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Rising from adversity, Kochi girl takes charge of family by selling cakes after father’s demise

Monikka Nayana Fernandez

This 22-year-old in Kochi, who lost her father unexpectedly to cancer, has taken on a remarkable role in her family becoming the breadwinner by selling homemade cakes which she learned to make by watching YouTube videos.

Monikka Nayana Fernandez of Malliakkal House, Moollampilly lost her father Johnson Fernandez, 48, when she was studying for graduation in 2019. But instead of succumbing to despair and grief, she took up the responsibility of taking care of mother and two younger sisters aged five and nine. Her elder sister Norina Fernandez, 26, who is married and settled in Valparai also helps Monikka in her cake making at times.

Monikka, who is studying for post-graduation at St Xavier’s College for Women in Aluva, finds time to make cakes and deliver them to her customers after returning home from college. For the last three years, her strength and resilience have been the pillar for the family which was struggling to make ends meet.

“It’s her determination to overcome the toughest of challenges that gave us the strength to live,” says her 46-year-old mother Sony Fernandez, a homemaker. “I was totally clueless about the future after the unexpected death of my husband. But Monikka took up the responsibility,”  she added.

Monikka, who used to make cakes for family functions like birthdays, decided to put her skills to use and make cakes to sell. “I started watching different YouTube videos on cake making and started making them at home. As my friends and neighbours liked them very much, I started an Instagram account  “cake_corner_by_nayana” and posted pics of the cakes for sale,” Monikka told “Open Digest”.

As her customers started to enjoy the cakes, the word of mouth quickly spread, and orders started pouring in. “I now have regular customers who order cakes for their family functions. I am getting tremendous support from the people,” Monikka added.

Monikka and her family ensure that they deliver the orders at the door steps of the customers with utmost care. Monikka also makes deserts, doughnuts, brownies, cookies and chocolates which are also a hit among her customers. All her products are reasonably priced so that her customers get a fair deal.

Her business has not only helped her family financially but also boosted her confidence and self-esteem. She takes great pride in her baking and feels a sense of accomplishment every time she sees a customer enjoying her cakes. After completing her post-graduation, Monikka is planning to expand her cake business with the support of her family.

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