The New Humanitarian Annual Report 2021

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Tembely Coulibaly – Restaurateur, Mali

Mama Tembely, restaurant-owner, in Sabalibougou, Bamako. November 2012
(Sidiki Dembele/IRIN)

Mama Tembely Coulibaly is a restaurant-owner in Sabali Bougou in Mali’s capital, Bamako.

Name: Mama Tembely Coulibaly

Age: 35

Location: Sabali Bougou, Bamako.

Does your spouse/partner live with you? Yes.

What is your primary job? Restaurant-owner.

What is your monthly salary? No fixed salary. Usually $80-150, often more.

What is your household’s total income - including your partner’s salary, and any additional sources? Sometimes an additional $50 from husband but it is sporadic.

How many people are living in your household - what is their relationship to you? Five - husband, two children and mother.

How many are dependent on you/your partner's income - what is their relationship to you? All five.

How much do you spend each month on food? $130.

What is your main staple - how much does it cost each month? Rice $30 for a 25k bag

How much do you spend on rent? $80, $42 for water and electricity.

How much on transport? Not much as we live just next to the restaurant.

How much do you spend on educating your children each month? $46 - one goes to school, the other a crèche.

After you have paid all your bills each month, how much is left? It depends.

Have you or any member of the household been forced to skip meals or reduce portion sizes in the last three months? No.

Have you been forced to borrow money, or food, in the last three months to cover basic household needs? No.

“My finances are OK. I run a small restaurant with about 50 covers [customers] each day. I sell brochettes and offal in the morning, rice dishes for lunch, and spaghetti, fish, chicken or meat in the evening. At the time of the coup there were fewer covers, but now it’s up again.

“Prices have really gone up to pay for basic food, but at the moment I’m managing to pay my three employees.

“The problem in Africa is that if you develop your business everyone who doesn’t work comes to claw at you, every day, with their problems, thinking you have everything while they are suffering.

“The most difficult thing for me recently has been the rise in taxes - I pay more than $300 per year. And my husband doesn’t have a fixed salary - he sells cars from time to time. Sometimes he earns and sometimes he is broke, so I have to cover most of the family’s needs.

“I’m looking for a loan so I can open a second restaurant. My goal is to bring my husband into this business because car sales aren’t steady. If he can work in this business, we’d be better off.

“I’m most nervous about the instability in the country - if we don’t have security, our businesses won’t work.


June 2013 update

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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