Motsamai was forced to drop out of tertiary education in South Africa when his father, a miner, was retrenched. He sought employment in Johannesburg with a group of his peers working in theatre. The women in the group faced sexual exploitation, when all they wanted was a safe place to stay in the City of Gold. Eventually the theatre group disbanded, and Motsamai was left to struggle on his own.
Note: This story contains explicit content and is recommended for mature viewers age 14 and up.
Special thanks to the International Organization for Migration for providing this story.
Key points to consider in viewing Motsamai’s story
Motsamai’s story touches on a number of important issues affecting labour migrants and their families. His father’s retrenchment from the mines made it impossible for Motasamai to finish college. And, like his father, Motsamai was forced to move a great distance to find work. In Johannesburg, he and his fellow actors faced exploitation. His story encourages us to reflect on the vulnerabilities that migrants face in urban communities and on the way gender impacts the forms of abuse they experience.