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Hawkers make killing from picky gymslip moms

By unknown | Sep 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Amanda Ngudle

Amanda Ngudle

The country might have been shocked by the birth of a baby girl at a school in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, last week, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

A random Sowetan survey showed that nappy hawkers are making a killing thanks to the soaring demand for their wares in the area.

And guess who are their best clients?


Five nappy hawkers who ply their trade next to a busy road said pupils from Masisebenze High and Tembisa High schools are their biggest clients.

Robert Matshidze sells packs of disposable nappies near Tembisa High School and says business has never been better.

"With this business you can't go wrong. On a good day I make about R2500 and on a bad one I take home R700. It's guaranteed.

"By the time the current babies are too old for nappies, others will have been born and the cycle continues like that every year."

Unlike his nearby business rival Thembi Mtambo, Matshidze says he doesn't extend credit.

"I give trustworthy students nappies on credit out of sympathy.

"Others cannot afford disposable nappies. Those who can afford them say they have no time to wash cotton nappies," said Mtambo.

The schoolgirl moms are choosy. They prefer their babies to sport top labels on their butts.

Thankfully the competition keeps prices down.

All the hawkers say they have to stock Pampers because their picky clients won't take "fong-kong brands".

"They complain that we expose the nappies to the sun. That's why we put up these shelters," said Mtambo.

Schoolgirl mothers often say they had no access to contraceptives, but Tembisa High Schoool is next to Tembisa Clinic and Masisebenze High is close to Ethafeni Clinic.

Hawker Sylvia Ngudle takes a dim view of her clients' attitudes. "What annoys me is that there is no remorse in their eyes.

"To give birth to two kids before your 21st birthday is absurd. And these girls are not ashamed," she says behind her stack of Cuddlers.


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