Everyday People: Tunis Ben - Buai Vendor

My name is Tunis Ben. I am from Tari in the Highlands Region. I moved from Tari to Port Moresby in 1989 when I was a young woman. I am now married to a man from Wabag and I have 2 beautiful girls.

My husband and I now run a little canteen just opposite the Boroko Market. 

Back then, living in the Nations Capital was tough. My husband and I were not employed and we needed to make ends meet in order to take care of our little family. That was why we started off as a simple buai and smoke vendors. At times, we got harassed by the NCD City Rangers but this has not stopped us from selling. We continued selling till we reached our profit of K1,300. 

The profit we attained was used to buy our first stock for the little canteen. We serve customers around the Boroko market area during the day and night. 

This little business has helped us greatly in terms of school fees, hospital bills, food etc.

I am grateful now that I never gave up hope before. Despite the challenges that my husband and I went through, we held on and we never stopped believing that one day, we would own a little Canteen. 

To those who are struggling now, never look down on yourself. Never stop believing in yourself. Always believe that one day, you will make it. Have faith and be strong always. 

Ailynn Sokot