A Flowery Love Story – Torika Chandra

KASANITA Biu Camainakelo loves flowers. She has a beautiful garden back at her home in Veisama, Nakelo which she attends to every day. In fact, Kasanita loves flowers so much she’s making a living from it. The 59-year old from Kabara, Lau sells her flowers at the Suva market every Thursdays to Saturdays. When we met up with her at the market she had flowers like the Caribbean red, sexy pink, Chinese banana and daisies.

Kasanita was never so involved with flowers. It was only when she married Nemani Camainakelo and moved to Nakelo that she started gardening. She instantly fell in love and it gave her something to do during her leisure.

“Flowers are a part of my life,” she said. “It started when I got married. I started planting my own garden and slowly my garden grew. I also used to decorate the church.”

Before she knew it people were enquiring about her beautiful flowers and buying them.”A woman from Suva used to buy my flowers to sell in the market. She told me one day that I should try it sometimes, and I did.”

It has been 10 years since Kasanita first began selling flowers at the Suva market. She quickly found out what a lucrative business it was to get into too.

“My husband is now a retired civil servant and together we have developed this flower business. It has great potential and the money we earn from selling flowers is being used for our family every day.” Every Wednesday afternoon she prepares the flowers she will sell at the market the next day. The next morning, she wakes up at 4am and travels to Suva as early as 5am.

“Sometimes by 10am all my flowers are sold. Other times people come in to buy after lunch or in the afternoon. Sometimes I have flowers left over too. I go back home at about 6pm.”On a good day, Kasanita says, she can earn between $100 and $200. But it is not the money that drives her, what drives her is what her flowers bring to her customers. “A lot of my customers are those that decorate in the church or for events, and some florists. Flowers are a beautiful thing, it adds colour to one’s life and happiness.She advises women to get into the business of selling flowers, not only because it’s worth it but because it’s healthy. “Flowers can help us improve our health when we plant them and if we look after it well it can earn us money.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015. The Fiji Times, Fiji