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Automotive machinist Lerato Molete is following her passion.

Q&A with JumpStart alumnus, automotive machinist Lerato Molete – video

Falling in love with mathematics as a student kickstarted Lerato Molete’s career as an apprentice automotive machinist. “There’s no job a woman can’t do,” she says, excited about sharing her story during Women’s Month. A woman in a man’s world Under the protective gloves she wears to strip the burnt out engine of an earth mover is a delicate diamond ring on her fourth finger. Lerato is mother to Ntokozo, 3, and wife to Nkosinathi Mlotshwa, a boilermaker at Sasol. “Our son’s name means happiness, pride, and joy. He certainly brings us all that. With engineering as a common interest, our relationship is rather unusual,” she says. Lerato is one of two female apprentices at Metric Automotive Engineering, a company that specialises in remanufacturing diesel engines. Lerato works in the block section, where the team rebores cylinder blocks on earthmoving, marine, mine, truck engines, and similar. Her responsibility is to diagnosis the problems and to […]

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Q&A with JumpStart alumnus, Siduduzile Mthembu

Early Childhood Development (ECD), entrepreneurship, and dreams of becoming a speech therapist motivate JumpStart success story, Siduduzile Mthembu. There’s nothing small about her educational ambitions, which took some time to get going. There’s everything big about her determination to come back from hard times. Her life’s focus now is her work as an educator, entrepreneurship, and the dream of becoming a speech therapist. These things keep her in the books – literally and metaphorically. She wants to make a real difference to Katlehong, the community she cares about most. Sometimes you take a detour to get to where you’re supposed to be… How did it all start? After matriculating at Alafang High School I started an accounting diploma at Mangosuthu University of Technology in 2009. Plans didn’t go well. The stress of my studies and the pressure of changing my family’s future led to depression. Although it felt like failure, the skills I learned informed […]

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Giving on Mandela Day

Share the love on Mandela Day

Every year the world celebrates Mandela Day on the 18th July. In previous years social media timelines buzzed with companies donating and doing good … How do we respond now? How do we remain open-hearted with the threat of Covid stretching us all? Under these circumstances, gratitude and giving take on a new significance. Maybe living and giving is beneficial for your health!? Ubuntu and empathy lead the way The spirit of ubuntu is an essentially African value that explores how we become more authentically ourselves by virtue of our connection with others. In a simpler way, our compassion for neighbours is what humanises us. By recognising another’s need and responding to it, we in turn feel more connected and less alone. “I am because of who we all are” is the direct translation of the Zulu idiom: “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” It becomes us all to think about how we can pass along the good […]

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Youth careers: dreaming for real

Youth careers are a fluid thing. Times are changing. New careers exist that our parents have never even heard of. Doors close and window open. What do you want to be when you grow up? Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true! Because we’re human, we’re born with the capacity to imagine our lives. While some children drive fire trucks or police cars; others bandage their brothers or doctor their dolls; and future choir conductors teach the neighbourhood kids to sing… What makes you lean in to life? The lucky ones amongst us knew early and exactly what they wanted to do. They seemed to dance onto the stage of their adult lives, knowing the moves before anyone else had even learnt the rhythm. Many people – arguably most people – don’t get the chance to follow their dreams. They have to try out a number of steps, wander down various paths, […]

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Q&A with JumpStart alumnus, Julia Maduna

As we approach Youth Month, we turn to the JumpStart tutors who have contributed to our success over the years. We want to know where they are now and how they are getting on. Our first Alumni Q&A is a conversation with Julia Maduna. Where was Julia in 2017? As a new graduate, starting at Tamaho Primary School was a great opportunity to give back to the community where I grew up. Sotho is my home language, so learning to speak Xhosa and discovering the subtleties of a different culture enriched me. What were the challenges? I was 24 years old and still had some things to learn. Although our training workshops prepared me to be a good tutor, I had to figure out how to deal with learners who refused to follow the rules. I tried talking but they wouldn’t listen… that was frustrating. The Deputy Principal, Mrs Makumsha, was very supportive. She guided […]

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