I want to end this Africa Lite and yet Africa After All week of posts on a positive note. Despite all the inequality, despite all the problems, crime and other negative associations with Africa, on many a street corner you will find somebody who is trying their hardest to make the best out of the worst. Their entrepreneurial spirit is hugely inspiring.
Take this guy for example…
We often spot him at the weekend with his industrious micro business. The fact that we only see him at the weekends, makes me wonder what he does for the rest of the week. Is he a student? Does he have a 9-5? The implication is that he is going the extra mile to make ends meet or improve his life.
We’re always told here never to wind down our windows, but occasionally you make an exception. He’s right. I always need another pencil in my car and the 2 rand he’s asking for equates to around 5 or 6 pence which I often have rattling around.
Other roadside entrepreneurs here include the guy who reads an extract from a book and another who famously teaches a Zulu word of the day in exchange for a tiny fee.
Finally, I want to show you this placard. It’s owner had taken a quick break, so I couldn’t thank them for making me smile. But rather than standing at the traffic light with their hand out begging, this person used initiative and creativity. Rather than asking people to give them something FOR nothing, these people are finding ways to turn pretty much nothing into something. Hats off.