IT has been seven long years since the sale of my business.
I finally decided to make my debut in the CBD of Pietermaritzburg where I once traded honestly for 22 years, trying to provide a good service to the vibrant community of the city.
I spent the morning at the Tatham Art Gallery, sipping on a cup of coffee, admiring the architecture of the building and appreciating the works of art within the building.
On my exit, I was confronted by a group of municipal workers demonstrating and waving their placards. They wanted their manager reinstated and their demands met, but to my dismay I did not see any law enforcement agents in the vicinity or in the distance.
As I journeyed towards Theatre Lane, the birthplace of my very first business, I noticed the pavements and sidewalks were heavily laden with a variety of goods from all parts of the world, carefully displayed by vendors, jostling for their business space, to eke out a living.
As I approached Timber Street, the same departmental store blasted the same music I heard seven years ago.
The buildings in the area have not been upgraded or maintained, stores have been divided and sub-divided for additional rental and an air of doom and gloom has settled over this once-vibrant business area, making space for the new and enterprising businesspeople of the future.
I journeyed down Theatre Lane as an alien and loner.
I realised that my former business colleagues, Mrs Govender, Mr Giles and Mr Johnson, have left.
A feeling of sadness and nostalgia crept up on me, my thoughts raced back to 1987 and my humble beginnings as a businessperson.
Did I make the right choice after 22 years of service to this community?