I caught up with Immie to find out what has happened since the video was shot over three months ago. He said, “I am working currently at Woolworths. I am permanent as a replenisher” (this person makes sure the shelves are always fully stocked). Hearing that he was still in the same job was encouraging, considering that most young people tend to get short-term employment that often does not translate into more long-term work. He continued to say, “I’ve got to hustle to succeed and achieve my dreams to become the better man that I can become”. He compared himself to who he was when the video was shot by saying, “I am more focused on what I really want in life, and I seem to be more helpful to my peers and motivate them”. He explained that he helps his peers by volunteering at OfW on his days off. As much as he is staying in the game by going to work and motivating his peers, he says “sometimes I feel like letting go and not helping them because of the things they know about me, but then again my good heart don’t allow me not to help others”.
Immie’s story is similar to the story of many young people in South Africa, who have to “push through” personal challenges like losing a parent and have to fight to stay in the game by doing learnerships and seeking opportunities offered by organisations like OfW. Like many other young people, Immie chooses to stay in the game because in his own words “making a success is how I see myself”.
1. Statistics South Africa. Quarterly Labour Force Survey Quarter 1: 2019. (2019). Available: www.statssa.gov.za