'Not ashamed': a businesswoman goes back to school

At 50 years old, Shade Ajayi had never set foot in a classroom.

That is, until now.

Wearing the pink dress and bonnet of her uniform, she studies alongside pupils nearly four decades younger than her at a school in Ilorin, in Nigeria's western Kwara state.

And she does so with pride.

"I am not ashamed that I wear uniform, when I go out in the morning I wear it, carry my bag, my book and go to school. Whoever that is looking at me should look.''

As a child, Ajayi worked in her aunt's shop instead of going to school.

Today she's a businesswoman, making and selling and purses and bags - including the one she uses to carry her text books.

"In my work I couldn't speak good English and I was writing incorrectly. People around me can read and write and they are succeeding in their businesses, that is why I decided to come and study too so that I would be able to write and stop going to ask people to help me write.''

Ajayi signed up in the last academic year - only for schools to close due to the global health crisis.

With them reopening in January, Ajayi finally got her chance.

Her commitment to empowering herself has won the admiration of her classmates, like Halimat Adedogun.

''It has never happened before and I am proud of mama.''

When classes finish at 4, Ajayi heads back to her shop.

An apprentice serves customers during school hours.

Ajayi says it's difficult juggling work and education.

And she also faces stigma.

Some say a woman her age shouldn't go to school.

But Ajayi responds that it's not her duty to pay attention to them.

Instead she hopes other women aspiring to receive an education will look at her, and learn from her example.