Some young people in Limpopo have found creative ways to earn a living amid the skyrocketing unemployment rate in the country. There has been a boom in informal photography. Some snappers say the informal photography sector has been growing over the past three years. They use professional digital still cameras to take pictures, and then send them to clients for a small fee.
An informal photographer on the streets of Giyani shows a client pictures he had just taken of her as she went about her business in town. This has become a means of income for dozens of young men in Limpopo. Media Studies graduate, Bornwise Hlungwani, earns his living this way.
“I’m from section A, I have been working here like two to three years I do have a degree, and I gained a lot of experience working here. I studied Media Studies I completed four years back, so for now I can see here in South Africa there are no jobs, what we are doing we are just hustling every day,” says the 29-year-old.
Akani Chavalala, 21, is saving his earnings so he can go back to the Tshwane University of Technology to resume his Diploma in Food Technology in 2022.
“I started this year around February when I got my results and found out that NSFAS is no longer funding me I decided to come back, I’m saving so that I can pay rent next year when I go back to school,” says Chavalala.
Some of the photographers told SABC News that they would rather hustle than resort to crime.
According to Statistics South Africa, 46.3% of young South Africans are jobless.
“I want to make my life better and I want to make sure that I have I go to school but somewhere somehow things are not going my way, coming here is a way for me to say I want to stay away from crime, I want to work for myself. It is better to hustle than being a thief, or thug your life can be shortened by so doing,” said one photographer.
Some shoppers in Giyani say they always support the informal photographers to encourage them to work harder.
“Well….their business is great. I do take pictures from them and their price is affordable and their pictures look great, yes I feel motivated because they are striving for money, they don’t go around do bad things for money they only do their business,” says one shopper.
“I support this business because it keeps unemployed youth away from crime and it gives them a means to provide for their families,” adds another community member.
The proud young photographers say they are self-taught.