As we make our way to Diessira Diallo, it begins to rain lightly. It is the end of the rainy season in Djoliba, but every now and then a few drops still fall.
Diessira is waiting for us in front of her kiosk, which she opened in 2018 on Djoliba’s main street. We are pleased that she takes the time to talk to us, as she has been feeling a little sick in recent days, as she tells us in the course of the conversation.
Before Diessira opened her current store, she had a smaller kiosk in Djoliba, not far from the current one. As the number of her customers quickly increased and she noticed that the demand for her products was growing strongly, she decided in 2018 to open a larger kiosk on her family’s property. With success. Her store is doing well, customers are happy, and Diessira has been able to significantly increase her income.
Africa GreenTec’s electricity also played an important role. Many people in Djoliba use batteries to be able to use electricity – as Diessira did previously. But the performance of the batteries is often low and they are also not very durable. Diessira used her batteries exclusively to power a light bulb in the evening so she could work longer in her store.
Since December 2018 however, Diessira has been using electricity from Africa GreenTec. As a result, things have changed. Since she can now use the electricity more productively and also offer cold drinks (tamarind and guava juice are the top sellers), for example, her income has at least doubled.
Recently, women from Djoliba, including Diessira, have launched an association to help women start a business. The women share start-up ideas, funding and business strategies to support each other.
Her family is also heavily involved in Diessira’s store. Her children help out in their mother’s store after school and learn from her how to do bookkeeping, for example. They take their mother’s ambition as a model. Diessira wants to open more stores in Djoliba. At the moment, her savings are not enough to open another store, but that is at the top of her priority list, right next to two more refrigerators for her current store. Especially because of its convenient location on the main street, her kiosk is very busy.
When we conclude by asking her about her life satisfaction, Diessira hesitates a bit:
The interview with Diessira Diallo was conducted with Jan Moellmann and Aida Schreiber on October 14, 2019 in Djoliba.
We are looking forward to telling you more about Diessira Diallo soon in a follow up interview.
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