Trainee to Trainer, a story of HOPE.
At the start of 2018, Themba Training opened in their new space above Smiling Oven in the Gants Centre, after having relocated from their previous location in Crossroads. Marla van der Merwe, the newly appointed Project Manager kicked off the new year having created a new Themba Training product line and an array of training courses. News of the training courses was spread around through word of mouth among the projects and their communities.
It was in March 2018 that Nonkqubela heard of Themba Training through our Agape project manager, Thabisa, who had spread the word in their community. (These two women are friends and serve together at Every Nation Zola.) Nonkqubela then reached out to Marla to secure a space and days later attended the training, having never touched a sewing machine.
Nonkqubela wanted to upskill herself to help provide for her family and Themba Training could not have been a more perfect fit for her. After graduating the Basic Sewing Course, she transitioned into the courses that followed and we now find Nonkqubela earning an income sewing contracted products and officially presenting training courses confidently guiding her trainees with patience and precision.
Marla speaks highly of Nonkqubela and shared this with us:
“We have learnt so much from this incredible lady. Her spirit is infectious and she leads with motivation, dedication, and efficiency. She lives to 'change the world' no matter how small. She is often heard saying sweet comments like 'let's smile while we still have teeth', sure to turn us all to laughter! She has come a long way since having walked through our doors. She has bloomed so beautifully-- at first a beneficiary and now she is training new beneficiaries as a skilled and wonderful teacher.”
Nonkqubela is seen as reliable, honest, trustworthy, with a quick sense of humour, and is an admired leader in her community. Her new sewing skills have become a source of not only a necessary income but also a source of huge self-worth and dignity. She is known to be of high esteem in her community, having earned a reputation for knowing what to do when it comes to sewing, people go to her for advice. In her own family, her training has had a ripple effect on both her husband and eldest daughter who she has now come to train. Unfortunately, this presents the problem of not being able to work on her own machine at home because now she has to share it with the other two!
“My wish for women in our community is to be motivated and learn to do things for themselves. It feels great! Then they can also start sewing or start their own business to support their families. Working at Themba Training has had such an impact on our lives because we pay our monthly bills on time with no added interest. I am also able to sew clothing for my children, thereby saving money.”