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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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Barbara Bogogolela is a school teacher at Izibuko Primary

Teacher Talk: Hope for learners at Izibuko Primary

This Women’s Month we feature some exceptional women in our community. The first of our August heroines is Barbara Bogogolela, who shared her experience of teaching Grade One under challenging circumstances. Back in January this year, Mrs Bogogolela stood on the long corridor outside her classroom door, leading the young Grade Ones into her class on their first day of “big school”. Izibuko Primary School in Katlehong serves the local informal settlements. Nobody could possibly have foreseen what 2020 would bring her way. Nothing in her 34 years of teaching could have prepared her for the challenges she faces later this month. On 24 August 2020, all those 40 young minds and bodies, will return after months of lockdown! These little ones who entered her life for just a few weeks and had learned to count up to five will have forgotten most of what they learned. However, she will try to give each child […]

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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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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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