Toiling with a smile

Adi Bale Maramarua, middle, after being presented her certificate for being part of a workshop organised by UN Women for Lautoka market vendors. Beside her are representatives from UN Women who facilitated the workshop. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

Adi Bale Maramarua, middle, after being presented her certificate for being part of a workshop organised by UN Women for Lautoka market vendors. Beside her are representatives from UN Women who facilitated the workshop. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

YOU may see her smiling and joking but behind that smile is a woman whose life has been built on hard work and perseverance. That is the life of Adi Baleiwai Maramarua, a 57-year-old vendor at the Lautoka market.

Her cheerful personality and loving nature will of course give people the impression that Nau Bale, as she is referred to by friends, is a lady who loves to live a simple life. Simple it may be but that does not stop her from working hard to conquer every challenge with faith and sheer determination.

Nau Bale has been a single mother for more than 10 years and has worked extra hard providing everything for her four children. They, as a result, all have become successful and are earning themselves decent lives.

“I have been a market vendor for nine years but prior to this, I worked in the garment factory and even went up to hold the position as a manager,” Nau Bale said.

“This was where I started this business mind-set because I used to sell food in the factory and it developed in me the skills to always keep my faith in such small businesses.

“My four children are all working and earning a decent living and when my late husband left for the US, I was doing everything for the children when they were still in school … it was all from the small businesses I engaged in.”

When Nau Bale retired a few years back, she wanted to engage in other small businesses because she could not live without it and according to her, it has been part of her life.

Apart from being a market vendor, she also does flower arrangements, decorations and arrangements for various functions and sewing from her Natokowaqa home.

On a daily basis, she sells root crops and vegetables from her table at the Lautoka Market.

The Nakorotubu, Ra lady said all she had now could be said to be the fruits of her hard work, plus honesty to herself and others.

“Whatever small thing I do, I always make sure to do it really well because I know God is watching me all the time,” she said.

“I can see this in my own children as they have all earned themselves jobs and have been able to get married, work and support their own families.

“Every day, I always look back and thank God for all he has done to me and my family and I will always continue to praise him.”

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