For those city residents in Port Moresby, you may have seen this man zooming around town on his black orange motor bike, selling and delivering food out of his blue cart.
That is 26 year old Tom Boko from Hanuabada Village in the Central Province, whom, along with his wife Ruth, have started a food catering and delivering service which is not usually seen on the streets of Port Moresby.
“My wife and I are unemployed. We usually sell drinks and buai out the front of our house in the big village Hanuabada, even rice and lamb stew as well, to support ourselves” Tom said.
“I have always loved motorbikes. So when I suggested the idea of delivering food packs on the motorbike to my wife, she thought I was kidding at first.”
But Tom’s impromptu idea seems to have taken off and a lot of people have been posting about him on Facebook.
“I have been getting so many orders. That is why my wife and I decided to set up our Facebook page.”
Named after their daughter who passed away tragically two years ago, OuLyn’s Catering is offering rice and lamb stew and mince and pasta, going for K7 a pack.
If you opt for a combo which includes a drink, it will cost you K10. Along with the delivery cost of K1.50, it is not a bad deal for under 12 bucks.
The loss of their daughter was a turning point for both Tom and Ruth. Not having completed their education, with Tom leaving school in Grade 10 and Ruth in Grade 8, they struggled to find jobs and money to feed themselves and their babies.
“I came from a broken home. And I hung out with the wrong crowd in high school, smoking drugs and drinking alcohol at a very young age. I wasn’t interested in school anymore and I soon dropped out,” Tom said.
“We got married very young and despite this, I was still determined to drink every weekend and get up to no good. My behaviour made us argue a lot,” Tom said.
“Our daughter’s death was devastating and it also opened our eyes and made us realize that we were taking life for granted. That is when we decided to challenge ourselves to start making and living a better life, not just for ourselves, but also for our late daughter, Oala Linah Boko.
The couple have had the idea of making money from selling food for some time now. So when Tom decided to buy his first motorbike, he taught himself how to ride the bike, got himself a license and registered the motorbike.
He also modified it so it would become a means by which to deliver the food that his wife Ruth prepared.
At first, Tom was ashamed to sell food from his motorbike, thinking people would laugh at him and not want to buy his wife’s food.
“I thought to myself, if I felt this way, how would my family survive? How would I ever sustain them? This thought alone gave me the strength to push through with what we were doing,” Tom said.
“I love motorbikes and I really enjoy what I do, riding around town, delivering food. People on social media have and continue to share our story and this show of support has motivated us to keep going. They loved what we are doing and we do not want to let them down.”
Tom and his wife also deliver food to the homeless on the streets every Sunday as part of their efforts towards being responsible members of their community.
“It doesn’t take much to make a change and I hope for everyone out there, that it doesn’t take losing someone, like how I lost my daughter, before you know what you are capable of achieving. Anything and everything is possible,” Tom said.