South Africa: Better in the Long Run - How a Migrant Businessman Found the 'Essentials of Life' On the Streets of Bellville


One of the best ways to explore a neighbourhood is on foot. That usually means walking when you're on holiday. But what about running near your home? Local businessman Abdullahi Ali Hassan can vouch for this, too.

Abdullahi Ali Hassan is a well-known Bellville businessman and community leader. But, despite his intimate knowledge of the area, Ali says he learnt the most about his neighbourhood during hard lockdown when, throughout South Africa, people were only allowed to exercise within a 5km radius of their homes between 6am and 9am. "Through this experience I learnt every corner of my neighbourhood and gained great appreciation for it," he explains.

Ali was born in Somalia and moved to South Africa in 2004. He says he woke up in Bellville on his first morning after moving to Cape Town and never looked back. He talks passionately about Bellville, its challenges and opportunities, and how they extend across the rest of Cape Town. He is acutely aware of the high levels of inequality as well as the positive role migrant entrepreneurs play in the country. He jokingly says to me, as a fellow migrant, that there is a stronger role for us to play.


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