Panjivans Liquor Wholesalers: More than 100 years of family legacy gone in Isipingo

Panjivans Liquor: More than 100 years of family legacy gone in Isipingo

We took some time to chat to some of the small business owners whose businesses have been looted and burned down...

"My childhood. My grandparents shop. Looted and on fire as of this morning. I feel numb."
Reddit Screenshot/@u/Murmur2021

The looting and protesting from last week's shutdown didn't just attack big factories and well known brands, the rioting and burning also affected many small businesses. Businesses that have been around for decades, some even have been around for centuries. 

Businesses that hold such a wealth of history and legacy, hold memories, have surpassed different trials and tribulations, monumental moments, and have even overcome a pandemic. To come to this is not just heartbreaking, it's a loss of our history, a piece of many South African families that has been the glue that keeps them together. 

Many businesses and homes were damaged during the unrest. It can be said that amidst all the hardship, South Africans come together and it is part of them to pick up and rebuild. 

When it comes to some of these non-franchise businesses, it may not be possible to rebuild what they had but all they can do is try. For instance, Panjivan's Liquors, a wholesale business that is well-known to many in and around Durban, was burnt down and has lost what they have worked for over the past 100 years. 

"My childhood. My grandparents shop. Looted and on fire as of this morning. I feel numb."
East Coast Radio Listener
"My childhood. My grandparents shop. Looted and on fire as of this morning. I feel numb."
East Coast Radio Listener
"My childhood. My grandparents shop. Looted and on fire as of this morning. I feel numb."
East Coast Radio Listener
"My childhood. My grandparents shop. Looted and on fire as of this morning. I feel numb."
East Coast Radio Listener

Another business that held both a legacy and community sentiment was Rajkumar's Shop in Tongaat.

"In the 1970s, my grandfather, Premlall, (known to me as Nana) first opened the doors to his shop and he worked alongside his son, behind the register well into his 70s and shortly before his death in 2017. Surviving apartheid South Africa posed many challenges, and my grandmother (Nani) helped to supplement their income by selling wood and paraffin from her kitchen door. It was enough to keep to them afloat and they became beloved members of the small farming community in Tongaat."

"Rajkumar’s, which was now run by my uncle, Rishi, was the sole source of income for my 81-year-old Nani, my 13-year-old niece, and my aunt, who lost her up and coming salon business during the first COVID lockdown. Besides being a historical site in Tongaat, and a source of happy nostalgia for me, this shop was my family’s only means of an income. While they try to come to terms with what’s happened and figure out their next steps.

"Rajkumar’s legacy lies not in the ruins of this shop, but in the way it served the community. We hope to continue this legacy in any future endeavours with the same charisma, resilience and unflappable disposition that has built and maintained this business for half a century."

Kashmira shared these sentimental words with us whilst trying to do everything she can to uplift her family during this tough time...and all we can do is wish her the best and hope that we can all stand together and help rebuild our communities. 

If you would like to help the Rajkumars get back on their feet, then you can donate on their Go Fund Me page here

Image Courtesy of Reddit

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