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Swanky Khanyile stays with his wife and two young daughters in Pimville, a section of the huge Black township of Soweto, outside Johannesburg. He is 33 and has been working for four years as a machine operator in a plastics factory in Johannesburg. Swanky would not reveal his salary, except to say that “it is too little… but it is not the same as staying at home.”

The salary, paid to him on a weekly basis, does not allow him to buy one of the cheapest houses for sale in the township, so he lives in a room built in his parents’ backyard.

Swanky dropped out of school because he could not pass his matriculation exam, which is usually taken at the age of 18 or 19. He blames the lack of school facilities for his failure: “We never had enough teachers. It was so frustrating.”

After leaving school, Swanky was lucky enough to find a job. He tried to pursue his studies at night school, but only a few months after beginning his job, he was placed on a night shift* That put an end to studying.




wife = femme
daughters = filles
huge = immense
factory = usine
to stay = rester
cheap = bon marché
for sale = à vendre
to drop out of school = partir de l’école
matriculation exam = examen de fin d’études
to blame = accuser
failure = échec
to pursue = poursuivre
night shift = équipe de nuit




A)    Where does the scene take place?

1.      in the USA

2.      in Africa

3.      in Asia


B)     Where does he live with his family?

1.      in a huge house

2.      in a hotel

3.      with his parents


C)    Did he go to school for a long time?

1.      Yes, he passed a degree to become a doctor.

2.      No, he didn’t like school.

3.      No, his job prevented him from studying at school.


A2 | B3 | C3


Les questions:

  1. Où se passe cette scène? Etats-Unis, Afrique, Asie?
  2. Où habite-il avec sa famille? Dans une maison immense, dans un hôtel, avec ses parents?
  3. Est-il allé à l’école longtemps? Oui, il a réussi à obtenir un diplôme pour devenir docteur. | Non, il n’aimait pas l’école. | Non, son travail l’empêchait d’étudier à l’école.