When Jane Egerton-Idehen was sent to boarding school by her parents she was ecstatic. For the first time in years she was to have three meals a day.
Growing up in the Ajegunle slums of Lagos, Jane was used to having just one meal a day. Her family struggled in poverty after her father’s bakery collapsed due to Nigeria introducing a ban on importing wheat in 1986.
Despite seeing their family business in ruins, Jane’s parents were determined to give their four children the best start in life. They were passionate that education could make a difference, but schooling beyond primary level has to be paid for in Nigeria.
This meant selling all the baking machinery. But even that was not enough. Sometimes they could not afford to send all their children to school, and Jane and her brothers had to stay at home for periods. But Jane was clever: smart enough to gain admission at 12 to go to a Government-subsidised boarding school.
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