The people of Soesdyke
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Feroze Khan (Carl Croker photos)
Feroze Khan (Carl Croker photos)

Small-business owners whose establishments have withstood the test of time

FEROZE Khan is a resident of Soesdyke Back Street, East Bank Demerara and he is an easy-going kind of guy, who goes about his daily life in a very respectful manner and he enjoys cooking and taking care of his teenage grandson.

When the team met him he was on his way to go to the Soesdyke Junction to purchase fish he intended to fry to go with boulanger and rice.
The 69-year-old reported that he is a local of the village and was residing in another section of the community, but relocated and built his house in 1974.

Lovina Madhu

The father of four added that the village is a good place to reside and it is the peace that is most welcome for him; he needs that quietness so he can hear the sounds of nature such as birds chirping, the wind howling or the raindrops on the roof.

Khan is a pensioner and has a small poultry business in his backyard, rearing some meat birds as a source of income.
He explained that he is taking things light because he never recovered fully after his wife passed away in 2018 just after his daughter who had cancer and who succumbed to the disease in 2017.
A grandson is living in the lower flat of his house with his family and he occupies the top flat with his 14-year-old grandson.

Lovina Madhu in her shop

“I enjoy doing the simpler things in life like cooking and doing household chores, because these days I don’t work, so I have the time to do other things,” he said.
Back in the days, he was a large-scale poultry farmer but quit that business a long time ago as he progressed in age.

“This is a place where people go to work, return and live peacefully; we have no real issues and like you see the place is clean and we grow most of our own foods,” he said.
The shop-owner

Meanwhile, Lovina Madhu, has a roadside shop where greens, fruits, local snacks, ground provisions, bread and other essentials can be purchased at Soesdyke Public Road, East Bank Demerara.

The small business was owned and operated by her late husband, Puran Madhu, who passed away last year owing to his diabetic condition.

A customer making a purchase

He was a well-known shop-owner in the village and he used to be at the shop most times, where he always entertained friends and customers with his friendly banter.

Madhu stated that her husband established the small business 25 years ago and when he died she had to step up and take control of the business, because it is her only source of income.

She is originally from St. Cuthbert’s Mission (Pakuri) along the highway, but relocated when she married Puran in 1995.

Madhu has her business on the roadside but lives down in a small street in the village, where there are many houses and she is well-known among locals.
She has good relations with the people and they support her small business, because she provides a reliable business which is opened every day.

The Village Barber/IT Technician
Dellon Griffith is the local barber and IT technician who specialises in both hardware and software and started his small business from scratch when he got married and started a family.
The 33-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that he established his small barbershop in 2010 and over time was able to extend the building into an IT section at the rear.

“When is [sic] started this shop I had some old DVDS selling because I was now starting out with nothing, and some days I remember I didn’t even had [sic] money to buy a bread, but today it is something,” he said.

Barber/IT Technician Dellon Griffith grooming a customer

He explained that he was gainfully employed with the Ministry of Education and after marriage he started to get children and his salary wasn’t enough to offset bills and living expenses, so he decided to quit.

Griffith stated that he has a tiny shop with one wooden bar stool and his customers used to complain about how their backs were hurting from sitting in the chair to cut their hair and get groomed.

Barber/IT Technician Dellon Griffith grooming a customer

He would always tell them to bear up, better days were ahead, and he worked towards getting proper barber chairs for his shop when he visited the United States of America and shipped in a few to upgrade his barbershop.

The father of three added that his business went from nothing to something, and he is grateful that the locals support his small business, which isn’t a money-making place, but a simple place where grooming services are affordable and there are many ‘regulars.’

Dellon Griffith’s place of business and home

He has in his employ another barber, but is now running the place alone because his employee is on vacation overseas.

Griffith resides in the same yard with his business place and it is convenient for him to be there, because he keeps an eye on the children while his wife is away at work in the city.
He is a local and lived all his life in Soesdyke and likes the place because it is a very close-knit community where people are familiar with each other.

“Once you move in here, you don’t leave, this place nice and it is a good place to raise a family,” he said.
Griffith pointed out that for any small business to grow one must invest and operate the business as if they are working for someone to see the rewards of being self-employed.

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