Chukwunonso Nzekwe: My ghetto story (30 Days and 30 Voices)


Tomorrow you see a wealthy man on air helping us fight for our cause for his personal gain, someone who has never been poor or knows what being poor or living in the ghetto is all about.

In the community where I was raised, there’s no better way to project or show how my heart bleeds because of the tears, the pains and the continuous sufferings of the people that dwell in the settlement they call the “GHETTO” except to pen them down by someone who was born and breed in the GHETTO.

I titled my essay, “MY GHETTO STORY” and I believe because it’s from someone with a first hand experience.

According to, Ghetto as a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures or hardships.

I was born somewhere you can as well equate to this definition.

A slum, a place where pain lives. a place where shame lives, a place ten dollar is celebrated like a million, a place where infrastructures don’t exist, a place where poverty is a norm, a place where hope weaken, beliefs quashed, dreams dies , morales misused, brains depreciate, morality diminishes, robbery, prostitution, theft, hooliganism exalted..

At least I am among the fortunate ones with the thirst of information thanks to my little way I used in accessing the internet. Though my parents used their widow’s mite to give me some level of education which got me exposed and  placed me on a vantage position, I still wasn’t satisfied because whenever I walk down the street, I see children filled with potentials that are supposed to be in school but are loitering the neighbourhood hawking.

I see youths gather in their huge numbers debate and argue about irrelevant things, things not connected to their promising tomorrow, I see adults, grown up men sit around bench in a table settings where spirit and local dry gins are sold -getting soaked in alcohol, most times throw themselves in unnecessary discussions, I see young ladies sneak from one motel to the other exchanging their pride for Naira.

I see street urchins (touts, hooligans) in their numbers waiting for any truck or bus to pass so they can force out some naira from
them…I looked at all this and I break down in tears, once again I asked myself where is the Messiah?

But then I couldn’t put the blames to those group of people I earlier mentioned because I believe everybody God created was vested with a GOLDMINE. However, it takes opportunity, it takes parental responsibility, it takes the society to help impact and imbue such belief.

But then again, how can the opportunity come into this settlement where the word HOPE is substituted for LUCK, FAITH is substituted for DOUBTS, when their future lies on the balance of “GOD DEY”.

Amidst all this hell of suffering, I ask if there is a government, if their is a budget, if there is something called development, if there is something called SME (small medium scale Enterprise) , if there’s somebody called a local government chairman, and also somebody called a councillor who is supposed to be closer than the rest of them. But at the end they pay little or no attention to help raise hope to help build a positive environment to help create a spirit that can explore and produce high flying skills and concept, Too bad its not achievable right here.

Tomorrow you see a wealthy man on air helping us fight for our cause for his personal gain, someone who has never been poor or knows what being poor or living in the Ghetto is all about.

Its not surprising We live in an atmosphere where connection is the order of the day and merit is a waste of time. An atmosphere
irrespective of wasted energy penning down dignified proposals it receives a turn down as a result of our not being Known.

An atmosphere where latest technology keeps intimidating us ,When prices of commodities keeps escalating , where you will hear the
story of  brilliant children whose education was cut short because their parents are late, where You will hear the multiple story of
bright graduates who walk their asses through the nooks and crannies of Lagos in search of jobs no matter the pay.

A state as big as Lagos where discrimination persist in its peak, where equality amongst high brow residents and the slum as they call
us has been shattered, where infrastructure is seen all over high brow areas and under development lingers around the slum.

Its high time we fight for that equality, equality that will awaken the minds of leaders in the provisions of infrastructures and social amenities.

Equality that will guarantee my dream and those residing in the ghetto soar high in the nearest future. Equality that will allow that HR manager not screen us out during interviews  because we are nobody or we know nobody.

With all these, I came to a conclusion that Government and NGOs should please give or render supporting hands to help people like us achieve our purpose in life and not get whisked away by crimes in our pursuit of happiness.

Father God give me and us(those interested) the zeal the strength, the guts, the wisdom, the morale, the motive, the directive, the
vision, the opportunity, the desire to fight this cause..this same cause that has sent so many of us to the great beyond.. oh the cause

If we can’t fight and stand for something to better our future. We will live foolishly and die ignorantly.



Chukwunonso Nzekwe also known as MIDASCNN is an undergraduate of Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, A young thinker and writer. Nzekwe tweets from @midasnonso.

30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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