Kalawattie Singh aka Aunty Annie

Hers is a perfectly ordinary story. She was raised in poverty. As far as formal education was concerned she went no further than Cove and John Primary School before going to work on a small farm at Nooten Zuil, on the East Coast Demerara owned by her grandparents. With the passing of her grandparents she decided that farming was not her calling. In 2003 she ploughed the savings that they had left her into a Convenience Store in the lower flat of her home. Her uncle, she says, ‘chipped in’ to help her realize the venture. Hers was one of those shops whose offerings coincided closely with what she believed to be the essentials of the community: milk, butter, eggs, aerated drinks, washing detergents, cleaning supplies, rags, sponges and paper towels and other ‘life-sustaining’ necessities. Mindful of the growing numbers of children in the community she also offered an array of the local Chico brand of sweets.

Nooten Zuil is populated largely by Indo Guyanese.  

Lying contiguous to that village is the predominantly African Guyanese village of Belfield which also represents a market for Auntie Annie. Unwittingly, perhaps, but with a fair measure of success, her establishment has played a role in ‘managing’ relations between the two communities offering a service that responds to their common material needs…..

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