Norodi Nkosi loves working in the city, but she doesn’t love the traffic.
She grew up in Gugulethu, the fourth of seven siblings, but now lives in Bellville, so getting to and from her job at the City of Cape Town’s Knowledge and Records Management
Department – where she’s been for the past five years – means braving the daily highway grind.
Norodi has a degree in library and information sciences from the University of the Western Cape and worked several jobs while she was studying.
The experience she gained paid off and soon after leaving varsity, she landed a job at school in Zonnebloem where there was an opening for a teacher-librarian.
Later she chased down a job in Johannesburg, but she had barely moved there before she found herself back in Cape Town, working at a library in Khayelitsha.
She says when she first started out working in libraries the role of librarian was very much seen as a woman’s job, to the extent that at some of her workplaces there weren’t even proper toilets for men. But things have changed.
And now, she says, “There are as many toilets for men as there are for women.”
Balancing the roles of men and women in the library hasn’t always worked in her favour, though.
“There was a time when I applied for a job in Joburg, I remember them telling me that they were looking for male candidates at this particular library, simply because there were no males there.”
Norodi loves working the in heart of the city because of all the people she gets to meet.
“I get told so many stories, but the one I am interested in knowing is the family history. It would be wonderful if we took the time to document, or make a virtual family tree rather, so that
the generations that are yet to come know who their ancestors are.”