Uganda: Covid-19 Lockdown Reduced Teacher Nankya to a Beggar. Now She Has a Thriving Business

By Angella Nantege

With the reopening of schools, anxiety, excitement and eagerness fills the air, but not for everyone of the former teachers!

Uncertainty looms for many teachers like Florence Nankya who is not sure whether she should return to the teaching profession, after nearly two years of penny pinching without pay.

Nankya was initially cagey speaking about the hard times she and her family have had to withstand in the wake of coronavirus imposed lockdown that rendered her a beggar and relegated her to a squalid status in the community, living without a formal job and doing menial jobs -a thing she never dreamt of.

She said: “Like most people… … I was initially quite unbothered about stories of a new disease that was ravaging China and other countries. I brushed it off like any other news or any other news that would gradually die down, little did I know that the same the same disease and its attendant evils was about to wreak havoc on us too terribly.”

She, who declined to take photographs, recounts that when schools closed initially, she and her colleagues thought this could take a month, two or three and the situation would be contained and their lives would return to normal sooner than later.

But this was not to be!

Nankya, who teared up, told me that to survive, she decided to set up a fresh food stall.

“This business has been and still means everything in my life,” she said.