Life is hard but hard work pays off.
That is the life code Solialofi Malama of Satapuala lives by.
The father of five lives off the proceeds of his farm and the assistance of his sons.
“I have a son living overseas,” he said. “One is a reverend and the other two who stay with me work, but I do not depend on them for anything.
“I work my farm and sell my crops and I get my money, but mostly my farm is to cater for our family dinners and Sunday lunches.”
Mr. Malama, 56, told the Village Voice team that hard work is a must in order to survive.
“I know that life is quite difficult considering how things are nowadays, but again, if you don’t work you will not eat.
“It is a simple equation,” said Malama.
According to Malama, his children have asked him to stay home but he pays no attention to what they want.
“I have been working all my life on my farm, how can I harvest the fruits of my labour if I stay home.
“I have to work to get the taro and bananas, I will not go to the market to buy it because we have a plot of land that I can go and grow the taro and bananas.
“My children have tried too many times, and failed many times but I think as a father, this also sets an example for my children, they do not depend on anyone else.”
He also commented on the expensive cost of living.
“It’s quite unfair and imbalanced when you think about it, while the cost of living increases, the minimum hourly rate does not increase.
“How are the people going to budget with the minimum money they make?
“I don’t know how much is the hourly rate, but my guess is it’s between $2.30 and $2.50, so salary for a week would be roughly around $110.
“The cost of tinned fish, sugar, rice and coffee would probably cost $40-$50 and then children’s bus fare to school, their lunches and this does not include the bills that need to be paid.
“Most families live from paycheck to paycheck.
“Again I don’t know how the Government looks at it, but they need to reconsider the hourly rate for the working population.
“Some families that I know of, the only person who works, collects $80 weekly, the person may as well stay home and work the farm,” said Malama.