PASIR PUTEH – It all started with selling a few bundles of long beans harvested from her garden to neighbours and slowly increasing the variety of vegetables to 40 — and adding kuih-muih — to earn between RM300 and RM500 a day.
Zaharah Yusuf, 50, could never have expected that her initiative eight years ago of going house to house in Kampung Telaga Gayong, Taman Kobena, Sri Aman and Jerat Semata with a motorcycle to sell goods would help pay for her eight children to go to school and see three of them finish university.
“The response of homemakers here has been very encouraging especially those who are unable to go to town (Pasir Puteh) to get cooking ingredients,” she said when met at her home in Kampung Nara Sept 28.
Zaharah said that she also sells ulam-ulaman, keropok and dishes like gulai udang with keladi.
“A lot of the things that I sell cost 50 per cent cheaper compared to other places because I get supplies directly from the kampung folk and as a result of my own efforts as well,” she said, while adding that she starts selling at 9.30am.
She said her income has been able 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 were able to study at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Unimas), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UMP) and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjong Malim, Perak.
A regular customer, Siti Esah Muhammad, 73, from Kampung Telaga Gayong, said: “I await 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.