STREETS AHEAD: SWEET SELLER SUR­PASSES THE NORM TO SUR­VIVE

Mother’s hard work, not giv­ing up, pays off

Go! & Express - - Front Page - QHAMANI LINGANI

“HARD work, per­se­ver­ance and hu­mil­ity al­ways pays off,” Lu­lama Nt­langan­iso, a street ven­dor of more than 17 years, says.

Nt­langan­iso, a mother of two, started sell­ing sweets and choco­lates for 40c to put food on the ta­ble for her family but now has a stall sell­ing pil­lows, fash­ion­able hats, “doeks” (head­scarfs), fresh fruit, veg­eta­bles, sweets, cho­co­late, chips and even dish­wash­ing liq­uid.

Sta­tioned in Ox­ford Street just passed the City Hall, Nt­langan­iso, 39, said she worked un­der difficult and chal­leng­ing con­di­tions but never thought of giv­ing up.

“What are my kids go­ing to eat if I give up?”

Asked where she got the en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm from, Nt­langan­iso said: “From my mother. My mother and I used to sell sweets at the beach­front in Quigney when I was still a teenager and I learnt the busi­ness from her.

“She taught me ev­ery­thing I know,” she said.

Dur­ing this Women’s Month, Nt­langan­iso en­cour­aged women, both young and old, to get up and pro­vide for their fam­i­lies. “Peo­ple can’t just sit and wait for men to pro­vide for them.

“In­de­pen­dence is so nice; most of our sis­ters should try it.

“Peo­ple of­ten un­der­mine this [street vend­ing], but it puts food on my ta­ble and takes my two beau­ti­ful chil­dren to school. I am happy here and my clients love me and my ser­vices,” she said.

Nt­langan­iso em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of her re­la­tion­ship with her clients.

“Some even talk about their personal prob­lems be­cause they can see that I am easy­go­ing and I am gen­er­ally a nice per­son, al­ways will­ing to as­sist where I can.

“The thing is, you never know where you will need help one day. Al­ways be nice,” Nt­langan­iso said.

Un­like some street ven­dors with no mu­nic­i­pal li­cence, Nt­langan­iso has one which she ob­tained more than 10 years ago.

“It is difficult, es­pe­cially be­cause I am a wo­man and I have to do ev­ery­thing my­self, but some shop own­ers are very help­ful in that [re­gard], I am able to keep my stuff in their shops overnight,” she said.

Pic­ture: QHAMANI LINGANI

ROLE MODEL: Lu­lama Nt­langan­iso started out on a small scale sell­ing sweets to passersby, but now has a stall sell­ing goods such as food. sweets, cush­ions, hats, belts and shoes

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