fades (flat textured hair—it’s smooth and flat, like a wet cat). Cingiswe Mthathi, 24, is explaining what haircuts are currently fashionable in the Chinatown district of Langa, a densely packed collection of shacks in Cape Town, South Africa. She owns Macingi’s Hair Saloon, a one-room business attached to the shack where she lives. I came here in 2000 from the Transkei [a rural area in the Eastern Cape Province] looking for a job, she says. I started this salon because of unemployment and because I’ve got a kid to feed. It’s the only way I can put food on my table. I like meeting different kinds of people. We talk about the future most of the time. About finding jobs. People ask me all the time about how to start [an informal] business and go it alone.

  01. Nairobi, Kenya
“I want to educate my kids. They must not be like me. ” - Tembeka Mlonyeni, 42, Cape Town, South Africa