Bronwin Mcriel

I enjoy playing soccer and going out with my girlfriend.  I also enjoy playing the piano.


I grew up in Elsies River. It was tough growing up around the drugs and gangsterism, but I was kept busy with music and sport. My father loved music and he passed that love on to me. When you grow up on the flats you need to stay focused on your education because you can easily get distracted by the bad elements.  My mother, myself and two younger brothers still live in Elsies, in the block of flats, we have two bedrooms.

My mother’s name is Beverly Mcriel. She was also born in Elsies River.  When I was growing up, she worked in a factory United Bias, in Parow Industria.  She is now a homebased carer at Tehalliah, in Elsies River. My father Ruben Mcriel was a driver. He passed away 15 years ago, I was in grade 7. It was just my mother, myself and my three brothers when he died.

I attended Avonwood Primary School in Elsies River and then I went to Elsies River High and  I matriculated in 2009. While growing up I wanted to be a fireman or a policeman. After matric I was unemployed until  I started the learnership in 2011.

I started at Jordan Footwear in 2011, after I did a nine month learnership. During the learnership I learnt about the footwear sector, how to operate a machine, which fabrics to use, the cost of things and how to make a shoe on my own. After that in, 2012, I was a receiving clerk. In 2014 I started working as a clicker on the Bronx Line. I have been doing this for five years now.

As a clicker, I take the leather place it on the machine and I cut out the upper parts of the shoe. I click along the pattern on the leather and that is how I cut out the uppers.

I often worry about my job because of the short time that we experience and sometimes there are very little orders.

I earn R2100 per week and on my wages I need to look after my 1 year-old daughter, who stays with her mom in Bishop Lavis. I also help support my mother and brothers. My mother? I don’t know how much my mother earns, as a coloured child I won’t dare to ask my mother how much she earns.

I have dreams about getting married and having more children. I also want to own a house and make sure that my brothers matriculate and go and study further. I want to make sure that they have what I never did.