As the warm Wednesday afternoon on the last day of April progressed and lectures came to an end, Witsies around campus could be seen easing into Thursday’s public holiday.
Workers’ Day, as this public holiday is called, is an international celebration of the working class and their labour.
Wits Vuvuzela took a short trip around campus in pursuit of those who work tirelessly – often behind the scenes – to make a living, serving students and making Wits a better and safer place to be.
|Thabiso Disloane – Coffee BaristaOlives & Plates at the Wits Art Museum (WAM) was the first stop-off on thr trip.Born and raised in Johannesburg, Disoloane has worked at Olives & Plates for a year and says his ultimate dream would be to work in Italy because of its great coffee.
An avid fan of soccer, Disoloane is a Kaizer Chiefs supporter who has tried to play on a professional level.
When asked what makes Thabiso Thabiso, he replied, “I’m a generous guy [who] loves smiling”.
|Nthabiseng Masiteng – Baker/Manager Masiteng, who started off at Olives & Plates in 2010 as a baker, now manages the WAM branch.Currently residing in Katlehong, Masiteng lives for her “two beautiful daughters” and aspires to open her own Olives & Plates one day.|
|Pakamisa Ngaba – Security GuardA short walk up the road led to the meeting of Pakamisa Ngaba at the Campus Control office in Central Block.Now 55 years old, Ngaba has been working as a security guard at Wits since 1995.
Born in East London and currently living in Soweto with his 4 children (his eldest son is studying auto-electrical engineering), Ngaba supports Orlando Pirates in soccer and the Stormers in rugby.
He says his favourite memory at Wits was the memorial service held for Nelson Mandela at the Great Hall.
|Florence Makhaba – Gardener The next destination was outside Cullen Library where Florence Makhaba was busy at work in the garden.She has been working as a gardener at Wits for two years.
In her spare time, Makhaba loves to dance and listen to gospel music.
She has three children and wants to work harder and get a better salary so she can help put her eldest son through college.
|Robinah Makoni – Shop Assistant A pit-stop at the Matrix led to an encounter with Robinah Makoni, an employee at Delhi Delicious who moved to Johannesburg from Zimbabwe to look for work.She stays with her husband in Berea and has a 10-year-old boy back home whom she loves and misses so much.
Makoni, who speaks Shona, Ndebele and English, says she would like to go back to school and her ultimate dream job would be to work as a nurse.
|Paul Makama – Car Guard The trip around Wits came full circle and ended back at WAM – only this time outside on Jorissen Street where car guard Paul Makama does his job with an ever-present smile and joy in his heart.He has been a car guard on the streets of Jorissen and de Korte for five years and will be celebrating his 53rd birthday on May 11.
Makama has two grandsons and loves soccer, supporting Orlando Pirates when he can.
He also enjoys cooking and says making chicken is his favourite.