My name is Sinethemba Ntuli, grew up in the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth, Motherwell) like an any one else who is in Cape Town trying to make something out of nothing. A son to a staunch, remarkable and single woman who mothered three children. Growing up from a broken family and being raised on a loose change from my mother’s employer, where she helped to do laundry, cook, clean the house and at times if she is fortunate manage to leave her employers house with a loaf of bread without her consent as we struggled to make ends meet and further our education.
After doing my matric last year in tough living conditions, I had to convince my self that there is something out there waiting for me and if I want to get it I had leave the land of my birth to seek it somewhere else where conditions were favorable. It was only after July this that I got a call to come to Cape Town and stay with my dad in Lower Crossroad “Marikana”.
On my arrival that in week alone I saw people getting mugged, shot at and everyday news of a house burglary would travel faster than I can say PE. My father whom I was staying with had warned me about Marikana, insisted that I needed to keep busy or get a job and give him my CV. But, because he has been so absent in my life little did he know that I could not even type.
So the the next step for me was not to disgrace myself to him but find a place or someone who can do this for me without his knowledge and that is I how met Silulo Ulutho Technologies (Phillipi Plaza branch).
I got there to get my CV typed and printed the next day, a lady by the name of Zim type and printed my resume but I was so fascinated by the speed at which she was punching the keyboard and I then ask what does one do to be skilled like her. She told me about the Silulo End User Computer Course, how much it was, what the benefits were of doing this course and I was completely sold. I then had to pitch this to my father who was earning a minimum wage and was afraid of what answer he might give me. I was thinking along the lines of “Ndikuzisa eKapa uzofuna umsebenzi uphangele ngoku wena ufuna mna ndikhuphe imali uye eskolweni?”. So the pitch never happened at all but my dad kept on giving me money to apply for jobs online at Silulo. Three weeks after applying online I was was not getting any callbacks for interviews, frustrations were building I was losing hope till I read an article about how a computer qualification can increase your opportunities of getting a job.
One day on my trips to the Silulo branch I was approached my the branch owner, Mr Misselo who said he had seen me almost everyday coming to the internet cafe, doing the dame thing everyday without yielding any results and perhaps there was a way that Silulo can of help me get closer to getting a job. He told me about the bursary they were offering to unemployed youth from disadvantaged areas to enroll for the End User Computer Course and that I should write a motivational letter as to why must I get the bursary. I wrote the motivation letter and got the bursary to learn Windows. Introduction to Computers, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet and Email as well as social media.
It did not take too long before wheels started turning, I was in class everyday no longer exposed to things like crime, and substance abuse which are the order of the day in Marikana. Within six weeks at Silulo I was now invited to feature in radio stations like Zibonele FM and Tygerberg FM which was another world for me and completely blew my mind. The quality of the company I was keeping improved, kids around the community started asking me to do their homeworks, Mr Miselo had introduced me to his church, yhe maan I was becoming a man that I should have been. Then I heard that Silulo was looking for marketing assistants and I applied for the job left with two weeks to finish my course. After that application I got my first interview call and let me state categorically that I did not get the opportunity by virtue of studying at Silulo Ulutho but because I had learnt how to write and sell myself on my resume which is something that I had failed before.
I am grateful for the opportunities that I have received in terms of the bursary, employment but mostly for saving and helping me find myself after I had given up. Now I am more empowered than before, I have grown as a man through having great role models like Mr Miselo and Mr Rani, I have the skill and knowledge to go back and empower my community. Within the next two weeks I will be graduating from Silulo armed with a qualification that will open doors to a better tomorrow.