Above: Temitope Adebyo, an aspiring fashion designer, doing her chores at home in Makoko of Lagos. 13 July, 2020 (Lagos, Nigeria)
“I love to wash clothes,” says Temitope. “If I start washing now, I can do it from morning to night.”
Temitope Adebayo, a young single mother living in the densely populated Makoko slums of Lagos, has found a strategy for dealing with the shady men she encounters.
“I have not seen a good man,” she says. “All men are useless. But I am still young; it is not possible for me not to be dating. But even the guy I am dating behaves like a madman sometimes. No one should quickly get pregnant with such a man. That’s the reason I am taking family planning.”
Temitope, 27 years old, is struggling to raise her seven-year-old daughter in a two-room shanty in Makoko where she shares a bathroom and toilet with a neighbor.
But Temitope has big dreams. She is a tailor’s apprentice and hopes to eventually work as a tailor and fashion designer. She loves everything about clothing. “I love to wash cloth,” she says. “If I start washing now, I can do it from morning to night.”
“I want to find the money to open a shop when I finish learning fashion design. I will put my sewing machine there and sell things like soap in cartons.”
“For my daughter, I want her to finish her education because her father always insults me that I can’t take care of her. I want her to have an education because I came out with a secondary school certificate, but I want her to pass me in her education.”
One of Temitope’s most potent tools in achieving her dreams is the subcutaneous contraceptive injection marketed by DKT Nigeria. She heard about it from a friend in Makoko who gets injections from a DKT community health worker. Before learning about DKT, Temitope was relying on abortions to manage her fertility. She has been using the injection since 2018, and finds it to be effective, without side effects.
Temitope says family planning has changed her life.
“Before, I used to get pregnant quickly but now it is nothing like that. I already have a focus that fashion design is what I want to do, and there is nothing that can disturb me now. What it has done is that all those useless pregnancies that I used to have are finished. I am free now. That is the only problem I had, and it is no more.”