Mobile food sales helped pay for her kids’ education


Rain or shine: Zaharah on her motorbike, which she typically loads with a wide variety of foodstuffs to be offered for sale in all weather. — Bernama

PASIR PUTEH: It all started with her selling a few bundles of long beans harvested from around her house to neighbours.

In time, she gradually increased the variety of vegetables offered for sale to 40, and by adding kuih-muih (traditional snacks) to her wares, managed to earn between RM300 and RM500 a day.

Zaharah Yusuf, 50, could never have expected that her initiative eight years ago to go from house to house in Kampung Telaga Gayong, Taman Kobena, Sri Aman and Jerat Semata on a motorcycle to sell household groceries would help pay for her eight children to go to school and see three of them through university.

“The response of homemakers here has been very encouraging, especially those who are unable to go to Pasir Puteh town to get cooking ingredients,” she said when met at her home in Kampung Nara.

Zaharah said that she also sells ulam-ulaman (local herbs), keropok (fish crackers) and dishes like “gulai udang” with yams.

“A lot of the things that I sell are 50% cheaper compared to other places because I get supplies directly from the kampung folk, through my own efforts as well,” she said, adding that she starts selling at 9.30am daily.

The enterprising mum said the income from her mobile sales has enabled her to lessen the burden on her husband, Che Azmi Abu Bakar, 66, a chicken seller at Pasar Jelawat, Bachok, to make enough to cover the family’s expenses.

Through her hard work too, her children managed to study at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Unimas), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UMP) and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjong Malim, Perak.

One of Zaharah’s regular customers, Siti Esah Muhammad, 73, from Kampung Telaga Gayong, said: “I wait for her arrival every two days at my veranda to buy essentials that are cheap and fresh.”

The retired civil servant said Zaharah is a big help to her because she suffers from diabetes and her condition does not permit her to go to Pasir Puteh – about 3km away – to buy what she needs. — Bernama

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