As poverty continue to trap Malawians under the knife, Malawi24 has discovered that kids as young as 12 are venturing into fresh usipa business for survival in Mzuzu.
These children supply fresh usipa in locations like Chibavi, Mchengautuba and Zolozolo on daily basis.
“We sell this for our bosses, who give us MK1000 after selling the whole basket,” said one of the kids.
According to the child, he ventured into the business for survival because his parents cannot manage to provide him with all necessary basic needs. He said his parents allowed him to start doing the business because they conceded failure to take care of him.
“My father is a watchman and my mother is a housewife. We are three children in our family, but our parents can’t take good care of us,” he added.
On a positive note, the child said he hasn’t dropped out of school and he still attends classes after doing the business.
He described school as a key to his future and his parents always encourage him to work hard in his studies.
“I am in standard 5 at Chibavi primary school. I can’t drop out of school and my parents would even kill me for making that decision. I report for classes after the business,” he added.
However, he was still uncertain on whether he will go further with his education owing to problems with school fees ahead of him.
“If fees will be there, I want to pursue a career in medicine but because my parents are poor, I’m not sure if my dream will be realised,” he stressed.
Mzuzu based social commentator Richard Soko feared this experience may live on if there will be lack of political will.
“From street kids to kid’s vendors? This is very unfortunate and we are not improving in anyway. The future of our children is being ruined here,” he said.
Minister of gender, disability, children and social welfare Jean Kalirani asked for more time to respond on the matter, saying she was not in the office.