Nombuyiselo Nxako, a street vendor: This is her story of 'women empowerment'

This amazing woman is a hard worker, feeds a family, pays the bills and educates her children. She has no help from anyone and no husband to lean on.

Forget the celebrities, lets talk ordinary.

These are the women mostly forgotten when celebrating women empowerment.

Nombuyiselo Nxako living in a cottage in Killarney, is a business woman on the street working hard for every penny to meet ends needs.

Nxako has been running a street vendor earning a living and surviving the recession by selling pap and steak, serving breakfast and selling cigarettes for the past 10 years at a taxi rank in Rosebank.

Her day starts as early as 6:30 am and ends at 18:00 pm in the evening.

She explains her daily work routine.

“I have been working at the taxi rank for 10 years, cooking and selling cigarettes.

“I start my day at 6:30am, I boil water, cut vegetables for preparing lunch and make breakfast to start selling in the morning.

“Lunch is often served as pap and steak or chicken or beef with salads and veggies,” says Nxako.

The 50 year old prices her bread and egg breakfast at R15 and her pap and steak lunch for R30.

Through these sales she is able to generate an income.

“I work Monday to Friday and in a month I take home R4000 after stocking up my business groceries. This is how I get to support my family of three.

“I have two children. My eldest lives in the Eastern Cape and I live with my youngest son who is still in school,” she says.

Nxako would have never started her own business if it was not for her divorce, she says.

“I was a housewife and my husband was the bread winner. After divorcing I had to be independent.

“It was tough because he was no longer supporting us.

“I tried working at a nursing home but it wasn’t helping me financially that’s when I decided to sell food.

She has no regret of quitting her job.

“I love what I do. The fact that I am still in business after a decade shows that I don’t see myself working for another person.

“When I work alone I am not angry at anyone, even if I need to stock I do it all by myself. There is no stress and I have faithful clients who enjoy my food.”

Nxako says women need to celebrate their success everyday.

“Women’s Day for me shows everyday empowerment. We need to celebrate every effort put in to live a better life.

“I am strong today, not depending on anyone to get things done. This shows women can be anything and everything they want to be.”

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