ACTNews, MAKASSAR – Despite earning only a meager profit, Sarifah enjoys her work as a Nasi Kuning seller. She begins cooking every day at 3 a.m. She can sell all of the Nasi Kuning in just 2 hours. From selling Nasi Kuning, the 44-year-old woman from Makassar is able to fulfill her family’s needs.
"I don't need to make a lot of money. As long as I can survive and pay for my three children's education, I'm grateful," Sarifah said on Thursday (6/18).
For about 8 years, Sarifah used to sell Nasi Kuning with her husband. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic also affects Sarifah’s livelihood drastically. Many of her regular customers were students and office workers who are now studying and working from home. As campuses and offices were closed, Sarifah’s income has drastically decreased.
She used to cook up to 15 liters of rice to be sold. However, lately, she only cooks 8-10 liters of rice. Sometimes, she is unable to sell all of her Nasi Kuning. "Once there was no one who come to my stall for a whole day," she said.
Sarifah serving her buyers. (ACTNews)
Her husband, with whom she used to sell Nasi Kuning, passed away suddenly last Eid. After taking his wudu in the mosque in front of their house, Sarifah’s husband suffered from heart attack before praying the zuhr prayer. On Eid Al-Adha 1441 AH, Sarifah lost her husband.
Despite the difficulties that she has faced, Sarifah does not want to lose hope. Life goes on as she struggles to make her late husband’s dream come true: to send their eldest child to study architecture in accordance to his interest.
Selling yellow rice has been Sarifah’s only source of income. Despite having only small capital, Sarifah never wants to get in debt. She is holding on to a principle of not wanting to get in debt as her husband used to teach her.
To help keep her business running, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) through the Friends of Indonesian Micro Businesses (Sahabat UMI) Program provided capital assistance to Sarifah. With the capital assistance she hoped to be able to improve her business and even hire an employee.
"Sarifah’s husband chose to not get involved in usury to support his wife and children. With the business grant that we provide, we hope that Sarifah can improve her business and even hire an employee to help her cook,” said ACT South Sulawesi Program Coordinator Andi Syurganda Haruna.