Multicultural mix makes market a fun place to work
Jackson Moyo is the manager of craft market African Lane
Tell me about African Lane and the arts and crafts that are available there.
African Lane brings the Rosebank Art & Craft Market into the Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg, from Fridays to Sundays.
The market features 57 of the 114 traders each week on a rotational basis to ensure compliance with Covid protocols and equal opportunities for all.
What are your main tasks at work each day?
My day starts with checking my e-mails and responding to queries.
After that I make my way into the market and check that every trader is open and setting up for their daily routines. I am also responsible for the hygiene of the market and ensure that all Covid-19 protocols are adhered to and in place.
I have a daily meeting with the market committee where we discuss any matters arising. After our meeting is adjourned, I spend the rest of my day assisting our traders with admin, sales assistance and anything that they require.
I am also responsible for customer relations.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
No two days are the same, interacting with different people and cultures. My day at work feels like a day in Africa.
What about your workkeeps you up at night?
The fact that the market is not doing so well at the moment. We have more than 114 traders who are responsible for their families and rely on the market as their sole income.
The lack of tourists due to the pandemic is really taking a toll on our traders.
How has Covid affected the market and the way you work?
We used to be buzzing with tourists from all over the world every day and with that our traders catered for a diverse market.
However, when the borders were closed due to the pandemic, we were forced to relook at the concept of the market and reposition it as a local destination that houses traders from around the African continent who cater for our local shoppers and community.
What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to be a firefighter. I was very intrigued as a child watching the flames of a fire and how destructive it was in that moment. Then I witnessed a firefighter climbing up the ladder of the fire truck and bravely hosing down the fire. I was mesmerised and in that moment I knew what I’d like to do.
I never actually became one, but I did manage to find a profession where I can put my talents to great use and help people each day by assisting them with their life struggles, or fires.
What advice do you have for recent matriculants?
Nothing is going to happen unless you put it into motion. No idea is too small, you do not need a fancy office to sell your talents.