Yu Youzhen, a millionaire from Wuhan City, China, has been making headlines recently, after it was discovered she works as a street cleaner, for a 1,420 yuan monthly salary, in order to set a positive example for her two children.
During the 1980s, Yu Youzhen was just an average vegetable farmer in the Hongshan District Donghu Village Huojiawan, working hard with her husband in order to save some money. After years working from dawn till dusk, they became the first family in the village to own a 3-storey house. At the time, a lot of people were coming to Wuhan looking for work, and many of them needed a place to stay, so Yu started renting the spare rooms in her home. Each room would bring about 50 yuan every month, and the resourceful woman used the extra earning to build even more houses and add more floors. After several years, she had three 5-storey buildings, most of which were rented out. Construction regulations were loose in China, and everyone was building houses, but Yu Youzhen really lucked-out when, according to the policies of requisitioning and redevelopment of land, she and her family were compensated with 21 apartments for the houses they had built in Huojiawan. She wasn’t the only one, of course, but she personally witnessed how fellow villagers squandered away their fortunes on gambling, drinking and even drug use, so she made it a goal to set a good example for her kids and act responsible.
Instead of staying home and counting her riches, Yu kept working as a sanitation worker, a job she had applied for in 1998. She has to be at work at 3 in the morning, six days of the week, and she spends 6 hours a day cleaning a 3,000-meter long stretch of road, sweeping and cleaning trash cans. “Mrs. Yu’s family is so rich, yet still she comes to put up with this suffering” says one of the co-workers who don’t understand her motivation. “I want to set an example for my son and daughter, a person can’t just sit at home and ‘eat away’ a whole fortune,” the hard-working millionaire worker is quick to explain. After witnessing what great fortune and a bad attitude can do to a person, Yo Youzheng became determined to keep her family on the right track. She’s already warned her son and daughter: “If you don’t work, I’ll donate the apartments to the country.” It seems to have worked, as now her son works as a driver in the Donghu Scenic Area, making over 2,000 yuan a month, and her daughter is an office worker, with a 3,000 yuan salary.