Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

PLACES HAVE MEANING: THREE STREETS, THREE HOURS AND THREE STORIES OF SURVIVAL IN ONE CITY

Radikobo Ntsimane

Abstract


The socio-economic conditions in South Africa have forced new identities and new responsibilities on individuals who migrate to urban centres in the hope of finding a decent livelihood. Broken family structures, unemployment, poverty, divorce and teenage pregnancy are some of the circumstances that drove three interviewees to form relationships with certain spots on the streets of the city of Pietermaritzburg in order to eke out a living. This article looks at the conditions that brought three interviewees to the city and the streets, and transformed them to adopt new ‘families’ and identify with geographical location for survival. While keeping some ties with their biological relatives, the three interviewees are largely de-traditionalised and find meaning from the streets through innovative and sometimes banal means such as begging and commercial sex work.


Keywords


family; places; poverty; stories; survival

Full Text:

PDF

References


Carton, B. and Vis, L. 2008. Doing oral history. In P. Denis and R. Ntsimane (eds.), Oral History in a wounded country: Interactive interviewing in South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

Denis, P. (with Longwe, M. and Zitha, N.). 2013. Is stigma receding? Stories of AIDS support group members in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. In Oral History Journal of South Africa

(1): 3–16.

Lesejane, D. 2006. Fatherhood from an African cultural perspective. In Richter, L. and Morrell, R. (eds.), Baba: Men and fatherhood in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Mathenjwa, L. 2013. The resourcefulness of elders and their strategic intelligence in dealing with culture, memory and trauma: An African perspective. In Opondo, P. (ed.), Culture, memory and trauma: Proceedings of the Third Annual National Oral History Conference. Pretoria: Research Institute for Theology and Religion of Unisa.

Mkhize, N. 2006. African traditions and the social, economic and moral dimensions of fatherhood.

In Richter, L. and Morrell, R. (eds.), Baba: Men and fatherhood in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Okyere-Manu, B. 2005. The livelihoods challenges posed by the commercial sex work to the Christian concern for poor women in Pietermaritzburg. Unpublished M.Th. dissertation, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Okyere-Manu, B. 2006. Sacrificing physical health for wellbeing: A theological challenge of sex work as livelihood option for women in Pietermaritzburg. Journal for Theology for Southern Africa 24 (March): 20–32.

Swartz, S. and Bhana, A. 2009. Teenage tata: Voices of young fathers in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.