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Simphiwe Mtshali

Life under lockdown #5: Simphiwe Mtshali gains new skills

Once upon a time, when Simphiwe Mtshali was working in a health spa, where Women’s Month meant doing lots of manicures and massages. This year, during Covid-19 lockdown, she has been massaging numbers and building children’s futures online. From beauty therapist to maths tutor was a substantial career shift, but the journey continued in ways she hadn’t anticipated during lockdown. “I was lucky to find a job with JumpStart in 2019, which changed my life. This unlocked my newfound passion for teaching,” she says. “Now I’m using WhatsApp groups to teach maths to foundation phase learners!” Flipping from paper to digital Before Covid-19, all the mathematics teaching that happened at Sekgutlong Primary School was paper-based, with learners writing in pencil in their NumberSense workbooks. This is one of 20 schools that is funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. After the president’s announcement of lockdown, all that changed. JumpStart tutors assisted in the roll […]

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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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Given Msibi

Life under lockdown #3: Given Msibi in his own words

Given Msibi is a tutor with a fire for words. He observed and articulated the struggles of his colleagues and the learners in his care during lockdown. A drummer in his church band, Given takes every opportunity to stand up as a motivational speaker. Or did… until everything turned upside down this March. However, this aspiring data analyst and software engineer still has big plans. He wants to trouble the world, while yet spreading The Word to those in need. He shares his experience during Youth Month… A little backstory His mother never had the opportunity to get educated but her strength and resilience laid great foundations. She was a domestic worker who single-handedly raised her six children. It’s Given’s plan to make his mother proud. He matriculated in 2010 and then started a BSc at UJ. Without adequate finance, he couldn’t complete his degree. After working in the retail industry, he tried again to […]

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JumpCo alumnus Clearance Baloyi

Q&A with JumpCo alumnus, Clearance Baloyi

On Youth Day, Clearance Baloyi shares how finding his way to a JumpCo learnership was a turning point in his life. He learned valuable skills and life lessons, which he shares. He offers his thoughts about scoring in soccer, at work, and in life’s most challenging match – fatherhood. At 29, he is as comfortable passing the ball on the soccer pitch with his mates, as he is furthering his IT career. He is particularly happy when he gets to spoon porridge into his baby’s mouth. Clearance commenced his learnership in October 2015. A year later progressed to an internship. He kicked off from this fertile field in order to realise his professional goals. After 22 months at JumpCo, he was ready to launch into the new league that was ABSA, properly trained for his life as a software engineer. Where are you sitting it out in lockdown? Luckily, with my family in Giyani, Limpopo […]

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