|Madam Ololade Rabiu aka Mama Konga, Nigeria's female well-digger|
Have you heard of Mama Konga? Well, I stumbled upon her story today and thought it worth sharing.
Madam Ololade Rabiu is a female well-digger. Yes you read right – she’s a woman and she digs wells for a living. Her job has led her to dig as deep as 130 feet (40 metres) into the earth in search of drinking water in the Akute area of Ogun State.
A native of Ile Ife in Osun State, the 46 year old mother of 6 children has been practicing her trade since 1997. She was taught to dig wells by her Ghanaian 2nd husband, Daniel Ajiraku.
Said her “The beginning was difficult but now I thank God that I have overcome my initial fright and I have made a success of my chosen career.”
“Daniel taught me all the rudiments of well-digging: how to locate the water bed, determine depth, how much to charge, the implements to be used and how to overcome challenges.”
Mama Konga’s neighbours, clients and colleagues testify to her prowess in the trade.
“She is gifted in the art of well-drilling. I am sure she does it better than many men,” said her former landlord, Yisa Abdul.
“She drilled my well more than 7 years ago and she did it so well that I have so far had no problem with it,” said Ben Kunle Omodein from Igbogbo, a suburb of Lagos.
“Mama Konga is our queen, our hero and our mother. We are really proud of her,” said Yusuf Mainasara, a well digger from Niger State.
Mama Konga’s profession of well-digging is a rarity in Nigeria and she has been doing it since 1997 but she remained unknown until her story was carried by the French media outfit, Agence France Presse (AFP).
|Mama Konga in action|
As if that was not bad enough, the Nigerian press and blogs immediately jumped on the story and spelt the word Konga (well in Yoruba language) the same wrong way in which the French spelt it – Kanga…. every single one of them (I checked on Google). If you’re going to lift expo, at least correct the mistakes in the other person’s script. What do you think?