Informal Glenwood #4: Zakithi and Her Local Avocados

Glenwood’s informal vendors provide both convenience and savings for residents. In order to spotlight these unsung and often maligned contributions, the Glenwood Collective will be interviewing local individuals active within the informal sector. Check back weekly for a new profile and an ongoing conversation about how we can be a stronger and more inclusive community.


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This week we had a chat with Zakithi, who has been a familiar sight selling avocados in various locations around Glenwood for nearly 18 years. Currently trading on Brand Road across from Standard Bank, Zakithi was kind enough to share her thoughts on our neighbourhood and what it means to buy local.

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GC: Why did you choose this spot to work and sell?
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Zakithi: This neighbourhood was the first spot where I’ve felt comfortable setting up. I have moved around and sold at different locations, like in front of Woolworth’s, before settling here on Brand Road.

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GC: What are the advantages of this location?
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Zakithi: It’s busy, with lots of foot traffic going to the stores and banks. I also feel very safe here.

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GC: Where do you get the avocados that you sell?

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Zakithi: All of the avocados I sell come from local farmers in KZN. I source them myself in different rural communities outside of Durban, for example the ones I’m selling here are from Ndwedwe. Depending on who has stock, I go myself to the different farms, buy enough to sell, and pay for an extra seat in a taxi to bring them back to Glenwood.

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GC: What times of year are avocados available?

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Zakithi: They are available most of the year, though there are a few months between November and February when they are not in-season. During that time I sell other types of fruits and vegetables as well as snacks and sweets.

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GC: How would you like to improve your business in the future?

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Zakithi:  I would like to carry a greater variety of products- perhaps a wider range of fruit and vegetables. I would also like to purchase a new table- something more sturdy that I can pack away and store more easily.

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GC: What types of help would you like to see from the Municipality in the future?

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Zakithi: I would greatly appreciate shelter to keep me and my products dry when it rains. Storage options would also be helpful. Though I’m concerned that this might increase the cost of my permit.

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GC: What are your trading hours?

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Zakithi: I am here Monday to Friday. Sometimes I also trade on Saturdays when I’ve got many ripe avocados that I need to sell.

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