Ewe Nla translates to ‘The Big Leaf’ but also infers to ‘A Great Person’. Though petite, Ayoka Alabi showed bravery in telling her story.
Like me, Ayoka is from Kwara State and has lived in Lagos for most of her life. Despite her age which she’s unsure of, her beauty struck me. She looks nothing like what she’s been through. Whatever could that be? The loss of her husband and at least two of her children. Alone in her small home, she bares the pain of hunger and longs for the opportunity to provide for herself and family, as her three adult children are barely scraping enough to take care of themselves talk less of their own family.
I imagined my mother who is also from Kwara State and moved to Lagos after marriage. What would have become of me if she was dealt a similar fate? The thought was unimaginable and I became overwhelmed with sadness seeing Ayoka’s home and environment.
Despite all she’s been through, Ayoka was full of warmth and positivity as she led us to her home, though small she showed us round and allowed us take photographs of her. She made me appreciate all the things I take for granted and reminded me that no matter the circumstance we face in life, we must always remain positive and be grateful to God.
The Ewe Nla community is indeed filled with great people like Ayoka who despite the cards they’ve been dealt, seek to make the best out of life.
Because of you, we have given Ayoka a reason to continue smiling and being grateful to a God that always sees and provides when she is must in need.
“I imagined my mother who is also from Kwara State and moved to Lagos after marriage. What would have become of me if she was dealt a similar fate? "
- Ayoka Alabi