It’s true that in a setting like Samoa, being unemployed is not the end of the road.
For Aitasi Foai, from the village of Se’ese’e, she believes that there are many ways to make money; especially when almost anything can be sold.
Aged 44, Aitasi runs a business where she sells houseplants along the road. Breaking away from the usual produce sellers, the hardworking mother thought it might be a great idea to sell things that make houses look beautiful.
After a successful first day of business a few months back, Aitasi was hooked. But what motivated such a business like this?
“The reason I am doing a business like is simply to try and find a way to take care of my family,” she told the Village Voice.
“I wanted a way where I was sure to make some money because I needed to for many things. I need money to put the children through school, to buy my family’s daily meals and so on.”
“We can’t live on my husband’s wages alone so I need to find different ways to do my part in the family. If one person earns money for a family in modern day Samoa then it’s just not enough.”
“So that’s pretty much the reason I do what I do; my family needs the money.”
With her husband being the only one employed, Aitasi simply wanted to do her part in the family.
“My husband is currently the only one in the family working so my children and I run this business to help him out,” she said.
“I make enough now to help my family with things that we need. Business was actually really good in the beginning.”
“I came out here just to test out if this business would be good and on that first day I made $600. I still didn’t take it too seriously and I didn’t give it too much attention. But as I went along I realized that the money is very consistent and now I’m taking this business seriously.”
Asked what the best part of having a business like this is, Aitasi says the consistent money.
“The perks of having a business like this is that we don’t have to wait till the end of the week to get money,” she said.
“If something were to happen during the week and we don’t have money then that’s bad. With a business like this I can make money every day.”
“The way I see life, those who struggle are lazy. If I just sat at home and did nothing then I wouldn’t be making money like this; we can’t sit around and wait for $20 to pop out of nowhere.”
“So my advice to everyone in Samoa is to try and live on your own strength. “
Furthermore, Aitasi says that if you work hard like her then you will never fall under the poverty line.
“There is no poverty for those who work hard for what they want and need,” she said.
“I admit that my family has a lot of struggles but I am the type of woman who still works her hardest to make ends meet.”
“The PM is right when he said that we are living on top of money. A desk job isn’t the only way to make money, whatever you can sell can earn you money.”
“You could even sell some lemons to make some money.”