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Senegalese street vendor overcame adversity by feeding her community

Senegalese street vendor feeds her local community.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Amelia Nierenberg/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Salimata Diatta, who had to take over her family's livelihood because her husband left her in Senegal, gets up every day at 4 a.m. and sells 12 kinds of food she prepares at the street counter and takes care of her 3 children.

Diatta, 50, who lives in Guediawaye, one of the poorest suburbs of the capital, Dakar, has been selling the food she prepares at home at her counter in the Hamo 6 neighbourhood for the past eight years.

Diatta told the AA reporter, who once witnessed it, how he started the business, its goals and his struggle.

Stating that she learnt to cook from her grandmother, Diatta said that after working at various jobs for a while, she started cooking and selling food eight years ago.

Diatta said: "I wake up at 04:00 in the morning, I prepare 12 kinds of chips at the lentil meal. At 07:00, I start selling the food at my counter in the corner." mentioned.

Diatta said people on their way to work and school in the morning were sure to stop by the counter, and most of the meals were finished by 11 am, and he would go home at noon and get ready for work in the evening.

- "Customers come to my door when I can't go to work"

Diatta, who left her husband eight years ago, stressed that she provides for the household and said, "My work is hard but I do it with a lot of tenderness. I have three children. I have to teach them. There is no income except through this work, we are fed and I pay my rent. We don't need anyone. "he said.

Diatta stressed that he does not charge any fees from the madrasa students, that he makes credit sales to those who are not in good condition, and that he distributes all meals as charity on Fridays.

Saying that he does not want his children to work in such a job, Diatta said: "When I get sick and cannot go to work, people in the neighbourhood wonder why I did not come to my door. We have become friends with most of my clients, we are even like family. My biggest goal is that my children study and find a decent job. I am not complaining about my condition. I love life, but let them achieve more. I don't want anything else. " used the phrases.

- "My advice to women is to earn their own money"

Stating that he started working almost at a young age, Diatta continued as follows:

"I am 50 years old, I will work as long as I live. My advice to women is to earn their own money. My wife left me to marry another woman. I was alone with three children. Thank God I worked, I earned. I am not afraid of anything anymore. There is no telling what life will bring me. "You will have confidence in yourself. How could I take care of my children if I didn't work? Therefore, I recommend all women to do it. whatever their means. "

One of Diatta's clients, Ibou Kouyate, 37, said, "She is a really inspiring woman. Like our mother, our sister. We are grateful for what she has done. She fights for her family and helps anyone who needs anything. Also, the food is delicious. With her meals. "

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