Seven. Seven Thousand.

I met a lady at the airport in Lagos.

“Do you need to make a call?” she asked.

I explained to her that I had already made my call and had given the guy who let me use his phone N100 Naira.

She then asked if I needed help with my luggage. “No, I dey okay,” was my response.

I moved away to find somewhere to sit. She followed me and reminded me that I should make sure I see her before leaving.

As I sat, she explained, “This hustle is the way I support my family. Although I am a cleaner here, that is not the main source of income.”

I asked her how much her salary was.

“Seven. Seven Thousand.” she replied

I followed up by asking if she received that amount on a daily or weekly basis.

“Per month.” she interjected.

I wanted to know more.

She continued by telling me about one lucky day when a passenger gave her $100. “I didn’t even spend more than five minutes helping her; she just gave me the money; she even gave me her complimentary card and she paid my children’s school fees.”

She continued:

“Although it’s not always good like that. Sometimes, you can spend 2 hours helping a person and they won’t give you anything. One other day I helped a woman and she gave me 10 Pound Sterling. I swear to God.”

“It just depends on who God says will bless you.”

I asked her how large her family was

“Two. Two children.”

As she spoke to me her eyes wandered. I imagine that she was looking out for arriving passengers who could use some assistance–help with making a quick phone call, finding a taxi, or even transporting luggage.

. . .