Shit Happens

I’m a husband and a father of two kids. Both of them are still in primary school. I used to be in charge of a small team in a big printing house. It wasn’t really well paid but it could fulfil the family’s needs. I could send my kids to school, buy them clothes and feed them. We had a simple life but there was nothing to complain about as far as basic needs were concerned.

By October, last year, I was given the opportunity to take a better position in another printing company. With a much better pay. It was a hard decision to take because I’d been in the company for quite a while now and when they were aware that I was leaving they tried to convince me to stay by promoting me. But I wanted change. I wanted something new. Eventualy, I decided to leave.

My first month in the new company was great. My salary was 3 times more than what I used to earn. And this could bring a certain happiness to my wife and my kids. We were able to change a little bit our habits on food, clothes and outings. Driven by this excitation, I asked my wife – she works in free zone manufacturer – to quit her job. I said to her that my salary would be more than enough for us. But she refused – and God knows how much I thank him she did not. The second month (December) went well, better than the first one even. At the time I had never start to think this would crash in a blink of an eye. My dream of a better life that had started to take shape turned into ashes when the looting and burning of TIKO Group related buildings started. January ended and I never got to see my salary.

With the hope that everything would settle by themselves, I waited. Sticking on my TV and radio set listening to each single piece of news. But it hasn’t. Things got worse and worse. I had a proposal from my former boss to come back but this pride, my pride pushed to me decline the offer. For two or three months, I had to manage to find money to make ends meet. It was hard as hell. The saying “You look for today what you’ll eat today” started to had a full sense to me. I was living it. I went to a uncle of mine to borrow some money and promised him I’d give it back as soon as possible. And I really wanted to keep my words but two months after my wife was robbed in a bus with a-month salary in her bag. I was hopeless, the little that I thought would help us was taken away from us.

Few days after, I made up my mind to start a little movie projection in my yard, so I could have people pay to watch movies. I went to the Fokontany to know what are the administrative papers I need to do to be able to set up this business. As of today, I’m still doing this business. Even though, we’ve been obliged to tighten our belts more than before, I find myself luckier than some of my workmates. I had to find other ways to get money because of Christmas and what it means to my kids (especially). No matter what is happening, I think they deserve to celebrate it as any other kids.

I don’t know what 2010 will bring us. The way things are going doesn’t tell me much about positive things that may happen. My boss told me that the company will be back soon but so far it has not been the case. And I’m tired of waiting and hoping.

This post is based on a true story that is happening to a close relative. What I’m worried about now is the consequence of  the AGOA’s end on his wife’s job and the effect it will have on his family.