There will always be thieves in any kind of community.
But according to Petelo Silika, it’s the lazy people who resort to such crimes in order to live.
Aged 40, from the village of Leauvaa-Uta, Petelo says people steal from his plantation all the time. He knows such people steal because they refuse to work.
“The one problem I have is the people living around the area,” he told the Village Voice.
“There are some who don’t work for themselves and try and live off of the work of others. There are many thieves in Samoa.”
“They don’t work and they start thinking of stealing from others, some come and steal from my plantation. I would wake up one day and someone has cut down my bananas and has taken a few vegetables. It’s frustrating.”
Petelo also believes that Samoa has far too many people who don’t want to work hard, may it be with their jobs or out in the plantations.
“There are so many families who don’t work together nowadays,” he said.
“You know, I really agree with the words the Prime Minister always says. The Lord has given us land so that we may work on it and make a living.
“Right now for me, no matter how little I have I can always go and cut down some banana’s or grab some vegetables to make some food with.”
According to Petelo, Samoan’s have no excuse to be poor especially with the soil being very fertile in Samoa.
“The dirt here in Samoa is very ideal for farming,” he said.
“That’s what people need to understand. We can grow almost anything here in Samoa; I have been working on my plantation since before I can remember.”
“I grow peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and then the taro plantation.”
Living at home with just his elder mother, Petelo works hard to make sure her life is as comfortable as possible.
“I have no family of my own, I live with my elderly mother and I take care of her,” he said.
“So I work hard on my plantation to provide as much as I can for her. The money we make depends on the work I do.”
“If I take ten bundles of peas then I would make $20 for that day because I sell them at $2 each. Another thing that factors into the money I make is the market prices.”
“Right now there are many different types of vegetables available in town and that’s why we have to sell everything at such a low price.”
“Another motivation that keeps me working hard is that the cost of living is high. Hard work is what I have to counter that problem.”