Moshi. It is not easy to miss this particular ice cream vendor on the streets of Moshi going about his daily activities. This is because he is always in the company of a child.
This is none but Ayubu Ramadhani, 29, a resident of Moshi.
According to him, the mother of his son left their home when the child was a year and five months old. Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Ayubu said he married the woman on December 12, 2013. The young couple lived at Kachenche Village in Kondoa District, Dodoma Region.
In efforts to try and eke out a living, Ayubu moved to Moshi Town in Kilimanjaro Region where he was employed in a milling firm.
He had the tendency of sending money to his family back in Kondoa and visiting them from time to time. Towards the end of 2015, the duo was blessed with a son.
According to him, in May 2017, while in Kondoa, there was a family dispute pitting his wife against him. Clan members tried to defuse the matter, but things did not work out. In the same month, Ayubu’s wife left, only to return with her father and together abandoned the son to him.
He says he realised that that was the end of their marriage.
It was then that he moved back to Moshi with his son, who was then a year and five months old.
“While in Moshi, I tried to find another job.
Fortunately, I got this job of selling ice cream,” said Ayubu. “Since I have no one to help me to look after my son, I’m forced to take him with me wherever I go. So, I’m working to help my son and myself to earn a living. I’m now used to the situation, and my son is growing up. He is now four years old,” he said.
“When he wants to take a nap, I find a nice place, spread some clothing and he rests there. This is what I do,” said Ayubu.
“My earnings per day range from Sh5,000 to Sh6,000, depending on weather.”
Moshi stands at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, the hihest in Africa, about 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) from its base, and 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level.
Moshi also serves as the base for many expeditions up the mountain, with climbers staying in nearby hotels and employing local residents as guides, porters, and cooks. Tourism is an important source of employment.
Ayubu’s employer Hatibu Ramadhani said he decided to help Ayubu after learning about his problems last May.
“I offered him this job. If someone can offer him a better job, that would be good,” said Hatibu.
A resident of Njoro in Moshi, Josephine Mushi, always wondered why Ayubu was always in the company of a child.
“One day I asked him. What he told me left me pained. As a woman, I’ll never abandon my son, no matter what. I know that we are different,” she said.