Unemployment poses significant challenges, especially for those with families to support and dreams to pursue. However, some informal traders in Mahikeng, North West province, have demonstrated their resilience and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.
Despite holding post-matric qualifications, these individuals have resorted to selling various food items at stalls while actively searching for permanent employment. They have also explored innovative strategies to grow their businesses and generate income.
Informal traders share how their efforts have provided a means of livelihood. Naledi Lekone, a trader, highlights the importance of catering to the breakfast needs of customers during the early morning hours, as it presents an opportunity for faster and convenient meals.
Meanwhile, Matome Mashapa, who holds a degree in Management and Development in Local Government and is currently pursuing studies in Human Resource Management, manages a stall selling vegetables, sweets, and snacks. In addition, he offers transportation services to students residing in accredited accommodation at the North-West University.
Further exploring the streets of Mahikeng, we encounter Amogelang Makgolo and Onalenna Mokoto, both engaged in informal trading. Makgolo, having completed her matric, assists her mother in their food business, which provides them with essential income for sustenance. Mokoto, holding a diploma in Human Resources Management, offers words of encouragement to fellow youth, urging them to persevere and pursue their passions.
While this report highlights the experiences of unemployed graduates engaging in informal trading, it is essential to recognise the broader message of resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges. It serves as a reminder that, by harnessing their determination, individuals can weather the storm and create opportunities for themselves.
Despite the unexpected turn their careers have taken, these individuals exemplify the strength and resourcefulness necessary to overcome adversity. Through their stories, they inspire others to remain determined and seize opportunities amidst challenging circumstances.