Fisherwoman seeking better for her family

July 06, 2016
Ian Allen/Photographer Nordia Samuels shows where she sleeps with her son.
Ian Allen/Photographer Nordia Samuels gestures as she speaks with The Star.
Ian Allen/Photographer Nordia Samuels aboard a boat at Port Henderson

Nordia Samuels' well-toned arms are indicative of the strength that she has summoned to overcome the many obstacles life has thrown at her over the years.

The single mother of five toils almost 20 hours a day as she tries to take care of her family by juggling her two jobs as a shopkeeper and fisherwoman. For the past six years, after closing her shop on Port Henderson Road, St Catherine, the 33-year-old takes to the rough seas at nights. "Most nights me tired, but the shop caah help because a hand to mouth, so me go sea fi try buy things put inna the shop," she explained.

sea rough

When the father of three of Samuels' sons died over six years ago, she was forced to find multiple ways to earn an income to support her family. "The other father no really help so me haffi find a way to take care a dem the best way me can," she said.

Although Samuels cannot swim, she still takes to the sea nightly. "Boy, is the most frightening things happen to me a sea cause me caah swim and sometimes things reach me and me want jump off cause a how the sea rough," she said.

Her family of six has been split up with four of her sons living with family members, while her youngest child resides with her in the small bedroom at the back of her shop.

But the two jobs have not been enough as the mother still struggles to take care of her family, and has been forced to live in the shop which she built herself for a year. Samuels' shop is close to the infamous 'Back Road' strip where there is a thriving illegal sex trade.

But the fisherwoman said prostitution was not an option for her, even when things get really rough financially. "My sons are my world, and I don't want to do anything that would ever hurt them, and that would hurt them," she added.

being hungry

Her dream is to have her family back together and to be able to support them financially. "Me just want take care of me family, me want have them happy and going school every day without being hungry," she said.

Samuels is hoping to stop fishing soon because of fear for her life, and she has her eyes on going abroad on the Ministry of Labour's farm work programme. "Me really fit fi the job because me can work hard like any man out there cuz me have nuff skills that can use," she explained.

The ambitious and hardworking woman is requesting financial assistance from the public to get her necessary paperwork to go on the work programme as she sets out to keep her family together.

If you are interested in helping Nordia Samuels, she can be reached at 817-2677.

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