DR Congo at 50 by Stephan Vanfleteren

Image 43 of 50
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Tekele, ferryman: 'I had to wait until I was strong enough to work as oarsman on the pirongues. I am pleased, but the days are long. I start at 6 and work until sundown. Ten trips across the Congo River a day. It's hard work, paddling against the current, loading and unloading sacks, making sure passengers pay correctly, repairing and cleaning the pirongues. But I like the work. Between trips, I sometimes play football with the other young ferrymen. I have just left school. I had to because I no longer had any money. So I became a paddler. I had no choice.'.