Today I will introduce another person I met during my work in Zambia – Eunice Katontoke.
Eunice, 47, was left a widow with three children after her husband died in an accident at work.
She lives with her youngest daughter, two grand-children and a 87-year-old father and is the sole breadwinner for the family.
Eunice takes pride in the small house she rents for her family – fridge and TV are considered luxuries and she has worked hard to save the money to buy them.
Every day Eunice gets up early, prepares breakfast for her family, cleans the house, takes a bath and travels to work in the centre of Kitwe. She sells dry fish in Chisokone market, working from 8-9am until 6-7pm.
Eunice putting a pinch of snuff up her nose – tabacco is popular and used by both men and women in Zambia.
At around 5pm Eunice got a phone call from home and started packing up for the day. Despite extreme poverty, most market vendors in Zambia have mobile phones, which they use to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as browsing the Internet and social media sites like Facebook.
Eunice changes into her personal clothes before leaving the market. This day was quite successful for Eunice, which means her family will have a dinner on the table tonight. Eunice admits that, at the time when the business in down, they often get buy on two or even a single meal a day.
As most market traders in Zambia, Eunice dreams of earning a bit more money. This would allow her to buy larger quantities of the product at a lower price and increase her income. She says, she would spend it on her family, buying goods for her children and grandchildren and giving them the opportunities she herself has missed.