Zikhona is a twenty-four year old mother living in Grahamstown East, when she is not looking after her daughter Esihle, she is looking for work. Zikhona has been employed temporarily at Redwood Spur and at Rhodes but was not able to get full a full time job, she frequently hands in her CV to restaurants and businesses in Grahamstown but has received no offers. She says that the fact that she does not have a cell phone prevents her from finding work, she sometimes borrows a cell phone from a friend.
Zikhona was unable to complete grade 11 at Rosenhof High School due to her pregnancy. Her immediate family lives in Cape Town and she is not often in touch with them. She says that fortunately the mother of Esihle’s father gives her a place to stay in Grahamstown, but it is very far from the centre of town.
“I really want to get any kind of job,” said Zikhona. “Because its so lonely to sit at home on your own”.
On an average day Zikhona sends Esihle to a day care, which she pays for with her grant from Child Welfare, and then she goes into town looking for work. However, she frequently does not have taxi fare to get back to Grahamstown East.
“I was always good at playing netball at school,” said Zikhona. “I would like find somewhere, maybe a team at Rhodes, where I could do that again”.
You can see Zikhona’s CV on LinkedIn at: https://za.linkedin.com/in/zikhonamatshoba
South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. This August, GAP is publishing a micro-profile a day on women working in Grahamstown in 2015.
About the photographer: Jane Berg is a photojournalist working in Grahamstown and finishing her Bachelor of Journalism Degree at Rhodes University. She is the Media Officer for The Gender Action Project. You can see more of her work at www.janebergphotography.tumblr.com and on her Facebook page.