Buhle Ndlela says “Don’t stay down when you fall, lets all stand up and make the world a better place”
I was raised by my grandparents, my grandfather being a strict firm and bold business man with a deep love for his family. We were well provided for as children but adulthood brought plenty challenges. I am married to a kind and humble man and live with him in Kwadabeka and God has blessed us with three daughters and three grandchildren.
Like Rachel I also have had quite a journey into the non – profit world….
My work background has been in financial institutions, having started as a teller developing into a financial advisor and finally being promoted to branch manager. It was during my years at the bank that I saw the great need in our communities’, where it broke my heart as a many of my customers had to sign with a thumbprint, as they could not write. There also was allot of people that had no idea about savings, and was scared to use the ATM machines. I did as much as I could in my capacity at the bank to help them, taking the time to teach them to write their names, explaining savings accounts in a way that they can understand and showing them how to use the ATM machine. My love and desire to empower our communities was birthed during my years at the bank and I took the time to ask about their family back grounds and encouraging them to save money as a community group. As I was part of a stokvel, this inspired me to write articles about stokvel and savings in stokvel voice magazine.
We were encouraged to start our own business and having grown up in an entrepreneurial home, I have always had the inclination towards entrepreneurship. I was always selling something to make more money. So equipped with my years of banking experience I tried a few different business ventures and was faced with obstacles and situations that were beyond my control where successful and lucrative ventures came to nothing. Finally I joined my husband in his business and as we were attending a business workshop, we received a call that our office was on fire. Everything was destroyed in the fire, computers, furniture, and documents – it was the beginning of the end of that business resulting in both me and my husband being unemployed and at home.
At that time I met Rachel Englebrecht at Umhlathuzana Rotary and we chatted about all sorts of issues regarding communities. Rachel had a follow up meeting with myself and my husband regarding the community we live in Kwadabeka. From there I volunteered with Careerlinx for a couple of months and today I am working for Careerlinx and happy to be back in community work.
It has been an eye opener for me as I have been going into over 22 communities in KZN, interviewing unemployed people to register onto our database. I have often come home in tears and have told my husband I am meant to be part of this and helping make a difference in our communities. Most people even in my circle of friend do not understand or realise the hardships that allot of South Africans are facing in our communities. It’s only when we go in and speak to them that we realise the full extent of the need. I have encountered so many orphans who are raising themselves. They don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. These children grow up into young adult hood with so much baggage and cannot find work. It is unacceptable that so many of South Africans are living on grants.
Twenty years of seeing the need and along the way doing what I can to help the underprivileged communities has inspired me to want to do more to make a difference. God has touched my heart with a love and passion for the role I am playing in empowering our communities. It is what I am meant to be doing in this season of my life. The journey since starting to work for Careerlinx has been an exciting one with new and different experiences every day, learning more and meeting the most amazing and wonderful people.
My life journey has had many challenges and defeats and deep disappointment and at times I faced them bravely and sometimes my courage and determination failed me. For all the good, the triumphs and defeats I am grateful as it has developed character and strength in me to persevere. I believe everything happens for a reason and I would not have it any other way. We all have a choice when we fall down, we can choose to get back up and fight or lie down and accept defeat. I say Lets all stand up and together make our world a better place.
“Buhle is my right hand person and absolutely integral part of what Careerlinx has achieved to date. I thank God daily for bringing me such a wonderful person to help empower our communities.” says Rachel Englebrecht Careerlinx founder.