Lebogang Mamabolo a young man from Lebowakgomo needed to look for an alternative way to support himself after the death of his parents.

POLOKWANE – Studies show that most unemployed people are between the ages 18-35. Orphaned and abandoned youths often have to quit school and some even end up living on the street because they don’t have anyone to take care of them.

Lebogang Mamabolo is young man from Lebowakgomo who says after his parents died when he was young, his life took a turn for the worst. The death of his parents meant he not only had to quit school but also needed to look for an alternative way to support himself.

“I did not want to live a life of crime so I came to the city to wash cars. We don’t earn much but we earn enough to buy a few food items so that we don’t go hungry,” Lebogang explains.

According to the 23-year-old, he and a few others make between R30-R50 per car they wash, depending on the make and model. He says perhaps the biggest and worst misconception that people have is that he and his friends are homeless thieves.

“Not all of us steal to make a living. It is some who choose that lifestyle. And we are not street kids, there are some who decide not to go home every day and save money but that doesn’t mean we are all homeless,” he explains.

Lebogang is not the only young man in the city who has found unique ways to fight poverty and unemployment. Another young man, Thabiso Rakgoale is a taxi marshal, someone who ushers people into taxis and private cars. They assist people who hike to Hammanskraal, Johannesburg or Pretoria.

“We don’t usually make a lot of money. We make up to R50 a day depending on how much we are given when we bring people to those taxis or cars. It is tough because there are a lot of us here and sometimes people leave without giving us money,” Thabiso explains.

Lebogang and Thabiso are just a few of the many unemployed youths who have come up with unique ways to earn an income in an unforgiving environment.