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A day in the life of Shigeza

12:00 am


Shigeza is 16 years old and focused on the future. Forced to leave home at the age of 14, when his mother remarried, he works as an assistant mechanic to earn money to pay his school fees. He is proud that he is first in his class.

6:00 am

Shigeza wakes at 6:00 AM. He washes, does his exercises, and eats breakfast. By 7:30 AM he is dressed in his tuta’ (garage uniform) and ready for work.

12:00 pm

He works until 12 noon. Then, because being a mechanic can be a dirty job, he takes a ‘bucket-shower’ with water from a large tank next to the garage before school.

2:00 am

When it’s time for school, Shigeza changes into his school uniform, has lunch at a small restaurant – ‘injera’ with some vegetables – and then walks to school.

5:30 pm

Shigeza is a chess champion in his kebele (neighbourhood) and plays in regional competitions. He learned to play by watching his sister, who plays at the national level.

8:00 pm

Shigeza goes back to work after school. He finishes his second shift at around 8:00 PM and then studies until he goes to bed. He sleeps at the garage, in an old iron container that used to be used to transport Coca-Cola bottles.