A famous Malakal businesswoman Mama Nyaunya who owns one of the biggest restaurants in Malakal town of Upper Nile State is urging South Sudanese widowed women not to sit but to do business to help send their children to school.
Mama Nyaunya lost her husband way back in 2013 but she had to embark on business to help raise and sponsor her children in school. Mama Nyaunya says she is sponsoring one of her sons in the university and another one in his final year in secondary school.
The widow has a big restaurant in Malakal town currently employing 15 employees of which 12 are women and 3 men.
During evening hours multitudes of customers could be seen comprising both those who live in the town and those living in the UN protection of civilian sites (POC) including NGO workers.
Juba Echo recently interviewed the prominent businesswoman in Malakaltown and she echoed her message to women.
“My message to the women and especially the widows, please let us enterprise, let us do business so that we can raise our children. Let us not allow our children to desert homes and become bad street kids. Especially to women whose husbands have died, let us work, let us enterprise,” Mama Nyaunya advised.
The businesswoman says she came back to the country in 2018 to open her business.
“When conflict broke out in 2013, I took my children to Khartoum. I came back in 2018 and opened this business. I am working now and my children are dressed like they have not lost their father. I am employing all tribes; I have Nuer, Dinka and Shilluk. We don’t have tribalism in business and I am uniting all the tribes in my business. If anyone looks for a job whether young or old, I also employ them because they want something for helping their children,” she added.
Achol Ajak, a mother of 8 who is employed at Mama Nyaunya restaurant says she is able to feed and pay for her children in school.
“We are working to raise and support our children. We have been working and staying with this mama for many years; this is our mother. The money we get here helps, but prices of commodities in the market are now very high and that is the only problem now,” she said.
Adieu, Jane is a widow with 5 children and says she is able to put food on the table and send her children to school due to her work with Mama Nyaunya.
“I have five children and 2 girls are in school but one boy has dropped out. Our work is going on well and we get our daily pay every day. We get 500 pounds in the morning and 1200 pounds in the evening,” Adieu said.
Malakal is among the major towns in the Greater Upper Nile region that were devastated by years of conflict in South Sudan.
Marks of gunshots are still visible in most buildings in the town but the town is back to life.
The dominant traders in the town currently are mostly Sudanese traders from the Republic of Sudan, a few Ethiopian, Ugandan and South Sudanese traders are also in the shop business and textile business.