Q&A with JumpCo alumnus, Clearance Baloyi

JumpCo
JumpCo alumnus, Clearance Baloyi, works from home during lockdown in Giyani, Limpopo.

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 and working from home. I have paid lobola and the wedding is coming, but Covid19 is standing in the way. My wife is a final year student at Jeppe College. She is completing her qualifications in technical support while raising our 18-month old daughter. This time has given me time to further my programming skills, which started with Java at JumpCo labs. Now I’m learning Python, making advances with Ionic Framework, NativeScript and Angular which will enable me to design phone apps.”

How did you find JumpCo?

After dropping out from college due to financial difficulties, I was a packer in a Shoprite warehouse in Joburg. From there I began installing cables at Dimension Data, followed by a brief time doing general work at Standard Bank, then as a machine operator in Bidvest’s technical support division. When my friend, Andy, referred me to the JumpCo, I was 24 years old, eager and ready to become a software programmer.

Can you share a valuable life lesson you learned at JumpCo?

Eish! The Internet was always an issue. In January 2017 all the interns were paid double, so come February, we didn’t get paid at all. We studied at home, trying to make our data last but by the time my assignment was due, my data was gone. It was the longest month of my life, but I learnt two things: to budget my data, and to hold back when you have extra cash. Now, I save when my bonus arrives at the end of the financial year.

Who helped you along the way?

Khokoni Ramaposa was the project manager who first interviewed me. She gave me good guidance on how the learnership would help my career. I also learned from her to ask questions when I was out of my depth. The JumpCo learnership programme prepared me well. I’d mastered the pain, in particular grappling with Java, as result of working there. When a big opportunity at ABSA came along, I was ready to play the ball — well prepared for what I went into, so much so that I won the company’s Workaholic Award!

Advice for JumpStart newcomers?

Help your peers! Your attitude to learning improves your own understanding. Because sharing is caring, you must create and maintain your network of friendships and contacts. Be a team player while participating in your JumpStart internship. Whichever industry you go into, make it your business to get along with everybody.

Try to make a name for yourself and work hard. If someone knows a topic better than you do, come in close to share the knowledge. If you understand how to work together, how to cooperate, you can build a chain where you are working to educate each other.

A word for your JumpStart brothers, specifically?

Violence against women and children is a no no. I can never allow my wife, daughter and sisters to be hurt. No matter who is wrong in a disagreement, you must ask questions, find better solutions. If I can’t sort something out, I will go to a father to help me solve my problem. Don’t beat a woman, my young brothers. If you’re in trouble, reach out to a help line. Talk to me. I’m going to help you if you’re in trouble.

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