You can find Elizabeth selling vegetables in the Namatala market. She’ll be wearing a headscarf and often a wide tooth smile. For the last eight years, she has sold eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, greens and onions at a small wooden stand in the market.
She moved to Namatala with her husband in 2000 from the Butalejea district, which is about 70 miles away. She moved with the hopes of making money by selling boiled yams. When she wasn’t able to sell her yams, her husband of 18 years left her and her five children.
Now she works determinedly at her vegetable stand to support her children. However, it is hard to make a profit selling vegetables, because of the steep competition and the produce only stays fresh for a few days. Most days, Elizabeth finds herself losing money at the stand.
Elizabeth’s husband came back a few years ago but left her again when she got pregnant, she hasn’t seen him since. She takes care of her six children alone.
She has four sisters and two brothers. Her siblings are mostly farmers and cannot afford to help her out monetarily, but they are all close friends. She is also a very close friends with Annette. The two live next door to each other and often share food and help each other out. You can often find them sorting beans or talking under the mango tree in their front yard.
Elizabeth hopes for her children are that they will “eat well, dress well, and get a good education.”