Gijima man: Funky trader adds spice to city streets

2008-11-25 00:00

A common sight and sound around the CBD is the “s’tolo gijima man” Njabulo Yengwa (27), who pushes his colourful, home-made blue barrow and plays loud, funky music. He lives in Claremont and has been an informal trader since he left school.

He started in March last year, moving all over the city selling sweets, chips, peanuts, fruit and cigarettes. He plays music to attract his customers, who, he says, like house, fusion and kwaito music best. His best-selling item is loose cigarettes.

Yengwa built his cart himself and has perfected its design over time. It consists of wooden fibre board sprayed with fibreglass and mounted on a steel basket that acts as the frame. The basket houses the batteries that run the sound system: a car radio and CD player hooked up to amplifiers. The front sports a modified Golf bumper with an NUR (Umhlanga Rocks) registration plate.

Yengwa would like to move to Durban because, he says, business here is poor. However, he looks forward to Christmas. “Last year I had to carry extra stocks to keep my customers happy.”

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