PITCH: Strand St & Buitengracht St
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Doreen would like to grow her offal and braai meat sales business. She would also like to build flats on her property so that she can make an income from the rental.
If you’d like to assist Doreen in any way, contact The Big Issue office on 021 461 6690 or email info@ bigissue.org.za.
Doreen Dyidi Proud Single Mom
Any parent will tell you that caring for your children is a great responsibility, and never easy. Doreen Dyidi, 52, this month’s vendor on the pitch, is determined to give her kids a head start in life.
Word and Image by: Lungisa Mnqwazi
It’s not unusual for women to raise their children on their own. Big Issue vendor Doreen Dyidi, 52, who lives in Delft with her two sons and granddaughter, knows full well what it’s like to be a single parent and fend for your children on a daily basis.
Her family is not immune to the social ills that plague her community: “You become accustomed to living in fear,” she says. “You are constantly scared that you might be the next victim of the notorious gangsters who are willing to take your life for your last R5,” she explains.
Doreen has been selling The Big Issue since 2010 and has developed a special bond with her customers. She often expresses her gratitude for her customers who buy the magazine from her in Campground Road, Claremont.
“If I tell my customers that I haven’t sold any magazines since the morning, they sometimes give me money to buy something at home. I have a close relationship with them because they treat me like one of their family members, she says.
Doreen was a backyard dweller for many years. “Staying on someone’s property is not easy at all because you can’t just start your own business to make ends meet.”
This all changed, thanks to The Big Issue. The dedicated vendor saved money she made from her monthly magazine sales until she was able to buy her own house. “The magazine changed my life for the better, and it still continues to do so.” She adds that if it had not been for the organisation, she might have remained a backyard dweller forever, or even become homeless.
In 2013, Doreen’s husband passed away after a short illness. Not long after, she was informed that he qualified to receive an RDP house. As his heir, she received the title deed for the house, which she now rents out for extra income to provide for her family in the Eastern Cape.
“Ever since I lost my husband, I had to take the responsibility of fulfilling both roles to my kids. I was heartbroken to lose my pillar of strength, someone whom I had known all my life, but I had to swallow the bitter pill. After some time, I got back on my feet and ventured out, and what did I see? Many more single moms than I had ever noticed. Day-to-day duties of a single parent are no different than those of one who is married. Paying bills is no child’s play; you’re on your own. Even so, single mothers usually have a way to work out problems,” she says.
Doreen continues to work around the clock to feed her family. One of her sons still attends school. “When I come home from the pitch, I sell offal and braai meat to earn some extra cash, as it’s in demand in the township,” she adds