English – read the story

Ethekwini – the city of the sea. This is Durban, a place of holidays and sun. For some. But for many others, it’s not that much fun.

Take the stevedores – the guys who work down at the docks. These are the guys they call “lnyathi” or the “Buffalo”. Like the buffalo, they are strong and proud. And like the buffalo, they fight all their battles together.

They start work at six in the morning. They work deep down in the ships ­ ships bigger than factories. And there they sweat – packing and unpacking sugar, mealie meal, coal, asbestos and heavy rolls of paper.

“It’s very, very hard work,” says Mr Zulu. He came to work at the docks 12 years ago. And Mr Zulu knows all about hard work. Before he came to the docks, he cut cane in the sugar fields.

“The work hurts you r body,” says Mr Zulu. “And on top of that, you feel the salt on your body from the sweat. If you work with rolls of paper in the day, you feel the pain in your body at night.”

The stevedores work in groups. Sometimes four work together, sometimes six. After eight hours, they are tired and hungry.


1) What’s the english nome for Ethekwini?

2) When do the slevedores start work?

3) Where do stevedores work?

4) How long has Mr Zulu been working at the docks?

5) Do stevedores work alone or in groups?


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