Dad learns to survive in the city

Timoci Baikeibau sells peanuts and beans along Marks St in Suva. Picture: UNAISI RATUBALAVU

HE left his farm in Lovonivonu, Taveuni, two years ago to stay close to his three children and wife to provide a good education for his children.

Timoci Baikeibau left behind his yaqona and dalo farm on Taveuni and now sells peanuts and beans along Marks St in Suva.

“My wife and three children came to Suva in 2019 because my eldest son was to study welding at Fiji National University.

“After staying in the village, I’ve decided to come to Suva as well because I want to ensure that my children are being taken care off and I’m there for them,” he said.

The Baikeibau family is staying in Tacirua.

“When I arrived in Suva, it was very hard to get a job. “So an Indian friend of mine introduced me to this business.

“He taught me how to buy the peanuts, fry them and pack them.

“I started off with $300 buying raw peanuts, fry and packing them in plastics before selling it in Suva,” Mr Bakeibau said.

He would start selling at about 8.30am and finish by 5pm.

“I’ve encountered a lot of obstacles along the way.

“I’ve been chased so many times from selling in front of businesses, but now I’ve managed to get a hawker’s licence from the Suva City Council.”

“This is after I sought help from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“It is not easy to come and sell like this every day, but I have to learn to love what I’m doing.

“As this is my source of income, I have to endure hardships that come my way.”

His wife works as a cleaner while his eldest son Jone Baikeibau is working at a shipping company in Walu Bay.

“I’m so happy that my eldest son is now working and now I have only two children to support their education. ”

It’s not easy to come in the city and to adjust your lifestyle, but I can say that we have managed as a family.”

Mr Baikeibau said he made good money from selling snacks and one thing he learnt was to be consistent in what you do.

“With this business, you have to plan well and be positive that you will have a good sale at the end of the day.”

He acquires peanuts from overseas and the ones sourced locally which sells at $4 and $2 per packet from Mondays to Saturdays.

He thanks his family who makes sure that packets of bean and peanut are ready before he leaves home every morning.

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