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Making Gravel

Published August 2nd, 2012

Concrete construction is very common in Nigeria and most people buy the needed gravel from women like these.

Stone Crusher

Before you can start to make gravel you need to break the stones into a more manageable size. These women are as tough as nails, and work harder than many men I know. But they were very pleasant when I asked to take their picture and overjoyed when I gave them a print.

Gravel Maker

Women like this sit along side the road and make a living by crushing big stones into little ones to make gravel for concrete. As you can imagine this is a back breaking job and yet they always greet me with a smile. Part of that is because they see me as customer. Since I have white skin they assume that I have plenty of money and they can charge a higher price.

In Nigeria bargaining for prices is common and often expected, but I find it hard to bargain with these women. Most of these women should be retired and at home caring for their families, but instead are laboring breaking stones with a hammer all day. I usually bargain with them and then give them a tip at the end.

Going rate for a bag of gravel in Jos, Nigeria is about $1.50.

Wonder Woman (Women)

After agreeing on the price, these women load up bags of gravel on their heads and load them in your vehicle. These bags weigh at least 100 pounds, and they carry them around like they are bags of feathers not stone. To top it off they do it with a smile on their face. They are women of steel with soft hearts and big smiles. To do this job day after day and not have a heart of stone is a miracle in itself.

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Rupert Granville  almost 3 years ago
Beautiful shot - really evocative well done!