A job for Sophie 3/3

By Drum Digital
18 December 2013

There's bad news and good news for Sophie and Mbali.

By Friday she had completed 10 little dresses and four pairs of boy's shorts. As soon as her mother had left for work, she headed down to the market stalls. Hester Xotongo examined each one, pulling them hard and looking for loose threads. Sophie watched her, hardly daring to breathe. Then Hester smiled and said, ??These are excellent. I think you and I can do business, sister!'' She took R250 out of a cash box under the table and paid her. Sophie went home with an order for 50 dresses and as many shorts as she could make. But first she went back to the shop and paid Daljeet what she owed him. She realised she'd have to spend the rest of the money on more fabric. On her way home she went past Hester's stall, just to look. What she saw amazed her. She couldn't wait to tell her mother. But when she got home one look at her face told Sophie this wasn't a good time. When Yena was in bed, her mother said quietly, ??I was laid off today. I'll have to leave at the end of the month. I don't know what we're going to do, Sophie.'' ??Mama, I do! We can go into business together!'' Mbali smiled wearily. ??Doing what, my child?'' ??Making clothes!'? Sophie explained what she'd been doing. ??And Mama, I worked out that each dress costs me about R15 to sew. Hester is selling them for R50 each! People are buying them as soon as she puts them out.'' ??It sounds as if that woman is making a lot of money out of you.'' ??Yes, but Mama, we could make the money! We could have our own stall ? I could sew and you could sell!'' Mbali gave Sophie an admiring look. ??My daughter the businesswoman!'' she murmured, patting Sophie's hand. ??It's a good idea, but no matter how fast you work, my child, you couldn't sew enough for us to live on.'' ??What about Auntie Miriam? She's not working and she can sew. And that friend of yours, Auntie Flo. Between the three of us we could easily sew 100 dresses a week.''

Mbali thought about the idea ? if Sophie cut the fabric and each woman sewed in her own home, that could work. Of course they'd have to be paid for each dress they completed . . .

??Let's do the sums, Sophie,'' she said. ??Maybe we can buy the fabric wholesale.'' ??And we needn't make just children's stuff, Mama,'' Sophie added excitedly. ??We can make some really trendy clothes too. We could have our own label! We could . . .''

??Let's sit down and do the sums first,'' her mother repeated with a smile. But she had a feeling the sums would work out just fine. ??I think Sophie would make a very good label, don't you?''

Story by: Dudu Sibanya

The end.

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