Lala Harman – Eyes masi business

Lala Harman at her workplace in Suva. Picture: VILIAME RAVAI

Lala Harman understands hardship like the back of her hand. But she is not letting her painful past define her and her future.

She was distraught when her husband died in 2007 and she was faced with the reality that she had to look after her seven children on her own.

“I didn’t know what to do when my husband died,” she said.

“I’m grateful that my parents were there supporting us all throughout.”

The woman from Moce in Lau considers herself a strong woman.

She left Nabua Secondary School after finishing form six (Year 12), she studied computing.

Then in 1996, she got married and lived a relatively happy life with her children and husband, who worked for a fishing company in Lami.

“My husband was good to me and I had a really hard time when he died.

“I was pregnant and took him down to his mother’s village in Ba to bury him there,” she said.

A day after the funeral, Harman gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She knew that the only place she could turn to for help was her own family and close relatives.

“Life was difficult but I entrusted my life in God’s hands.” At the onset of the first wave of COVID-19, she joined the kitchen crew at Suva’s Peking Restaurant Ltd where she works.

“Now I’m renting while working as a waitress at this restaurant. I have two daughters with me and I have to look after their education and our needs at home.”

Harman now looks forward to starting a masi making business.

“I’m from Moce, a well-known island for masi making, and I know I can make it work,” she says with fresh enthusiasm.

“I will buy from my relatives on the island and sell it here in Suva at an affordable price.”

Her advice to single mothers and women around the country is to keep moving forward and rely on God all the time.

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