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Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19

AP

Rahma Haruna had no functional limbs and arms. Her arms and legs stopped developing when she was just six months old.

Her family carried her around in a plastic bucket or placed her onto a wheelchair. They then transported her around to beg for money.

A resident of Lahdin Makole village, Kano, the 19-year old woman made headlines around the world after she was pictured by photojournalist Sani Maikatanga. 

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19
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For most of her life she was in chronic pain. Earlier this year Rahma’s mother, Fadi, told reporters: “From six months when she learnt how to sit that was when it began. She didn’t learn how to crawl.’

Rahma’s father, Haruna Muhammad added that largely due to poverty, he could not take his daughter for specialized medical attention.

The loving father sold his farm and personal belongings but no progress was made in Rahma’s treatment.

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19
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Despite her severe disability, Rahma held entrepreneurial ambitions, telling journalists she dreamt of starting a business. “A grocery store and anything people buy, that is what I want,” she said.

For her courage she was visited by state Commissioner for Women Affairs Zubaida Damakka Abubakar who presented her with an ’empowerment award’ and money.

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19
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But sadly Rahma Haruna died on Christmas Day last year.

The news was shared by journalist Sani Maikatanga, whose photos of Rahma went viral, making the world becoming aware of her sad plight.

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19
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Ms Maikatanga said in a moving social media post: “Rahma Haruna a 19 years old girl has pass away on Sunday 25th of December 2016 … may Almighty grant her Jannatul Firdausi (paradise).”

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19

Her devastated 11-year-old brother Fahad revealed he dedicated much of his life to helping his sister.

“I help her in many ways,” he said. “Bathing her is another thing I do, and taking her out every day.

“I feel happy whenever I see people helping her. I like taking her to our relatives. She feels happy when we visit them.”

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19
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The Haruna family did experience a change in their fortunes when Ms Maikatanga’s images of Rahma went viral on social media.

They were flooded with requests from strangers who wanted to help in any way they could.

Meet The Inspirational African Woman Who Lived In A Bucket And Died Aged 19
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Rahma’s family did their best to provide her with a fulfilling life.

Speaking earlier this year, Rahma said: “They help me a lot. How do they? They give me anything I need.”

When interviewed by a Spanish magazine before she died, Rahma said: “I’ve learned to grow without friends in life. My family are the only friends I have. It took a long time to understand that not all people are equal. I do not care. I consider myself lucky.”

R.I.P Rahma Haruna

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Written by Christine Haveford

Christine loves all things cinema, and she's been that way ever since she was a little girl. In fact, she is so passionate about cinema that she decided to pursue cinematography as a full-time career, and is now pursuing film studies at the New York Film School. Originally from Florida, she is still exploring the new city, people, places, and the culture, loves the new weather, going ice skating during winters, and spending time with her fellow classmates and friends from college.

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