Another vendor, another T-shirt on Vilakazi St

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iol news pic Mandela watch jun26


A Vilakazi Street vendor hopes to sell more merchandise in the visitor-friendly area in Orlando West where Nelson Mandela's first house is situated. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg - Business was booming for vendors along Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Friday, following the death of former president Nelson Mandela.

Mandela and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela once lived at number 8115 Vilakazi Street, in a house that is now a museum.

“Business is better today than on any other day,” said vendor Tshepo Mogapi.

He said he and his partner Sifiso Madonsela had sold T-shirts on the street since 2007.

“T-shirts with Mandela's face and the ANC logo are in the greatest demand,” said Madonsela.

Another vendor, Sam Sithole, who had set up his stall on the other side of the road, said it was not such a productive day for him.

“We feel irrelevant because everyone wants something with Mandela on it.”

Sithole sells T-shirts with the word “Soweto” written on them.

Other vendors were selling food, drinks, sweets and ice-cream.

Scores of people walked down the street, many of them wearing African National Congress and Mandela T-shirts.

Tourists and locals posed for pictures outside the Mandela Museum. Others laid flowers at the front of the building.

Others sang “uMandela bekakhona emzabalezweni (Mandela was there during the struggle)”.

There were also scores of journalists. One group had rented the rooftop of a restaurant further down the street.

An elderly woman living directly opposite the Mandela Museum watched the activity from a chair in her yard.

President Jacob Zuma announced shortly before midnight that Mandela, 95, had died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night. - Sapa

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