Sandra, 19, is a young lady who migrated from her hometown, Fosuansa, in the Central region to search for a job while learning a trade.
She has been able to combine selling sachet water on the streets to learning hairdressing while sleeping at the saloon.
I wake at 5am to sweep and tidy in and around the shop. Then I take my bath and dress up.
I quickly go to a shop where sachet water is sold chilled and then I buy a bag and then go to sell. By 9am, the one bag would have finished and then I quickly go back to the shop to learn my trade.
I pick another bag of water and then put it in front of the shop so that I will still be able to sell while learning too.
I learn hairdressing so I work usually from the time I return till somewhere 11:30am then I take my breakfast. Mostly, I eat around this time so that I skip both breakfast and lunch. I eat quite some heavy food so that it sustains me till the evening.
So after eating, I continue working with the other workers.
I am the last apprentice so I work more most of the times in order to learn the trade faster.
So I work throughout the afternoon especially times where there are a lot of customers. In times where the customers are few or there are no customers, I pick a dull and start braiding its hair. It quite faster using it and I am able to learn fast too.
Sometimes too I braid the hair of some on the seniors and then they braid mine too.
At about 3pm, I go to pick some of the wigs used at the shop from town to the shop. Then work continues from there till the evening.
At 5pm, I am being excused to go and sell water in places where there are traffic lights or even roads where the traffic is hectic. The excuse duty is only given if there are just a few or no customer at the shop. If there is, then it means I will not be allowed to go and the water.
So, in times where I go to sell the water, I return at about 9pm.
While returning, I buy some food with the profit I make and then I eat it as dinner.
I then tidy the place and then go to the public shower to take my bath and then come back to sleep.
The senior apprentices there show me love most of the times. Then sometimes buy food and then eat with me or even buy some for me.
Some customers also give me some tips and they sometimes bring me some of their clothes and honestly, I love them.
My madam is very patience with me too and understand me. She teaches me well and so I am learning very fast on the job.
Combing the trade with selling is hectic but I don't have a choice. I am able to save the little money I get and even send some to my family in the village.
I have realised that hardwork pays and so I am not giving up. With perseverance, I will pull through.