SUNDAY MAGAZINE

A life in the day of .... A child market vendor

  • BY DAN NGABONZIZA
  • July 27, 2008

Suprian Ndorimana, 12, lives in the outskirts of Kigali. Every morning, he wakes up and carries a sack of bananas or sweet potatoes to Nyabugogo market.

I wake up at 4 a.m. and think about what to bring to the market for my customers. My mother goes to the garden every evening and gathers what I carry to the market.

Showering is not a priority. Sometimes there is too much work and I have to leave without taking a shower first. Essentially, my day begins around 6 a.m. because this is the time I begin carrying the sack of bananas or sweet potatoes.

I carry it on my head since I cannot afford to hire a motorcycle to carry it for me. I carry it together with my colleague and basically we try to do it before the traffic gets too bad and in our way.

At around 7 a.m. I arrive at the market and business starts. There are people waiting to buy our food, later they sell the food on to third parties. We get a list of items the customers wants for the next day before we leave.

Immediately after I have sold, I get breakfast in Nyabugogo and head to the shops to look for some things to buy like salt and paraffin.

I spend some time hanging around to see if I could get other work like carrying passengers’ luggage to get a little money.

Towards lunch time, I head to a nearby restaurant. I take food without any drink in order to save money. After lunch, I head back home. I

 reach there late in the evening and find my mother has prepared another sack of sweet potatoes for the next day.
My mother is a farmer. She grows sweet potatoes, millet, and bananas in our garden.

I do not go to school because of the kind of work I am doing. It helps us in the family a great deal. Since I am the first born, I am basically the one in charge of my siblings.

Even my mother encourages me to keep running this business as opposed to going to school when my young sister is just beginning to go to school.

It is more profitable to sell in Nyabugogo market due to price differences. In our area, prices are so low. This is the business I have been doing for the last two years. Our family has gone from worse to better and my mother is very happy with me.

I finish preparing the following day’s produce at around 7 p.m. and take supper around 8 p.m., after which I go to bed.

Contact: deare204@yahoo.co.uk


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