Muriel, a youngster sent away from home for getting pregnant, does seasonal jobs to provide for her children
Muriel, 23, among other income generation activities, sells roasted plums and plantains in the etoudi neighbourhood. She installs her grill and umbrella at 9am at the roundabout, with the help of her 3 children. She roasts half a bunch of plantain every day and about 30-50 plumbs.
“I wake up every day at 5 am, and head to the market where I buy the plums that are still very good. I get them at a cheaper price because I buy in bulk”. In the mornings and afternoons, Muriel makes 100% profit, as she sells the plums at twice the purchase price.
“Prices vary depending on the sizes of the plums. The prices range between 50 FCFA and 200 FCFA. Fewer people buy from me whenever dusks draws close- say as from 7 pm. Since it is difficult selling in the dark, I sell at the price at which I obtained the products from the market. This helps me to avoid selling leftovers. It also helps me gain customer loyalty;” she told Journal du Cameroun.
Cedric 9, stephane 8 and kevin 6, are the primary reason Muriel does this job.
After obtaining her BEPC (the equivalent of the GCE O levels) at the age of 15, Muriel realised she was pregnant. Her parents forced her to move out of the family home. Her partner was 25 years old at the time he got her pregnant for the first time.
Muriel’s partner is a taxi motor bike rider. She says her partner’s job doesn’t bring in enough income to secure the upkeep of the family of five. This, she says, is the reason she has to do different jobs in order to ensure that her family doesn’t lack anything.
“My husband takes care of the rent, the bills, and the children’s school fees. He did not ask me to do what I’m doing, but I want to help him. So I take care of food and other minor family needs.”
During the school period, Muriel works as a nursery school teacher where she secures a monthly salary of 15.000FCFA. She says with what she has made during this summer, she can buy didactic materials for her children. She is currently looking for a part-time housekeeping job.