The strength of a woman

There is no denying the hard work the women of Samoa are known for.

From dusk till dawn, they are up making sure everything is well with the family and for 40-year-old, Vise Kalati, from the village of Saleimoa, that’s just the norm for her.

Spotted by the Village Voice yesterday standing in her small vegetable stall at Moata’a, Vise had a big smile on her face proving that her hard work was paying off nicely.

“My family is very small; it’s just my husband, my five children and I,” Vise said.

“When I first started this vegetable stall it was very tough, the motivation and planting the crops was very hard for me. There were many problems with it.

“My husband has an engineering business.”

Relying a lot on her own strength, Vise proved that women don’t need to rely on their husband’s job to provide for their family.

“My denomination is Seventh Day Adventist and I was very happy that they had classes on things like this for mothers,” she said.

“Those classes gave me the opportunity to play a big part in my family and not to rely on my husband all the time.

“I bring my stall all the way from Saleimoa and hired some guys to help me out. The vegetables I sell is all natural and I don’t use any chemicals at all.”

With her expenses being only $15 for petrol, Vise makes an average of $100 a day and $80 on a slow day.

Despite all the problems she faced such as discouragement, Vise also expressed how happy she was for sticking to her stall and not giving up.

The one message the hardworking mother has for Samoan women is that women can do anything if they set their mind to it.

“If you use your common sense and your surroundings, you will definitely make a lot of money,” she advised.

“There may be problems along like what I went through but I am still doing this; you can always stick to providing for your family this way.”

But it wasn’t just a vegetable stall for Vise, she began with a BBQ stall as well but that didn’t work out.

“My family is small and there was no one to help out so I thought to myself that it would be better to leave the BBQ stall because sometimes I wouldn’t profit,” she said.

“With this vegetable stall I could just leave my pumpkins all weak and it won’t go bad. Plus this is straight from my land; I don’t need anyone else for it.

“And since it’s from my land, whatever price I put on it won’t matter because it’s my vegetables and own business.”

Vise explained how easy it is to make money this way. She explained that pumpkins and eggplants take about three months to grow and cabbages and peas only take three weeks.

The stall also acts as a backup plan for the family.

“With this small stall; even if my husband doesn’t have a job then I know that I can still provide for my family and put my children through school,” Vise said.

“We women can do so much. I wake up at 4am, prepare my children for school, we leave the house at 5am to drop the children off to school and as soon as the sun begins to shine I will come and set up my stall.”

But why bring the stall all the way to Moata’a?

“The reason I am selling here at Moata’a is because there is so much competition at Saleimoa,” Vise said.

“There are so many other market stalls because everyone in my village has a plantation. When I first came here I noticed the big difference between my earnings over here and over there.

“When I was selling over there I would sometimes resort to dropping the price very low to sell the vegetables. Over here is so much better for me.“

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