Saturday, June 22, 2024

Joy on The Road – Fauzziyah Oyebode on Finding Purpose as a Traffic Warden in Osogbo

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Fauzziyah Oyebode. Shot by Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi

OSOGBO – From afar, the yellow and black uniform of Fauzziyah Oyebode is seen. It’s about 3 p.m. and the scorching solar exposes the speckles of sweat beneath her face cap. She raises her palms and makes use of one to cease the vehicles revving in direction of the Aregbe lane and indicators to the vehicles within the different lane revving in direction of Ataoja to cross via. Instantly vehicles ease off in a lane, she hurries to the opposite to cross the vehicles via. She stands there in the midst of the highway as vehicles zoom previous her via her sides, unperturbed, as if the vehicles have promised to not run her over. However she’s conscious of the hazard that faces her day-after-day as a site visitors warden. As an example, a site visitors warden was assaulted by the governor’s aide in Kwara State. And in Oyo State, some business drivers murdered a site visitors warden.

Fauzziyah fears changing into a quantity within the knowledge of assaulted and murdered site visitors wardens so she tries to soak up the anger of the highway customers day-after-day with out reacting. Automobiles have tried to run over her, hateful phrases have been hurled at her and he or she has been ridiculed for being a feminine site visitors warden in a job that’s societally perceived as reserved for males. Amidst these challenges, she refrains from reacting with anger, selecting as a substitute to reply with smiles or pleas.

Fauziyyah Oyebode at work. Shot by Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi

“My oga, my oga. Morning, sir” she salutes a crimson shiny Corrola that honks at her. “It’s important to salute and respect everyone on the highway. Lots of them don’t know what they’re driving,” she says.

In current instances, Nigerian girls have been defying the norm by taking up roles and jobs which might be historically dominated by males. Based on a report by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy Programme on legal guidelines holding girls again, if girls participated within the financial system to the identical extent as males, Nigeria’s gross home product may develop by 23 per cent by 2025. The International Monetary Fund additional argues that gender equality in workplaces may strengthen Nigeria’s financial stability. Analysis exhibits that when girls are employed and have entry to sources and earnings, it has a direct impression on poverty discount. They’re higher in a position to assist their households, guaranteeing higher well being, training, and general well-being for his or her youngsters.

Oyebode Fauzziyah at work. Shot Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi 

“I don’t suppose there’s any job a person does that I can’t do. I’ll certainly strive my greatest. I imagine that when girls take up roles like this, it offers us visibility. Ladies have to be seen too.”

Every single day, the mom of 4 wakes up at 5 a.m. to watch her prayer. She additionally wakes her youngsters and prepares them for varsity. By 6:45 a.m., she waves goodbye to her husband to renew on the highway by 7 a.m. Till 6 within the night, she energetically jumps between lanes because the solar rises and falls. It has been the identical cycle since she was recruited to the job in 2012 after she was laid off from the disbanded cleansing empowerment scheme within the state, O-YES. Regardless of working for a few years, she says her job remains to be “partial” employment however she’s working onerous to grow to be a civil servant.

“I’ve focus,” Fauzziyah says.

Since she began, her wage of N10,000 has been the identical even because the financial system grapples with inflation and the escalating price of dwelling. The removing of gasoline subsidies by President Bola Tinubu in Could 2023 prompted financial hardship and tripled the costs of commodities, worsening the lives of over 133 million Nigerians (67%) dwelling in multidimensional poverty.

“Critical calculation and managing,” she explains, is how she survives regardless of financial hardship. She has minimize down a number of bills to maintain up. “The cash is nothing. It solves nearly nothing, however I’m working onerous.”

She leans in opposition to the damaged brick to catch her breath, her eyes darting left and proper vigilantly. After a short second, she resumes the routine of her work. A person approaches her and politely asks if he may take one in all her sachets of water.

“Certain factor,” she replies casually, with out glancing in his course. The cash may not compensate Oyebode’s efforts, however she’s completely happy to be concerned in one thing that offers her pleasure. She can be again right here tomorrow and the day after, persisting till she attains her dream.

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