‘Business contract’ provides for education

Suva market vendor Tevita Mateinakula beside his stall which he has operated for 24 years to put his children to school. Picture: ATU RASEA

Suva market vendor Tevita Mateinakula beside his stall which he has operated for 24 years to put his children to school. Picture: ATU RASEA

SUVA market vendor Tevita Mateinakula, 58, says he considers his market vending business as a “business contract” to be able to provide for his children’s education and their wellbeing.

“My business contract will only end when I’ve successfully achieved that,” Mr Mateinakula said.

The Nabua resident has a stall at the Suva Municipal Market from which he sells vegetables.

He said right now his two elder children were working and the third was a student at the University of the South Pacific while his youngest daughter was a sixth former at St Joseph’s Secondary School.

“I’ve been a market vendor for the past 24 years, which is the age of my eldest son, and I know it’s paying off for me because I can see the fruits of my hard work,” he said.

“Everything I’ve achieved to date has been made possible through my business as a market vendor.

“These few market stalls, which I’ve operated selling rootcrops such as cassava, dalo and yams, has enabled me to pay for my children’s education, school expenses, bus fares and the family living expenses including my church and vanua obligations,” he said.

“I’m a middleman and right now I’m selling cassava which I buy from my suppliers at around $25 to $30 a bag.

“Out of that one bag I can make about 14 heaps which I sell at $3 and $5 a heap.

“Whatever profit I make goes directly to my children’s education and welfare first and secondly then to other obligations,” Mr Mateinakula said.

He said he told his family that his business contract would only end when all his children had successfully completed their education.