Koiniu happy with his choice

Tevita Koiniu at his vegatable stall in Nabua. Picture: ATASA MOCEITUBA

TEVITA Koiniu seems like an ordinary kind of guy except for the fact he prefers to be his own boss. He said he gave up two jobs because things weren’t working and he wasn’t going to sit around waiting for another job to come — so he started his market business.
Mr Koiniu of Tailevu said he was steady with his choice to become a market vendor.
Today, he happily sits and sells bananas, rourou, eggplants, mandarins, jams and ota (young fern) in front of the famous Happy Garden restaurant in Nabua.
The 31-year-old who lives with his grandmother and uncle in Nadonumai said the reason he started his business was because life was hard for him then.
“Nowadays if you walk around the streets of Suva, you would see many young people always “choking” or asking for spare coins,” said Mr Koiniu.
“That’s not the kind of life I want or ever wanted so that’s why I’m here doing what keeps me going. I leave home for the Suva market at 4am so I could buy and sell my fresh produce every Tuesdays and Saturdays. One of the reasons I enjoy what I do is because I earn some cash every day and that’s not bad compared to the places I once worked at.”
Mr Koiniu said he used about $150 to $180 to purchase his vegetables and rakes in $200 plus on good days.
“Business is so much easier for me now compared to when I first started,” he said.
“Now that I have regular customers, it’s a whole lot easier because I know at the end of the day I will always rake in a few cash. All my produce are brought from the middlemen and my prices range from five dollars below. One of the reliable money earner is the ota I sell. Particularly on Saturdays, a lot of iTaukei families often buy because they like to enjoy a Sunday lunch with fish and coconut milk, kokoda or salad.
For me, I prefer to cook miti ota with fish or any tin fish of my choice not forgetting the dhania (coriander), chilli, lemon and a nice cooked uto (breadfruit),” he said
Koiniu’s advice to young boys and girls is to start somewhere.
“If you’re looking for a job, go out of your way to get it, don’t rely too much on others and learn to be independent. It’s better to be doing something than to roam the streets of Suva doing nothing,” he said.

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