Will to strive for the best

Varanisese Maisamoa at the International Women’s Day celebration in Nadi last week. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

BESIDE every successful man stands a woman.

Behind every successful woman, there is a story and that story is an impressive one.

As Varanisese Maisamoa shared this strong sentiment, the crowd of 50 women cheered in appreciation of fellow women who have struggled to provide the best for their family.

This was her message at the International Women’s Day celebration organised by UN Women Markets for change at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi last week.

Ms Maisamoa is the president of the Rakiraki Market Vendors Association.

She is originally from Kadavu but Rakiraki has been her home for some years now. Her account of life is one of strength, bravery and the will to keep striving for the best.

“The story of women is an impressive one,” Ms Maisamoa said.

“There is no denial in the huge number of women doing businesses in markets around Fiji and across the Pacific region.

“There is also no denial in the huge impact women market vendors have contributed into their families and region.”

The Rakiraki market vendor said the impressive stories of women began in the early hours of the morning when the rest of the family were still sleeping until the late hours of the night when the rest of the family had already gone to bed again.

“Our’s is a story of struggle, sacrifice and a story of love.” Every woman market vendor knows this because this is their story.

“We have become managers, accountants, negotiators, sales reps, producers and have succeeded in many businesses we own… we have sent our children to universities, we have built houses and we have taken leadership roles in our communities, churches, schools, provinces and so forth.”

Ms Maisamoa, who has been a vendor for more than 10 years, said her fellow vendors had been responsible for the millions of dollars turnover to our economy annually.

She has also encouraged them to stand tall in what they do as their sacrifices would always go a long way.

Her experience as a vendor all these years has also improved her life as an individual and has always assisted her to live a life of a strong being and assist others who needed assistance.

At the International Women’s Day celebration in Nadi last week, Ms Maisamoa urged women market vendors to take up their roles and make changes in their communities.

“Believe in yourself and don’t look back. Go on, write your story and make it an impressive one, let your children learn from it and remember you through it when you are gone.”

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