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| Nozakhe is a butcher at an open-air table outside the Site B Train Station in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, South Africa. She is part of a cheerful, tough and boisterous group of ladies who sell their meat to the hordes of commuters rushing in and out of the train station at the end of the day. The ladies also do a good business with shoppers and other merchants at lunch-time at the adjacent shopping center.
Every morning Nozakhe buys sheep lungs, cow lung pieces, sheep offal and intestines from the wholesaler. If he delivers it, she pays more. If it is not his delivery day, she has to travel 2 hours by 15-seat mini-bus, called a taxi, in order to pick up the stock. She used to spend a large part of the day keeping flies off the merchandise. Now she has a refrigerator.
Nozakhe is currently on her fourth loan from Tetla Financial Solutions, having repaid three loans already. She has invested R 6000 in her business – close to $800 – and she was astonished when this was pointed out to her. She is now looking forward to buying a car so that she can re-stock more easily – something that she would never have thought possible before.
Nozakhe supports 7 of her 8 children from her butcher shop, most of whom are either unemployed or still in school – one son being paralyzed from a gunshot wound. When you ask Nozakhe about her business and her family, her face shows the strength it takes to be the primary caretaker and also shows the pride that running her business has given her.
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