Cynthia Gogotya

Big Issue|Issue 286

Cynthia Gogotya
The Big Issue vendor Cynthia Gogotya is a role model to her family, community and fellow vendors. She shares her experiences of the last three months.
ALICIA ENGLISH

Big Issue vendor Cynthia Gogotya, 54, is determined to rise above the challenges thrown her way by the coronavirus pandemic and the national lockdown. The grandmother of five, who lives with her 14 relatives in her family home in Nyanga, seized the opportunity during the lockdown to start her own business, sewing and selling masks.

“I have been sewing masks from home, which I sell for R30 at my pitch and half the price in my community. I make it for free to children in my area, and recently donated some to two families who had funerals in our community. I am happy that I can provide for my family in this way,” she says.

Cynthia and her family live from hand to mouth – only one other person in her household of 15 has a full-time job. “I started the lockdown with a few hundred rands in savings, which were quickly depleted. My sister, who is the only one in the house that has a job, wasn’t working either.

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Issue 286