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Sera is her own boss

Ilisapeci Tinanisigabalavu
Friday, February 09, 2018

IF you ever find yourself in the Nakasi market, you won't miss Sera Kasaqa Seru's stall because she is the first one to greet you with her big bula smile and profound English when you enter the market.

The 57-year-old grandmother has only been a full-time market vendor for six months and she loves every minute of it. She used to sell at the Nausori market during the weekends, but when she left her job at Kalis Fashion, her son encouraged her to set up a market stall in Nakasi.

Originally from Drekena Village in Rewa, Ms Seru and her second son farm at her mother's land in Toga Naqavoka where she was brought up with her eight siblings. In their farm, they plant dalo, corn, cucumbers, chilies, bananas and a variety of other crops.

They spend $25 (return trip) for taxi fare to bring the crops from the farm and either she or her son goes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to bring the crops.

Ms Seru earns more than $100 a day when sales are good, but on other days where she doesn't earn much, she is still thankful that at least she sells something.

What makes it satisfying for her is the fact that customers are buying what she planted through her hard work and sweat.

"Au bosotaki au tu ga." (I'm my own boss). She finds comfort in being a market vendor because she is her own employer.

With the money that she earns from the market stall, Ms Seru puts in her share of the household expenses and spoils her grandchildren with their spending for school, even when her son tells her not to.

Ms Seru is a single mother of three and raised her children with the help of her siblings. Her eldest son is a Corrections Officer, her second son helps her in the market business, and her youngest son works in Parliament while being a part-time final year law student. She said her siblings played a huge role in the upbringing of her children, especially with their education.

Being surrounded by people every day, what saddens Ms Seru is the fact that a lot of unemployed youths loiter around Nakasi and get involved with the wrong crowd. She advises these youths to engage themselves in cash-crop farming so that they have a source of income for themselves, and a stable food supply for their families. This way they don't get involved in stealing and other illegal activities in order to get money and food.

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