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Mamsy Chokwe, 33

Single mother of one: 6

Lives in Hillbrow, Johannesburg

I didn’t decide not to get married but when I didn’t I thought, ‘Let me make something of my life’. I started a business and I sustain it. Every day I look at myself I’m like, ‘I didn’t turn out so bad.’ I’m employing someone which is something we don’t really do in my community.

I went through a difficult time, I couldn’t find a job, I was sick. You stop loving yourself, you feel worthless like there’s something wrong with you. Our parents made us work in their tuckshop from a young age. We thought selling was punishment. Now when customers are excited about what they’ve bought, that gives me courage to say ‘People are happy with what I do, selling is not a bad thing’.

Completing my two years at TCB is my greatest achievement, not everybody did it. Sometimes it was difficult and I wanted to quit but I didn’t. It makes me proud to say I actually did it.

I love being an independent woman it gives me the freedom I need. I wake up and say, ‘Let me go out there and try’. Sitting at home makes you
feel depressed, I’d rather be out there trying to make things happen for myself.