An idea for those street vendors

Dear Editor,

You cannot miss them; they are there on the streets each day trying to sell their merchandise or on behalf of other registered businesses. 

Then you wonder, wouldn’t it be a great idea if these street vendors were registered by institutions that support small Business Enterprise Development, integrate them in training programs to expand their Businesses provide them with some small low interest loans or grants? Would these create a great pool of local businesses in the future?

The mere fact that they are there daily on the streets vending their products under small kiosks on tables is a reflection of a determined lot with clear commitment to business development. 

Their energy, enterprising minds and knack to sustain their business on the streets in the midst of competition is reflection of hidden talent that could be nurtured into developing larger enterprises. 

Of course that doesn’t not mean that their existence may not be bothering the legally registered businesses who duly pay their taxes and file their Annual Returns. 

It is a human thing that the bigger guys in business don’t bother about them because they know the ones vending on the streets are all in a struggle of making a living. Effective law enforcement implemented without any empathy for others though would instruct a different approach for unregistered businesses operating.

On the other hand, for the kids engaged in similar street vending business, for any parent it is very touching to witness. 

You notice them patiently trying to make a sale with determination and politely approaching their prospective buyers who in some cases may not be too friendly in response. 

It’s only fair that instead of getting irritated with them when they approach, if you genuinely have something buy from them and be kind to them. 

What would one expect if for instance you are having that 2-tala ice-cream on a hot afternoon and the kid approaches to try to sell something worth similar amount? For a parent, the instinct would be one of it’s a child, and ice-cream means a lot to a child. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you can afford to at least share two tala with that kid to buy an ice cream too instead of shooshing them away?

Isn’t it the human thing to do? Think about it as we approach Christmas. 

The spirit of putting oneself in the other person’s situation…


Stephen Musubire


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