Slice of Life: "With this business I am making sure that there is always food on the table"

Michael Makamu has recently opened a food business in Soweto Diepkloof zone 2. Having constant fights with other local businesses within that area is affecting his business. (Lutendo Malatji, M&G)

Michael Makamu has recently opened a food business in Soweto Diepkloof zone 2. Having constant fights with other local businesses within that area is affecting his business. (Lutendo Malatji, M&G)

SliceOfLife

“When I lost my job, life was very, very difficult. I am married with four children. And if you don’t have food on your table – food to feed your family – it is a big, big problem.
I used to be a baker and was very happy with that job.

So when I lost that job, it was very hard on my family and I. So I started this stall because I needed to put food on the table. Now, with this business, I am making sure that there is always food on the table.

The business is going – but not always that well. I only opened this stall about two months ago. During the week, the business is slow. I make R280, maybe R300 a day. But, you see, today is Friday so it going to get very busy here.

From tonight to Sunday it can get very busy. On days like that, I make R800, maybe R1 000. But if I don’t have meat, then it’s a problem.

But I’ve got nice customers. I’m very friendly with them, but if the food isn’t cooked and ready, they complain. Then it’s really difficult.

And my first day here was very difficult. People were looking at me funny, like they were thinking, ‘What are you doing?’

I don’t think they were happy with me coming here. But now I’ve got no problems with them. I think they can see now that I’m good for the place – and that I keep the place nice and clean.

My family is also happy now since I have this business. Sometimes my wife comes and helps me cook the food here. And my kids are very, very happy, because now they have bread. Now there is food on the table.“

Michael Makamu, 50, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian

Carl Collison

Carl Collison

Carl Collison is the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian. He has contributed to a range of local and international publications, covering social justice issues as well as art and is committed to defending and advancing the human rights of the LGBTI community in Southern Africa. Read more from Carl Collison

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