Thapelo Temana, 40
Married mother of three: 18, 13 & 8
Lives in Soweto, Johannesburg
I’m a businesswoman, I enjoy selling. Whatever I can sell I put my hands on, whatever can support my family - that’s what I’m doing.
There was a time when I was not working. I couldn’t provide for anything, even bread. When you can’t do things for yourself, people don’t regard you as somebody - you are nothing.
Before TCB I was a croupier at the casino. Whatever I was getting was going straight to food. I was earning on the 25th but on the 26th I was penniless, that was my life. It was miserable to go through the whole month without anything. I resigned because I couldn’t see the point of working. I started trying to sell things, like atchar and school uniforms, but I was not succeeding because I didn’t have any idea. I didn’t have the knowledge.
What inspires me is the way I see my life. This year my firstborn started studying. I managed to pay the school fees, all the books, to pay for residence, to pay the registration - by myself. I managed to take the other two kids to schools, they got books. I can provide for them.
It makes me happy to be independent, to know that I can do it for myself.