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No step too far for devoted father

While most of the nation continues to relax in the afterglow of the festive season, others never stop working and walking for the sake of feeding their families.

Fata Viane from Tufutafoe and Afega has been walking great lengths to provide for his family for almost 40 years, day in and day out. The festive season has been no exception and he is without any intentions of stopping anytime soon.

The father-of-six has been selling taro, banana and breadfruit cooked in coconut milk (fa'alifu) to care for his family.

His route is usually from Vaimoso walking towards the hospital but he goes as far as Afiamalu sometimes - a round trip of about three hours or ten miles - where he sells each leaf wrapped delicacy for $5. 

He makes a point of not returning until his daily stock has sold out. 

Fata told Samoa Observer that he was employed before he had a family. 

But after he got married and had children, he realised that his salary could never cater for the family's needs and so he turned to selling his homemade delicacies.

The 54-year-old can be seen walking this route every day, with some families who now expect to buy from him each day.

"As I had more children, I wanted to try something else to see if it would bring us more money, and it did," Fata said.

"Yes, I walk in the sun every day to sell but it is money earned daily, for daily expenses and I get much more than when I would get at a job."

While he was working he said it would only give him $200-$250 a week, but by selling his fa'alifu, he can bring in up to double that amount. The most he would bring each morning to sell is above 30 leaf wrapped bundles of faalifu.

The only days he would not be selling are rainy days and when he is not feeling up to the long walks.

Fata said his venture has helped his family greatly and hopes the people of Samoa can learn something from the story of his life. 

"We often hear the Prime Minister saying that there is no poverty in Samoa, and he is right," he said.

"The reason why [some] people lack basic necessities is because they are not willing to change their situations, or when some men rely on their wives and children to provide.

"And we see that with the increasing number of child vendors. Money does not come to us, we go find it."

Fata now only has his daughter and granchildren with him after his wife passed away 2018.

Despite having children who now have jobs, Fata said he will continue to sell his faalifus for as long as he can and "until I am so old I cannot do it any longer."

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