NATION

Bu Seller Adopts Simple Philosophy To Survive Tough Life In Suva

Mr Nacamovutu has been selling coconuts or bu for almost two decades. Born and bred at Jittu Estate in Samabula, he got involved in securing income for the family when he was in Form Four.
28 Sep 2019 11:35
Bu Seller Adopts Simple Philosophy To Survive Tough Life In Suva
Jone Nacamovutu. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Coconut (Bu) seller Jone Nacamovutu has a simple philosophy for life when it comes to surviving the tough urban life in Suva.

That is, God will only help those who help themselves first.

The self-motivated 36-year-old sells coconut when he is not plying his trade as a stone layer.

Mr Nacamovutu has been selling coconuts or bu for almost two decades. Born and bred at Jittu Estate in Samabula, he got involved in securing income for the family when he was in Form Four.

“I started selling bu because life was becoming hard for my father. I was studying in Lelean. So to get my bus fare and have food on the table, I had to do something,” he said.

“My dad was a stevedore, for him life was hard work and there was no two ways about it. I guess that’s the line that I have followed.

“I am a stone layer by profession. And work is irregular, so I sell coconuts. I support my parents, wife and two children making an average of $60 per day.”

The hardest part of the job is getting the coconut. None of them own land so getting coconuts means having to ask other people.

Mr Nacamovutu said some people would allow them to take coconuts for free while some want them to pay.

“That is all good. We pay $20 for coconuts sometime. We understand the coconut is not ours to take. This is like in any business, a market vendor also has to buy his vegetables,” he said.

Mr Nacamovutu shares the space on the footpath along Brown Street with three other men to do their sales.

They have a deal with the Suva City Council. The SCC don’t charge them for selling the coconuts and each day they clean the area and help load the leftovers into the rubbish collection.

He added:

“Government is doing its bit to help people and I hope members of the public do not to sit on their laurel and wait for assistance,” he said.

“I hope also that there can be some consideration from the Government or perhaps a civil society body on teaching him and his fellow bu sellers financial literacy.”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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