We Had to be Happy at Christmas

a black male chef

This Christmas, we ate the plantain from my backyard. It had been a very tough year and I wanted to make sure that we didn’t feel bad at Christmas. So I bought chicken and we prepared the plantain with it.

I am a caterer and I have always been employed by contractors of oil companies. Most times, I cook on their ships. But this year has been really tough for us. Most of the ships were packed. The last time I earned a salary was in March. Once in a while, some of us were called to cook for the people who were taking care of the ships at dock. Then, we are paid half the salary.

I have not really worked since March, yet I have four children to take care of. The other day, we bought beans for N100 per cup. A thousand Naira can barely feed us for breakfast and, worst still, my savings are all gone.

I’m even more worried about this second wave of COVID-19. I thought it would all end last year. With the second wave looming, it’s really bleak. I wish my children were done with school already so I could take some rest.

Sometimes, I wish they had opened everything up and let things fall where they want to. As a father, it’s really hard to stay like this. Catering is all I know. I try to facilitate land purchases but that is hardly profitable these days. I really hope a miracle happens this year.

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