The spirit of resilience is what comes to mind when you see images of Thato Mokasi and Perm Stomberg selling scones at Soshanguve Crossing in their graduation gowns.
The 26-year-old pair decided to start selling scones under lockdown level 3 to feed their families.
Stomberg, who studied somatology at Tshwane University of Technology, lost her hospitality job under the lockdown, while Mokasi had to leave her interior designing job just a few months earlier.
"It's very hard because you know with black parents, when you start working they think you're making money and they expect a lot from you. I provide a lot for them. I had bought a house for my mother and I was paying for it, but I had to let it go because of the situation that I am in now and go back to zero.
"I've gone back to my grandmother's house which I have to fix and now my entire family, including aunts, are looking at me and think I have money," said Mokasi.
Stomberg agrees that they have a lot of financial responsibility despite their young age.
"When I was working, I would support my family fully in terms of electricity, food, clothing here and there, but now since I'm not working it's hard for me to do that but I assist where I can. It's not going well at the moment," said Stomberg.
Before she lost her job, Stomberg had a salary of R7,000 a month. From this, she was paying R2,000 in school fees for her child, spent R1,000 on food and R2,500 for transport.
Meanwhile, Mokasi was making R13,500. She paid R3,000 for food, electricity and transport. She also paid R8,500 for rent for her family home which was a rent to buy.
Now, the two make R600 a day from selling scones. To cut costs, they live together at Stomberg's home. They've used up to R5,600 so far to buy ingredients for their business, electricity, transport and food while saving the rest.
They said under the lockdown, they decided that it would be up to them to make sure they would be able to continue surviving.
They took a chance by baking and creating goods that they were not sure who would like their mixture. But people are loving their scones.
Despite some success, they have faced numerous challenges.
"When we came and started selling, we found out that this used to be someone else's spot. We had to beg for it. Right now we are in need of a trailer, but we don't have funding so we are saving for it," said Stomberg.
The duo said they are unsure about the future, but hope their business will succeed.
"Even our families have become so close and are supportive of what we are doing," said Mokasi.