This article was previously published in the Move! print edition.
It was a cold day in July 2019 when I went to the department of labour’s offices in East London. I was there to submit documents to claim my Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefit for the first time. I’d been retrenched from the newspaper where I worked. A single thought buzzed in my mind as the hours ticked along slowly and the queue shuffled at a snail’s pace:
“I don’t belong here.” I’d done everything right. I attended school and matriculated, then went to university, completed my qualification in record time and graduated when I was 21 years old. Now, three months before my 30th birthday, it felt like all the things I’d worked so hard for no longer mattered.