The 13-year-old student who survives on coconut
A 13-year-old boy’s decision to pluck and sell fresh coconuts to eke a living did not only shock some residents of his neighbourhood but has exposed the negligence of some parents.
Malik Aidoo is a form one Junior High School student at Amuzu, near Obom in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
For the past two years, he has been engaging in the sale of fresh coconuts to raise funds to support his education.
He disclosed that his parents are in the Central Region, but he is currently staying with some family members.
Malik, despite his age, has an advantage over his competitors as he is skilful at climbing the coconut tree.
While his senior competitors struggle to find someone to pluck the coconut for them, Malik will be on top of the coconut trees plucking them.
According to him, he earns ¢70 on good days and ¢40 on days when business is slow.
To ensure he conducts his business successfully, he has bought a wheelbarrow which he uses to cart the coconuts around to sell to customers.
On weekends, he wakes up early in the morning to go out and find harvestable coconuts and negotiate with owners.
After that, Malik will climb the coconut tree with a rope and cutlass to harvest the fruits. While atop the tree, he 13 will move around to pluck some of the fruits, cut them open and taste them to see if they are ready for consumption.
Soon after that, he will use the long rope to tie it and cut it and slowly release the rope till the bunch falls down.
In some cases, he plucks three bunches from a coconut tree. The owners will count the harvested fruits and sell them at ¢2 per coconut to him. He in turn will retail them at ¢3 to customers.
The young coconut seller says he will pursue a course in business when he enters senior high school to enable him to do good coconut business in the future.