I don’t belong. Harriet looked over to where the other women in the church were sitting, as a feeling of inadequacy washed over her like a bucket of cold water. It was a feeling that was all too familiar.
On his small plot of land, Shezi recycles three tons of non-biodegradable waste every week, and is quickly making his way to ten. Shezi fights poverty by providing as many opportunities as possible to employ others.
Two years ago, David and Noah didn’t even have a physical shop to sell out of. They went from shop to shop in town, trying to sell their goods. Today, they have a large building in the heart of Johannesburg.
A single event—that’s all it took. I couldn’t move. In a daze, I heard frantic voices. My eyes couldn’t seem to focus. There was the smell of burned rubber and gunpowder. The next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital bed.
I look into her eyes. I recognize the many layers of confusion, elation and exhaustion. These are emotions I’m all too familiar with. These were emotions I had after giving birth many years ago—when I’d nearly lost my baby.
They’d wanted to kill me. As I stood to offer words of hope and peace at this funeral ceremony, I closed my eyes. In my mind I imagined the scene, replaying the visits I used to make to the sangoma (witch doctor). The smoke would sting my eyes as I’d enter the room.
I stand outside my shop at the close of the day, watching my neighbors make their way home. I can tell which ones are coming home from work and which ones are still searching for a job. Parents without jobs drag their feet as they walk home.
I never thought that losing my job would have led me here. As I walk through the airport security, I greet the guards on duty—they know me by name. The voice on the intercom announces the last boarding call for a flight to Johannesburg.
“No problem,” I say as I take the keys.I turn on the car and listen intently. Clank clunk clank clunk. Opening the hood of the car, I examine the engine. I wipe the back of my hand against my forehead, wet from the heat of the afternoon sun.
The pavement is cold against my knees as I bend down and carefully pick up the beads from a broken necklace. They represent the little that is left of my business. I close my eyes, slowly inhaling the fresh morning air. The events from the previous day play over in my mind.
It was the smell of smoke that woke me up. Disoriented, I rubbed my eyes and looked around. There was the distinct sound of crackling. I sat up with a jolt. Fire—my house was on fire! I instinctively grabbed something from under my pillow.
There’s a quick knock at my door, and Kandoro pops his head into my office. I grab my jacket, not even glancing at the clock. It wasn’t always like this. I remember our first meeting. I sat, waiting for him, watching the steam rise from my coffee.READ MORE
I stood beside her hospital bed, scarcely recognizing the emaciated woman lying against the white sheets. She was a shadow of the woman I’d met just one year earlier. But when she spoke, I realized that disease may have wreaked havoc on her body, but her spirit was as strong as ever.READ MORE
It’s midday as I walk through this community, the tires of taxis stirring up the dry ground into small puffs of dirt. The streets are lined with hair salons, repair shops and meat stalls. When I first visited this community, I only saw hopelessness.READ MORE