Women From Bangshika In Adamawa Are Feeding Their Families Amidst Hardship 

20240521 064225 0000

A group of women referred to as Mahi’i Mbanya (AKA United Women for Self Development), from Jabba Bangshika, in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, have found a way to beat the economic hardship faced by many families.

The women who are mostly widows and about 22 in number, usually come together as a group to engage in different labour of whatever kind to get paid, buy food to share and support themselves and their families. 

Their activities basically revolve around farm work, where they clear people’s farms, plant seeds, weed, apply fertiliser, harvest, gleen, peel groundnuts and get paid. 

Union members displaying items purchased from their labour

Whatever amount they realise as a group, they buy food items like cartons of maggi, rice, salt, palm oil, sugar, farm chemicals for their own farms and share among themselves. 

However, during Christmas or sallah seasons, they also buy a huge chunk of goat or cow meat and share.

Barr. Ishaku Yanta, one of those who enjoyed the services of the women, told NewsNGR that he’s not seeing ordinary women who are into labour, but a resilient and hard working set of women who need to be encouraged on a daily basis.

20240521 071910 000020240521 071910 0000
L-R: Union members and Barr Yanta, peeling groundnut under the tree

According to him, he had employed their services to peel some bags of groundnut for him but was surprised with the things they bought with money they generated from working for him.

Yanta said: “This early morning I got these pictures. They instructed one of their sons to send these pictures to me via WhatsApp in appreciation and showing me what they did with all the monies they raised during that period of their team groundnut peeling.

jpg 20240521 080916 0000jpg 20240521 080916 0000
Items purchased by the women

“The women are industrious, hardworking and considerate. See the items they bought for the family in preparation for the rainy season. 

“I am happy that they were able to utilise their resources well. Tell me why this type of group will not continue to receive help and encouragement? 

“They told the boy who sent the pictures to remind me that they have booked all my farm labour and works.”

20240521 064225 000020240521 064225 0000
Mahi’i Mbanya

Shem Simon, son of one of the women, Diana Simon, told NewsNGR over the phone how the women formed the union.

He said: “They used to be idle women sitting under the tree doing nothing, meanwhile, under the tree, there were people who usually come to receive fresh air while peeling their groundnut, and they decided instead of staying idle why not ask for the owners of the groundnut to employ them to assist? 

“They now agreed to collect bags of these groundnuts to share among themselves for peeling. Any amount of money generated at the end of the day, they gave to their treasurer for safe keeping. When the rainy season comes, they go to the market and buy some necessary household items and foodstuffs to share among themselves.”

Simon however pointed out that there are no criteria or laid down rules for people to join the union.

“Anyone can join. Sometimes we, their children also join in assisting them,” he said.