'If mi never a sell mi nuh know how mi would a manage'

Soup vendor Vivinne Morrison explains RSPL's economic impact on her life

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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When the Mexican-owned Hanes Stocking Factory at Bayside closed its doors Vivinne Morrison was a lost soul, wandering and pondering how she would survive, and how she would provide for her two young daughters.

But Morrison realised that her now late sister, Sharon Morrison was doing quite well and providing for her six children by simply selling soup.

She joined her and over the last 15 years she has been a staple at most Red Stripe Premier League games, providing that hot meal for patrons who might have left their Sunday dinner to enjoy a game of football.

Morrison, who lives at Twickenham Park, got to the venue hours before the big kick-off between Portmore United and Dunbeholden. It was a massive St Catherine derby between two teams hunting their first point of the season.

Her soup was thick and full of meat, mainly chicken foot and cow skin, dumplings and ground provisions. It's a must-have at games, as evidenced by the number of patrons who flocked her pot just before the start of the game and during the half-time interval at Spanish Town Prison Oval.

So busy was Morrison that her youngest daughter, Dannielle Fletcher was on hand to assist. She noted the importance of her pot of soup.

“You see mi daughter, this is what send her to school and pay for her exams. The father don't help me none at all; from she born a me one. If mi never a sell mi nuh know how mi would a manage,” she told theJamaica Observer.

With that help, Dannielle, 21, was able to complete Eltham High School, then went to Heart Trust/NTA and is now an assistant football referee.

In fact, young Fletcher was scheduled to officiate in a Manning Cup game between Ascot High School and Kingston High School at Royal Lakes field.

Fletcher, who now also working said it would not be possible without her mother.

“I appreciate her a lot because without her I wouldn't be here now. If she wasn't selling soup I wouldn't be able to accomplish certain things,” she noted.

And although Morrison might be busy selling her soup she is aware of what is happening to her favourite team, Portmore United, as they struggle, losing three consecutive games.

Portmore United have lost to promoted teams Vere United and Molynes United, plus last year's promoted team Dunbeholden FC, and Morrison has lost hope in them retaining their title.

“I don't think so; they lose so much already. Last year they were winning every match. Most of the players not here, probably them affi buy new players.

“If you treat them certain way them nah go want to play — they will sabotage you. You have to know how to treat the players so that they can perform,” offered Morrison.

Although she has access to most Premier League venues by paying, she would like the authorities to provide vendors with identification cards to access the grounds hassle-free.

Spanish Town Prison Oval is her home ground but she does venture elsewhere when no match is being played there. She remembers the visit of Mount Pleasant Football Academy last year when she had nothing left to sell.

“I go all over to sell — Stadium East, Arnett — but Waterhouse don't let us in, despite paying,” she claimed.

But what Morrison really wants is little shops to be erected at the football facilities where vendors can set up and sell their wares.


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