‘Step by step’ start

ON very hot days, Liliviuwa Nasau would usually wet a piece of cloth to cover her leafy vegetables.

Too much heat she said would cause them to wither by the end of the day.

Mrs Nasau runs a small market in front of her home at the Muanivatu settlement. She started off from selling yaqona before she ventured into selling fruits and vegetables two years ago.

With the money she earns, Mrs Nasau said she would save every cent just so she could start her small market business.

“Little by little, we managed to buy one bag of cassava, eggplant, pawpaws, bananas, coconuts and even pumpkins,” said Mrs Nasau.

“Afterwards, my husband and I slowly bought timber as well to construct our little shed — it was a slow process but I’m thankful we managed.”

Every morning at around three, Mrs Nasau said she and her husband would go the Suva market to buy their produce from the middlemen.

“One bag of pumpkin costs $28, a wooden box of banana costs $50, a bag of cassava costs around $35 to $40,” she said.

“If we buy fruits and vegetables on Monday, it would only last us until Tuesday and then we’re off to buy again on Wednesday. Other things I sell in my stall are flowers and juice — these are just a few things I do just so I could provide food for my family. “One of the fruits that’s quite expensive are the bananas. With the kind of weather we’re experiencing, people need to stay hydrated. Bananas are not just good to eat but they’re also good for making a nice cup of healthy juice and they’re delicious for baking pies and cakes. On a good day I could make about $30 plus and in a week I could make $100 plus — the good thing is my grog business is selling raking in good money.”

Mrs Nasau’s stall opens from Mondays to Saturdays from 7.30am and closes sometimes at 7pm or 8pm.

“Most of my customers are passers-by and the people of this settlement,” said Mrs Nasau. “With the money I earn from market vending alone, I have managed to install electricity to this new stall and bought a flush toilet at home.

I’m grateful that God has given my husband and I the strength to do what we do and we are content with the little we have.”