Sturks Tobacco Shop shuts Greenmarket Square doors after 226 years
Sturks Tobacco Shop opened its doors in central Cape Town on 1 August 1793 – it hasn’t closed them since, until now.
The 226-year-old shop, after surviving numerous wars and cataclysms – and plagues – has finally met its match in the Covid-19 lockdown.
Lester Kiewit interviewed Diane Chakim, owner at Sturks Tobacco Shop – the oldest store (and, perhaps, the oldest business) in South Africa.
It’s been in this spot for as long as anyone can remember…Diane Chakim, owner - Sturks Tobacco Shop
When the lockdown began on 27 March, we were hopeful. We thought a week, or two, or three… We were understanding… Now we’re in June and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel! … My business had to shut down… but there’s no shortage of cigarettes! The illicit trade is booming! … People will pay anything… it’s evil!Diane Chakim, owner - Sturks Tobacco Shop
Smoking will always be around. A ban will never work. Trends have changed…. People roll their own cigarettes and a huge vaping trend… far healthier than smoking…Diane Chakim, owner - Sturks Tobacco Shop
It's mindboggling that our country is under the control – I don’t want to speak out of turn…Diane Chakim, owner - Sturks Tobacco Shop
The queue at liquor stores! No social distancing! It just doesn’t make sense! It’s ruining lives… I had to vacate my premises… the landlord tried to help…Diane Chakim, owner - Sturks Tobacco Shop
We will reappear!Diane Chakim, owner - Sturks Tobacco Shop
Listen to the interview in the audio below.
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