“My name is Zanele. When I first heard of Siyabonga Africa I had just passed my matric, with a higher certificate, in 2010. I had been getting piece jobs to earn an income to support my mother and 2 children. I could not afford to pursue my studies because I did not have enough money, and NSFAS did not approve my application. My mother was attending a support group and they registered her for a food parcel. While being profiled for the food parcel, my name was put down as a “change agent” in my household. I was referred to Siyabonga Africa for computer skills training and I started my lessons in 2013.
I learnt computer skills, life skills, time management and, most importantly, love, care and respect for myself and other people. Being at Siyabonga Africa also taught me to be a person of faith. I had no knowledge of how to work on a computer and upon me completing my skills training, I was equipped with information. I was even able to do my own professional CV to distribute to potential open job posts and used my computer skills certificate to apply.
I experienced a huge change in my life, and I feel it is all because of Siyabonga Africa. Once I completed my skills training, I found a part time job as a cleaner and cook at Bokkies and Bekkies Creche. I later started volunteering at Buyisa Ubuntu Ekurhuleni Foodbank for a couple of weeks and then I went for an interview at Siyabonga Africa. I was appointed as a foodbank operator.
After some years there, I applied to be the project coordinator for a school uniform project at Siyabonga Africa. I was given the position and worked until the project ended. An administrator post opened at the foodbank and I was given the position in October 2018. This is when I also used my computer skills the most and I learnt a lot of other advanced computer skills.
In 2021, I was offered a job as an Administrator at Siyabonga Africa and I am also pursuing my studies as a junior bookkeeper and youth development practitioner part-time. I have even told everyone about Siyabonga Africa and how I am a testimony that they are doing extra ordinary work in the community. I encourage the youth to not take development centres for granted, there are a lot of skills that are offered, and when dedicated, one can be their own boss or fulfil their career in what they have studied.”