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'After losing parents, my first job saved my family'

December 19, 2019 10:50 IST
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We'd asked you, dear readers, to tell us what your first salary was and what it meant to you at the time.
Rediff reader Sama Pelia Fongoh, 31 from Cameroon shares his story:

Sama Pelia Fongoh

I lost my mother when I was 13.

Two years later, my father who was a peasant farmer also passed away.

We were eight siblings -- four sisters and four brothers; my twin sister and I being the youngest in the family.

After my father's death, it was upon me to take care of my family.

With much difficulty, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Buea, Cameroon in the year 2013.

I wanted to study further, practice law and become a lawyer, but my father's untimely death changed everything.

I took up odd jobs working at construction sites to make some money and help the family. 

In October 2016, I decided to move to the UAE where I got my first job as a security guard.

Initially, I didn't like the job. But when I realised how it was putting food on my table, I took it seriously.

I wanted to enable a better future for my family.

When I received my first salary of AED 3,000, I thought about my deceased parents.

I wanted to gift them expensive jewels and spend my earnings with them.

I ended up spending it in the most rational and special way. I brought my twin sister and helped her get the same job (as a security officer) in UAE so that we could work together.

My first salary also meant that I had grown up to be a responsible human being and could now take concrete decisions.

I could notice that people around were now looking up to me as an example.

Looking back at how my life has changed, I can safely say that it has been an interesting journey because it has built in me the zeal of saving more, investing in people while at the same time shunning a luxurious lifestyle.

I have learned that it doesn't matter how much you earn, what matters is how you spend your earnings.

I look forward to enrolling into a law school next year because I can now finance my education and pursue my dream career.


Dear readers, do you remember what your first salary was?

When did you receive it? Which year was it?

Do you have a photograph of it?

What did it mean to you at the time? Tell us all about it.

What was your first job and salary? And how did you spend it?

Did you buy a sari for your mum or a gift for your girl/boyfriend?

Write in to us at (Subject line 'My First Salary') along with your NAME, AGE, LOCATION and photograph, if possible. We will publish the best responses right here on!

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