C E L E B R AT I N G Celebrating The Youth Development Network Young The Youth Development Network (YDN) is a network of seven youth development non-governmental organisations. The work of its member organisations with young people lies primarily in the areas of skills training, youth entrepre- neurship and community development.At a national level, people with the YDN focuses on research and documentation, advocacy and capacity building. Our members are: Southern African Association of Youth Clubs Joint Enrichment Project Junior Achievement South Africa School Leavers Opportunity Training Centre for Education and Enterprise Development Establishment for Comprehensive Youth Development Resource Action Group For more information about the YDN visit: www.ydn.org.za Introduction Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 1 CEED “We live at the edge of Mr. Fix – It! the miraculous” Mbongeni Nene, 25 – Henry Miller Mbongeni Nene is a 25-year- struggled for a long time to find employ- old young man from Umlazi, in ment in his field. He was desperate for Y outh is… a reason we celebrate. beauty in youth action and service. KwaZulu-Natal. He participat- hands-on training, and eventually But, a cause to celebrate even In keeping with this vision, the YDN ed in a Business Management secured a one month internship with more is when young people has as part of its commitment to youth training programme conducted Motorkhono in which he was trained in start their own businesses, initiate com- development, committed itself to by the Center for Education how to fix gearboxes and differentials. munity development projects and reversing the increasing negative images and Enterprise Development change the face of South Africa of young people with much of the social (CEED) in 1999, and has never So the journey begins… ills attributed to them. looked back. It was during this time, with the frustra- Some one has to take notice and Through its activities the YDN has On meeting Mbongeni, one cannot tion of not being able to find work, that award the youths courage and recognized the need to highlight the help but immediately notice his commit- Mbongeni decided to set up his own dedication in development. often-unacknowledged successes of ment to and passion for what he does. workshop at home. He wanted to set The Youth Development Network young people often faced with incredi- Mbongeni started his trade while he was up a service and mechanic workshop in (YDN) sees the need to highlight the ble odds against them. South Africa is still at school. His love and passion for which he specialized in gearboxes; dif- often unacknowledged successes of endowed with talented and ambitious repairing cars can be traced to his early ferentials and general car related young people who through their cre- young people who despite the odds are days – he spent his time as child not repairs. He developed flyers in which he ative efforts have become revolutionar- committed to creating alternative liveli- playing soccer like other boys his age but advertised his services, which he ies- impacting South Africa positively. hood opportunities not only for them- watching the mechanics in the local area offered for free – only charging for the It thus honours young people who selves but for others as well. fix cars. He would help them by under- labour costs. Mbongeni was also offered eradicate poverty by creating jobs and This booklet is about young people taking mundane tasks such as fetching a job at a school for hearing-impaired advancing development, hence an who have succeeded in various pro- water for them or any related activities. learners, to provide training in metal achievement of one young person is an grammes offered by the YDN. As a Mbongeni completed his matric in work. Not only did he train the pupils achievement for the whole community. result these young people have started 1996 and soon afterwards went on to at school, but he also selected a few If we won’t celebrate their passion their own businesses, demonstrated Umlazi Technikon to study motor whom he trained at his workshop. and commitment, we will be failing leadership within their communities mechanics. Mbongeni initially wanted to It was also at this time that his older future generations who will see no and have applied the skills learnt. be a pilot or an aircraft engineer but brother informed him of CEED and its miraculous because his family did not have funds to services. Mbongeni did not waste any help him, he turned to motor mechanics. time and immediately approached He also trained in metal work, to diver- CEED to find out about the pro- sify his skills base.After he completed his grammes they offered. He enrolled course at the technikon, Mbongeni in the Business Management train- Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 3 ECYD ing course, which ran for a period of that I cannot take on big jobs. I take 2- two weeks, with a programme com- 3 cars a day depending on the size of posed of varied elements pertaining to the job, so that the owners can collect running and managing ones own busi- ness. He learnt a great deal about him- them later on in the day.This continues to be a challenge, as I cannot grow the Interaction Youth Project self and his management style, as well as business the way I would like to. I am Alpheus Mogaswa, 27 about communication and leadership weary of loans from the bank and skills. believe that I will grow my business At the end of the programme, from the revenue that I will make” A lpheus Magaswa met Golden ter serve his community. Mbongeni approached CEED to spon- “To be honest with you, it is very Manaka in 1998 while volun- Alpheus spent a year with the insti- sor him to get further training in motor difficult to see real benefits. That is teering as HIV/AIDS facilitators tution, where he was trained in busi- mechanics. By this time CEED had something I have to continuously think at the Unit R clinic in Lebowakgomo, ness studies. It was during this time that noticed his passion and commitment to about. I am driven by my passion and they both shared a dream of starting a his passion for community service the development of his business, and love for technical work.That is the only community development and training gained greater clarity. He contacted without hesitation made arrangements benefit – that I get to do what I love, centre. They set their minds in estab- Golden who shared his passion, and had to sponsor him to get further training. and if I am lucky make some money out lishing the Lebowakgomo Interaction also been a volunteer at the clinic. Both At the end of his training, he continued of it. “ Youth Project. wanted to find a way in which they with his business, which had continued Alpheus is the manager of the proj- could bring certain services closer to to operate in his absence. Vision for the future: ect and the youngest of eight siblings. their communities. Mbongeni currently employs three “I would love to see the business grow, Alpheus was born in Johannesburg and people, his business has been operating creating enough revenue so as to cre- soon after his birth his mother moved So the journey begins… for five years, and continues to grow. ate more employment opportunities to Lebowakgomo where he grew up With no capital, Alpheus and Golden The fact that the business is still run- for people. Living and operating from and was educated. After matriculating (his partner) sought input and direction ning is reason enough to believe that it the township is a daily reminder of the in 1997, he signed up with the local clin- from friends on how they could realize is successful. high rate of unemployment, and I ic to be trained as an HIV/AIDS facilita- their dream. They approached the would like to employ as many people tor. Having completed his training, Principal of a crèche in their communi- Challenges: as possible.” Alpheus went on to volunteer as an ty and shared what was at the time just ‘It has been five years since I started HIV/AIDS facilitator for the clinic. It a dream. The Principal moved by their and by the looks of things I still have a Message to other young was during this time that his passion zeal and commitment, created a space long way to go. I still have day-to-day people and love for serving his community within the premises of the crèche for operational challenges. Operating in the “Starting and running your own busi- became clear. them to use at no cost. local community is not without chal- ness is not for everyone.You must have After a year’s service at the clinic, Having secured a space for their lenges, the safety of clients vehicles is a passion and be driven by it.The passion Alpheus enrolled with the Thabamoopo operations, the young men sought assis- constant threat and challenge. I am must reside deep in your heart and only College of Education in Lebowakgomo. tance in developing a funding proposal always afraid of vehicles or vehicle parts from there can you call out for help. Although he at the time wasn’t sure of for their intended work, which they sub- being stolen since I don’t have a secure That is the only way you can make your his purpose, he did know that he want- mitted to the National Development workshop. This puts pressure on me in business your asset.’ ed to find a way in which he could bet- Agency (NDA). To their utter amaze- fix-it interaction Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 5 ECYD ment their proposal was successful and their training center and the ETDP- ECYD, and received training in leader- to-date has trained about 40 young approved. As a result, the young men SETA has accredited their training. ship and project management as well as people. were further assisted in concretizing Their project mainly targets unem- life skills.The main purpose of this train- The project is also expanding – their plans and received an initial grant ployed young people and high school ing was to equip them with relevant Alpheus says they want to play an even of about R100 000. students, but anyone in the community information around leadership and proj- bigger role in the neighbouring high Alpheus and Golden wasted no can access the training. The Interaction ect management techniques. Being in schools, which currently do not have time in getting into business. They pur- Youth Project has also established rela- affiliation with ECYD gave them an computers. The project aims to estab- chased office equipment – computers, tionships with various private sector opportunity to network and work with lish partnerships with these schools to faxes and photocopiers – to set up a institutions that provide further train- other established organizations. provide computer training to their resource and computer training center. ing in computers and related areas. pupils. They also purchased garden tools for It was during this time that Alpheus Operation and Vision: Currently, the project is in the the vegetable garden. and Golden made formal contact with The Lebowakgomo Interaction Youth process of building working relation- Simultaneously, they participated in the Establishment for Comprehensive Project is an example of an effective ships with a number of private sector a computer-training course that quali- Youth Development (ECYD), a youth and successful youth development proj- service providers. In an effort to fied them as computer trainers. Thus development organization in Limpopo ect. Driven by the simple principles of improve the service and reach a wider they set up the center to offer training Province, which runs programmes tar- hard work and sheer passion, Alpheus, audience, the project seeks to provide in - MsWord; Keyboarding; Excel; Power geted at developing young people. with Golden as a property manager, training in computer skills, cellphone Point and Access, as well as secretarial Alpheus and Golden registered their operates a busy centre, which trains repairs and computer upgrading. training. To date, they have registered organisation as an affiliate member of people in basic computer literacy and Alpheus said their local community can Alpheus, Goldi and friends, active in their vegetable garden Participants in the training centre Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 7 JASA benefit from such a service, as they are ices closer to the people. Again, those far from the city and all the economic who come to the center do not want activity – their vision is to bring servic- to pay for the training. As a result it es closer to the people. Challenges: poses a serious challenge to our own survival. “DON’T SWEAT IT!” We still don’t get paid; any profit we Muhammed Patel, 20 Three months after purchasing and set- make immediately goes into the opera- ting up their center, their computers tions of our center. That is a big chal- were stolen. This was a set back but lenge, but we are very hopeful about Y ou cannot help but be inspired of study, Muhammed says that from a the future.” by the energy, zeal and passion very early age he wanted to be an entre- of this young man – after only a preneur – he knew that he did not want What makes your services few minutes with him, you can’t help to spend the rest of his life working for “ The future lies in your hands. Yes, there are seri- different? “The fact that we are one of the few but be immediately inspired to start your own business. Now a lot can be someone else, although initially he will, in order to gain experience for setting up ous challenges in reaching your organizations that operate in our com- said about that! At the age of 20, his own business. goals, but life benefits only those munity says a lot about us. We are a Muhammed is already making serious And so the journey who are willing to try ” walking distance from many community members as opposed to the institutions headway in the business scene. He describes himself as incredibly zealous begins… in town. Again, we provide affordable and as having a special sense for busi- After six months of working at the fac- Alpheus and Golden did not give-up. courses which are within reach for many ness – and he speaks passionately of his tory he was promoted and the company They set up necessary security to unemployed community members.” vision for the future and his role in it. drew up a new contract for him – he ensure that the risk was minimized. Muhammed was born and raised in became a permanent casual and took on Benefits of running your Lenasia, and is the only son in a family a supervisory position in the cashier Another notable challenge for own business: of four. Upon completing matric, he department. In his new position he was them was the issue around “One of the most notable benefit is that took a six month break, which he used responsible for authorizing sale returns resources and sustainability. we get to do what we love and hopeful- to better orient himself with his reli- and sale vouchers. He also received addi- “Some people in the community do not ly one day make a living out of it.” gion – which he believes holds his life tional training in various management- always appreciate and understand the together. He enrolled in a cultural stud- related areas. As if that was not enough, intent of good initiatives. They see us Message to other young ies course with an organisation in he was later promoted to become a co- setting up a computer center and they people: Lenasia, in which he memorised sec- administrator, responsible for company immediately assume that we have “The future lies in your hands.Yes, there tions of the Quran (the Muslim holy reconciliation and stocktaking, and was money. are serious challenges in reaching your book). Having completed the course, he also responsible for the overall opera- They do not know or understand goals, but life benefits only those who found part time employment at Queens tions of the ladies department.At the age how hard we worked to get these serv- are willing to try.” Park, a retail factory in Lenasia. of 18, Muhammed had moved up through Muhammed is currently registered the ranks of the factory – and finished up with the University of the Witwatersrand as a member of the management team. as a second year Bachelor of Commerce Muhammed was also involved in interaction student, majoring in Finance and Management he. Asked about his choice two youth development organiza- tions. Asked how he managed all Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 9 JEP these activities, his response was that he ment and/or start their own business. thrived on being busy, and that is where The programme runs for a period of 11 he drew his energy and inspiration. In weeks in which the participants set up the meantime, his father was also in the process of setting up his own business. and run a mini company of their choice. Participants are recruited from different The Challenge, the Given the knowledge and skills he was gaining from his experience at the facto- cultural backgrounds. Continuous men- toring is provided to the participants Chance, and the…Change ry, Mohammed decided to assist his throughout the duration of the project. Thandokazi Mashiya, 22 father overcome the operational chal- Instead of working in a group, Muhammed decided to go at it alone as he says he had been dreaming and plan- T handokazi Mashiya is a 22-year- explore the job market; staying with “ The Mini Enterprise ning his business for a long time. He did old young woman from Queens- friends for the most part of that year. programme is fun ” all the groundwork with regards to the product prior to participating in the pro- gramme. He wanted to develop a substi- town in the Eastern Cape. She participated in the Inner City Youth Service Project hosted by the Joint She experienced rejection after rejection.Thando crept into depression as she lost all hope and self-worth. She lenges of setting up a new business, and tute deodorant stick – using a catchy and Empowerment Project (JEP) between blamed her parents for the break-up of assisted his father with the basic man- trendy label “BOD-X DON’T September 2002 and September 2003. her family. For a while she carried a lot agement of the business. SWEAT IT!” he proceeded to tell Thando, as she is commonly called, of anger and frustration with her. According to Muhammed, his experi- friends and contacts about his idea.To his can move you with her humble yet con- In 2002, she gained the courage to ence at the factory set the tone and surprise, the idea was met with great fident nature. She is the eldest in a fami- look for a job, but was rejected and told foundation for his interest and choice of enthusiasm from key people. This not ly of three siblings, and spent most of her that she had no work experience. What study – and he soon enrolled with the only confirmed the viability of his idea growing years in East London with her crushed her spirit most was “the lack of University of the Witwatersrand in but also the possible success of it.As part aunt and mother. She matriculated in faith people had towards young people,” Johannesburg. While at university he of the Mini Enterprise programme activi- 1999 and set off to Pretoria University she says. Soon she moved with her father heard about Junior Achievement and its ties, Muhammed was expected to devel- where she pursued a Law degree. who then had relocated to Johannesburg. Mini Enterprise Programme from a op a one page business plan in which he However, in her first year at university friend. He called Junior Achievement to was expected to clearly articulate his her family experienced serious strains So the journey begins… ask about the programme, although he business idea as well as how he would with the divorce of her parents. As a Upon her return from one of her trips knew he had missed the deadline, and execute it. result of the divorce, she was unable to – looking for employment, Thando begged to be allowed to participate in He presented his idea in front of an further her LLB degree the following found forms attached to the door of a the programme. Needless to say, he was audience, competing against 100 other year. Her dreams were shattered, she flat she shared with her father.A Project admitted to the programme and joined students in Gauteng, and to his delight he was devastated and as if that was not Coordinator from JEP had left the the rest of the group. made the top 3 students. enough, her life went from bad to worse. forms for the Inner City Youth Service The Mini Enterprise programme is a He will soon be competing at a In 2001, Thando was forced to Project. Uninterested, she put the fun and engaging programme that pro- regional level, and to date he has also return to the Eastern Cape, as she no forms away. She certainly was not inter- vides business and related life skills train- registered his product. longer had financial support from her ested in some youth development proj- challenge ing to young people.These skills include parents. For a period of six months she ect. All she wanted to do at the time learning how to actively participate in stayed in the Eastern Cape. Later she was to go back to university and don’t sweat it! corporate and industrial employ- continued on page 24 decided to return to Johannesburg and pursue her studies. 0 Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 11 RAG Her father encouraged her to apply stand why they mixed the group up, that for the programme especially since she made me feel highly uncomfortable.” was not doing anything. She finally com- However, after a while in the project pleted the application and sent it to JEP. A few days later she received a call from her fears were soon laid to rest by the Life Skills component of the pro- Eyona Yona:The Real One JEP to come through for an interview gramme. “This component of the pro- Marileze Johannes, 21 and assessment.To her delight she made gramme made me realise so many it through the assessment and was things I thought I knew about myself, it selected to participate in the project. helped build my confidence again.” A t the age of 21, Marileze preparation, scored second highest “It felt good to be selected for An additional component of the Johannes is already Managing out of the 20 participants. This something, it made me feel good about programme was participating in the Director of her own company marked the beginning of a long and myself, a feeling I had not felt for two tourism course.Thando’s horizons were – Eyona Yona, a skills development and exciting journey. years, I had forgotten about what it felt widened beyond being a law student. placement agency in the Western Cape. At the age of 13, Marileze was a like to be wanted.” She now holds a tour-guiding certificate Marileze was born and raised in the qualified computer trainer and went on The Inner City Youth Service and has applied to the Gauteng Tourism Cape Flats and from a young age was to train matric pupils including unem- Programme is a year-long programme and the proposed Constitutional Hill for determined to become someone and ployed and out of school young after that targets inner city youth. Its primary further training and employment. contribute to her community. Frank school for RAG. Later, she also got objective is to develop the abilities of Listening to her speak, says a lot Julie, former director of the Resource involved in RAG’s rural outreach pro- young people through service and learn- about the programme and its impact. Action Group (RAG) recruited gramme, where she trained rural youth ing. The programme seeks to enable She boldly speaks of her other untold Marileze at the age of 12, although at in computer literacy, as well as partici- young people to develop their skills, passions and dreams. “This is evidence the time RAG was still just an idea of pating in RAG’s annual youth camps. knowledge and ability – necessary to of regaining your self-worth as a young Frank’s – but Marelize saw his vision, Over the years she worked for make the transition to healthy independ- person,” she says. Thando would still and came on board. RAG, Marileze was not paid, but when ent adulthood. It also seeks to give like to become lawyer one day. At RAG, Marileze started off as a asked what kept her going, she said she young people a way out of long-term volunteer, was later trained as a com- was “driven by passion and a sheer unemployment by providing them with Asked what her plans were from puter trainer and moved on to train love” for what she was doing. tangible opportunities that increase their here, this is what she had to say. others. However her development was After matric, Marileze decided to likelihood of accessing the economy. “I think I am now ready for the chal- not without obstacles. The criterion take a short break from her work with Having gone through the orientation, lenges that I am almost certain life will for volunteers was that they should be RAG. Because there was no money Thando was convinced that this was “for present especially out of the project. I aged between 18 and 35 – despite her available at home, she was unable to real” and not some “bogus” programme. am scared because after a year of being having been recruited by Frank at the access formal higher education. So The participants were taken to camp for in a project like this one, it becomes age of 12. Marelize found employment working as the introductory phase of the pro- your only source of confidence, strength Prospective volunteers were also a dispatch officer, a personal assistant gramme. Thando says that she initially and almost restores your faith in the expected to take an entrance exam in and a legal assistant. However, Marileze struggled to integrate with other partic- world. However I am confident that it order to determine their skills and decided to go back and volunteer her ipants especially those who were differ- has at least given me the tools to know competency levels. Despite a number services to RAG in the evening. ent from her. She says that the most dif- how to deal with rejection, disappoint- of people objecting to her involve- During her years at school she had ficult part was learning to integrate ment and sometimes failure. I am nerv- ment at RAG, Marileze decided to noticed that she found it increasing- with ex-convicts. “I didn’t under- ous but confident at the same time.” take the exam and after rigorous ly difficult to relate to her peers at 2 Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 13 RAG school, since she spent most of her was able to meet their requirements promised to assist her further. As a ongoing communication with clients in social time relating to adults. RAG also almost immediately. This success con- result, Marileze was invited by RAG to order to address any problems arising inadvertently became her social life. firmed her desire and dream to offer link her service with a RAG initiative – in the internship. While working, Marileze noticed services to people in her immediate the Community Outreach Programme, Internship periods range from 3 that there was an increased demand for community. which focuses on individuals in NGOs weeks to 3 months, and Eyona Yona the services of people at the lower end and Community Based Organisations targets individuals between the ages of the skills ratio. She also realized that And so the journey (CBOs) who lack the financial means to 18-35 years. These individuals usually there were many people looking for begins… access RAG’s computer training pro- have little to no job experience and employment but that there was no After this success, Marilize mobilsed grammes.These participants are trained have a low educational background, people around her for support – a at a reduced rate, and are recommend- friend offered his garage as office space, ed to RAG by their organisation, and and her partner put together some of are expected to plough back the skills “ Another challenge was that she did not have the his resources to assist her in purchasing a telephone line and fax machine. She gained into their communities. Once the participants have com- “ Eyona Yona is evidence of RAG’s success, as well as its resources to train and equip her own, as it was started by a RAG also continued to buy newspapers daily pleted the programme, they are now people with skills. volunteer ” to look at what opportunities were available on the market. linked with Eyona Yona’s skills develop- ment and placement programme. Eyona ” Soon after, Marileze won an addi- Yona helps participants develop their agency catering for the particular needs tional contract to find ten painters.This CV’s, provides them with further inter- usually between grade 8-12.The major- of those at the lower end of the skills was a simple exercise – she placed an views and training, and at the same time ity of people who come through the ratio. advertisement in the paper saying prepares them for placements in programme are women. Having lost interest in her job as a “Painter looking for a job” and soon internship programmes. The partici- personal assistant, Marileze resigned after she received a call from a compa- pants are then placed in accordance Evidence of success and decided to start a service for the ny looking for services of not one but with their career interests and skills Eyona Yona is evidence of RAG’s suc- lower skills end of the job market. She ten painters. She then found the training. cess, as well as its own, as it was start- did some research into the industry painters and sent them through. This In addition to its own selection cri- ed by a RAG volunteer. Since Eyona and the results confirmed her inten- was Marileze’s first paid assignment, as teria, Eyona Yona is guided by the Yona has linked with RAG, about 15% of tions. In addition, she got a lot of sup- she made a profit of R90 for every requirements of the employers. It plays its participants have been successfully port from other people who confirmed painter. Having succeeded, her new an important role in ensuring that the placed in permanent employment, with her impression and encouraged her to challenge was not only to focus on client’s needs are met and acts as a link about 75% being placed in internships. get going. Marelize started off by devel- unskilled workers, but also to find and between the client and the participants. Marileze has been awarded a 2-year oping CVs for people, using her partner place skilled people in jobs. Another As part of its commitment to excep- contract by RAG to implement a com- as a contact person if any of the challenge was that she did not have the tional service, Eyona Yona works close- ponent of their Operation Hope prospective employers called requiring resources to train and equip her people ly with the client during the internship Programme, with her challenge being to the services of those people. with skills. and first phase of placement. Eyona place 250 participants a year. In Hardly a week after submitting the She then contacted Frank Julie, and Yona also – where possible – assists in between all of this, she has also been CVs of the individuals she had regis- informed him of her initiative and her the development of contracts and awarded a contract with South Africa’s tered, a paint company called her needs. Frank was delighted to hear that stipend payments for the participants. Nylon Spinners in which she has eyona yona: the real one asking for painters, and Marelize she had started her own service and In addition, they ensure that there is placed and assisted 10 employees 4 Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 15 SAAYC children to access employment oppor- vides. In addition, she noted that she tunities, by training them in office worked without a salary for 2 years as administration. She is also currently in it is only in its’ third year that her com- the process of setting up her own com- puter center, where she will provide pany has started to make an income. Asked what she liked the most You must be… Driving training to her participants. She has also about her job, Marelize said that she got Fikile Zibudi, 28 just moved to new office space in satisfaction from knowing that she Observatory in order to become made a difference in somebody’s life – accessible to a wider range of people. she wants to add monetary value to F ikile Zibudi is not just driving peo- selling a mini-bus taxi. Fikile put down a people’s lives. ple around - he is pursuing a R15 000 deposit for the taxi, which was dream. Born in Spruitview, Fikile all money he had saved. Benefits: was recently elected chairperson of the Having a good relationship with his “ Find whatever opportuni- ties are available in your “What I do is driven by sheer passion and deep love for people. I exist to add Airport Drivers Association. The man who took a break of six Anglo Tours boss, Fikile indicated his intention to start a touring service immediate space and make the value to people and want to find and months to look for work after matricu- company. Thus he registered his mini- most of them ” develop opportunities do that’. “Knowing that I have added value in lating in 1995, has one sister and two brothers. bus taxi under Anglo Tours and used his time to build up a strong client base. someone’s life gives me a sense of pur- Fortunate enough, Fikile found a job Challenges: poses and affirms why I do what I do. I as an assistant driver for a trucking So the journey begins… She noted lack of resources, and com- want to put coloured people on the company. He worked for the company Fikile had geared himself to being an petition from the big and well-estab- map and think that this is but one vehi- for a year, then spent two years as taxi entrepreneur at an early age. At the age lished agencies as major obstacles to cle of doing so” driver between 1998 and 2000. of seventeen he got involved with the setting up her business. However she After hearing from a friend about a South African Association of Youth further noted that the competition was Message for other young tour guide course that was offered at Clubs (SAAYC) which introduced him healthy as she was continuously forced people: Gold Reef City, Fikile enrolled and to leadership and life skills. He was to be creative in the services she pro- “You are responsible for defining and trained for six months. However, owing instrumental in the founding of the shaping the destiny of your to financial constraints he did not com- Youth Center in Daveyton. dreams. I cannot over-emphasise plete the course. For two years, Fikile volunteered at the value and importance of vol- Forced by circumstances, he went the Tshepo-Thema Youth Center in unteering. Find whatever opportu- back to the taxi industry for three Daveyton and was the chairperson of nities are available in your immedi- months and subsequently started look- the club for two years. Being with ate space and make the most of ing for a job again. In a matter of time SAAYC afforded him the opportunity them. You never know how it he found employment with Anglo Tours to attend youth leadership camps, might serve you in the long run” as a tour guide. Fikile worked for Anglo where young people are trained in var- Tours for three years and saved money ious communication and life skills. that he received as tips from tourists The principles that he learnt at the Participants train at the Eyona Yona computer training centre driving who were the main clients. While working at Anglo Tours, his cousin told him of someone who was youth club proved valuable when he had to start making a living. He was able to sell his ideas, but mostly it 6 Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 17 SLOT gave him the confidence to communi- Again, as tour operators, Fikile says cate with tourists and others that he police who chase them away from guides. The camps that SAAYC organ- strategic positions in the airport harass ized enabled him to handle diversity and be easy with others. them. At present the business is under- going serious structural challenges. Ubuntu Afrocentric & Fikile has been operating his touring business for two years and is going “The best business days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Exotic Creations from strength to strength. He does dif- Saturday, and most clients are tourists Hlengiwe Gumede, 28 ferent tours even venturing to other from New York, Sydney, London, and Perth,” he said. Fikile indicates that customer safety H lengiwe Gumede of Ubuntu College. Hlengiwe was born in is a key concern and challenge.The high Afrocentric and Exotic Pietermaritzburg, and lives with her 4 “ Since he is responsible for what he brings in every levels of crime in South Africa have a negative impact on the touring business Creations started her business in 2000.This young woman had already brothers and mother – she is currently the only one in her family who works month, he thrives on serious dis- as criminals target their vehicles. He set her eyes on her business in 1998, and is supporting them. cipline and commitment ” says they often follow them out of the airport and target their vulnerability. after she had completed a dressmaking course through the School Leavers After completing matric, Hlengiwe was introduced to the School Leavers “Sometimes clients are not easily Opportunity Training (SLOT) pro- Opportunity Training (SLOT) by a provinces – taking tourists not only to trusting,” he said. There is a stigma that gramme at the Midlands Community friend who had recently completed one Soweto, Johannesburg and Pretoria, but goes with one being black and he says also to places such as the Pilanesburg, often he has to negotiate before secur- and Kruger National Park. ing a client. He has to present his iden- tification and all related documentation Challenges: to be trusted. The tour guide business is not consis- tent, as traveling is affected by seasons. Vision: Being tied to people’s travelling patterns “I want to grow the business and the client-base changes from time to employ my brother.” time. Since he operates mainly from the Fikile knows what it means to sac- airport, Fikile and others in the same rifice time and sleep. By six in morn- business are currently in negotiations ing he has to be in the airport doing with the airport management regarding business. Since he is responsible for their operations. The airport personnel what he brings in every month, he want to curb taxi touting and that is hav- thrives on serious discipline and com- driving creation ing a negative impact on the business. mitment. Hlengiwe’s designs Hlengiwe and friends outside her store 8 Celebrating young people Celebrating young people 19 SLOT of SLOT’s programmes. Upon registra- Hlengiwe set up a sewing studio, and product, and the fruits of her strategy noted, however, that she wanted to tion, Hlengiwe enrolled for the SLOT 1 spent the year operating and trading and industry soon began to show, as extend her services to male clientele. programme. In this programme, partici- from home. However, she soon realized people started making the links pants are trained in Business Skills, that she needed bigger premises locat- between her and her designs. Soon What makes the business Communication Skills, Career ed in a commercial area to grow and afterwards she started building her different? Guidance and Self-Discovery by quali- expose her work. own clientele – people started referring “I take personal interest in every client fied facilitators. The programme’s main Not long after that, Hlengiwe others to her store, and she started that comes into the shop requiring my objective is to assist young people to received a call from a shop owner who making wedding gowns, ball gowns and services. It is also important that I man- access economic opportunities – was interested in using her services, a varied range of traditional wear. age my time well and deliver on expec- whether they create their own oppor- and offered her shop space, since she It has been two years since her busi- tation. I believe that this is what will not tunities, or target existing ones. was relocating to the Eastern Cape. ness started and she is still going only hold my business together but is The programme runs for an average Hlengiwe took up the offer and set up strong. She cited “inward satisfaction” what will grow it!” of two weeks in which the participants camp at the store, which she is still as one of the things that keep her going. are imparted with the above skills. operating from. She has also opened up a hiring service Vision for the future: Through the Career Guidance and Self for her garments. This enables those “I would like to open up sewing proj- Discovery component of the training, Challenges: who cannot afford to have an outfit ects and a training center. I think that participants are assessed on their readi- The first few months were exciting, but made to access her garments for a spe- there is a huge market for this kind of ness to start their own business and are the excitement of owning your own cific occasion. She says this strategy work that I am doing and would like to helped on the way to becoming confi- business and space soon withered as contributed to growing and sustaining create opportunities for others as dent young people. They are equipped the reality of making profit and paying her business. She noted that she partic- well”. with the knowledge that will assist rent took hold.The business was initial- ularly loved creating garments for To date, SLOT continues to assist them to create a brighter future for ly slow and Hlengiwe was not making women, simply because she understood Hlengiwe with her accounting and any themselves. any profit – she was only making enough their needs and requirements. She other support she needs. money to pay the rent. Hlengiwe says, So the journey begins… “the thing that frustrated me the most For Hlengiwe, participating in this pro- was seeing all my monthly wages go to gramme was a defining moment. She the rent and not enough for groceries had been interested in sewing and or anything else at home.That broke my design for quite a while, but had not heart especially because I knew that my known how to go about expressing her family depended on me”. talent and interest. Having completed the SLOT 2 pro- Marketing and Sustaining gramme (GIVE DETAILS OF THIS the business ONE!), Hlengiwe enrolled with a fash- However the situation did begin to ion and design school for a year. After change after a while. She started host- that year, she unfortunately could not ing local fashion shows and targeted creation Here is a go further as there were no funds other shows in her area to market her- taste of available to advance her studies. So self. She focused a great deal of her Hlengiwe’s with the support of her mother, energy on marketing herself and her talent 0 Celebrating young people Conclusion Henry Miller T hese stories undoubtedly speak faced by young people in South africa for themselves.These young peo- today.These young people are a ple are not only an indication reminder that youth development pro- that there is something right the YDN is grammes do work and that they do doing, but also serve as a motivation to make a significant impact on the lives of other young people as well as ourselves. young South Africans. It is evident that the YDN through its Let their vision and passion remind interventions ai active in addressing us to continue, “to live at the edge of some of the socio economic challenges the miraculous” “DON’T SWEAT IT!” – continued from page 10 Evidence of success supportive to him. He says is still in the It is obvious that Muhammed’s energy, small league and that comes with its zeal and passion will take him far. own dynamics.As part of his immediate However the business is still being set up development plans, Muhammed hopes and a great deal still needs to happen. to subcontract his services, while com- There is no doubt that Muhammed is pleting his degree over the next 2 years. blessed with an innate business mind and that has been demonstrated in his brief Vision for the future time in the business and academic world. “I want to better the manufacturing industry within South Africa. I believe Challenges that by the third year of production my Muhammed noted that being young was product would have entered interna- at times an obstacle, as people do not tional trade, allowing the proudly South always take you seriously. He was often African logo to hold more weight. anxious that people might steal his idea, BOD X will not only be limited to a which is why he does not elaborate that deodorant but a range of cosmetic much on his advances. Because he is products which will follow”. religious, he noted that wanting success for your business can at times create Message to other young conflict in your heart, and that is some- people thing he wanted to guard against. “Espirit Descores!” which means reach However, he noted that his family and strive for the best, do not limit and friends had been incredibly yourself.