her like she didn’t exist . I picked up my phone
and took this picture (below) with the hope that I could share a lesson
of poverty with you all.
At the embassy, I couldn’t get her image off my head. I felt even
ashamed to have taken only the picture without stopping to hear her
Immediately I stepped out of the embassy, I drove right back to her.
Woke her up and this is what she said in fluent English.
My name is Queen Okoye. I am 31 years old and a graduate of
YabaTech. I am from Orsu LGA in Imo state (she paused to spell Orsu
for me). Her father is Mr. Basil a Okoye. Mother is late. She lived with
her boyfriend whilst in school. Their relationship fell apart and he
kicked her out of his apartment. She has lived on the streets for years
because her sister (married with children ) refused to assist her.
I asked if she was on drugs and alcohol, but she said no. I noticed she
smiled a little too much but always added “I am happy a beautiful lady
like you acknowledged me. People walk by me everyday like I don’t exist “. This broke my heart.
o I asked permission to take a picture and share her story with you good
people. She asked ” will they help or laugh at me. People call me
crazy” . I told her the God that made me see her will make others connect to her.
I also asked if she had any message for you all . She looked at me and
said ” tell them I need help to get out of the streets. It all started like a
joke and now I can’t believe how low I have fallen. I might need some
counseling and medical attention because being out here changes one
drastically. I need a place to sleep and a job to fend for myself .
Please “ Beloved Nigerians, in our heart lies the power to do good and evil. I
understand hunger’s pain. I know exactly the danger poverty sting’s
delves to ones psych. At this trying times, let’s be sure to Chanel our frustration to the right persons and not the vulnerable like us.
Today, I had an option to be like everyone and walk past Queen but I
decided to be better. Everyone of us can attempt a little kindness and
love to each homeless person; or anyone about to be lynched by a crowd. A little effort goes a long way.
Queen stays in front of Eko hotel’s fence. She is waiting for someone
to read this and reach out to her. So if you work in Lagos state welfare
department or know any agency in charge of women, pls get to Queen.
Let’s all share a little kindness because it would all come back to us.
Queen needs you!!!”