I’m very happy to get this opportunity. I would like to introduce myself first.
I am Simphiwe Khumalo 36 years old, from Kwanyuswa located in the Valley of 1000 hills. I grew up in a very disadvantaged family but through the Lord’s mercy my life is not the same as before. I didn’t let my background oppress me, I told myself that I will not allow the poverty of the mind effect me. I have a very long story to tell about my life but for now I will answer the following questions.
1.How did you find about TVT and it’s youth course offer? Did you grow up in The valley?
As I’m one of the community residents I knew about TVT, and I was not aware of the empowerment projects they were offering the community. In 2012 I was working voluntarily at Light Providers Youth Club, facilitating, music, life skills, and repair of their computers. I heardd that there was I.T. training at TVT, they said Sbo the founder of Ikhono is involved.
Next day I went directly TVT, I spoke to Sbo and he told me that the course started four months ago. We exchanged numbers and he advised me to also leave my number at the reception so they can inform me if anything comes up.
2. What did you dream of becoming one day?
When I was 7 years old, I used to spend more time alone, trying to put together pieces of broken radios and Televisions, I use to ask my mom to buy PM 9 batteries.
The skill developed, at the age of 13 years I was getting paid for radio and TV repairs.
I started to see myself having my own business, introducing my own branded TV’s and radios.
Because of my background, as I’m from a disadvantaged family in a poor community, I didn’t have enough support. I found myself investing more time in broken pieces of electronics instead of investing time in my textbooks. I had no choice as I was using the little cash to pay for my school fees, school uniform, and food during break times.
From TVs and radios I progressed to cellphones.
In 2006, after completing my matric I attended an empowerment course at Light Providers where I started to fix computers.
The first computer that I fixed was a laptop placed that had been left on top of the table for more that a year, after their technician failed to fix it. Mr Vusi Kweyama said to me “I don’t want to throw this laptop away because I need my information in this laptop. Why don’t you try and fix it for me?”
He was surprised after 2 hours, I told him that his laptop is know working!
3. What course did you do at TVT and how did you find it equipped you to apply for a job?
Youth leadership course. Our Group was called The Valley Youth Leaders.
I learned a lot. I learned on how to write proposals to sponsors, how to approach them, how to use and manage finances and do monthly reports for the sponsors.
Mr Nhlanhla Vezi was our projector manager at TVT in 2013.
Mr Vezi and staff of the organisation, asked us to write proposals to the sponsors as we didn’t have money to travel from home to TVT.
Myself and Fikile Ngcobo wrote a prosal to Professor Land at Sombiyane Trust Fund, under supervision of Mr Vezi and our proposal was successful.
We received R12 000 traveling allowance from Mrs J Land.
I was also responsible for managing monthly allowance and submitting the monthly report and was also involved in the recruitment centre.
I collated a database for unemployed youth, ran interviews, and captured a database for job seekers. From the project I gained more self confidence, networked with many people and my knowledge, skills and ability improved.
4. What is your current role at the school?
I’m currently employed as a teacher assistant at Kwanthintwa School for the deaf and I work as a Sign Language Technician.
I’m incharge of all technical material’s that we use at the school for sign language. Since sign language is a visual language we use computers, products, video cameras and assorted gadgets which are used for better teaching and learning. I’m the main technician, organising, teaching, fixing, doing upgrades, updates and also building the labs
5. What is your dream for your future?
I want to teach, IT and computer sciences. My dream is to bridge the gap between deaf and hearing communities.
I want to see deaf and hearing technicians sitting together one day developing software, programs & building electronics that will serve both communities.
Eg: when a thief is breaking into a house, if an alarm is installed a hearing person can hear the alarm. What about the deaf person? If they can’t hear, then there must be a big light or vibrating system for if a person is sleeping.
6.What else would you like to see TVT offer the community, to add value to their lives?
Accredited courses for youth, and involving the sponsors to assist graduates start their own businesses within the community, I mean really big business!
We do not even have shopping centres, and petrol stations within our community. Our economy must circulate within the community to prevent increased poverty. These business’s must be owned by residents to prevent high crime and theft.