My name is Enziwe Maphosa, 24 years old. I come from Yeoville, Johannesburg. Before the program I was unemployed for a period of 12 months after completing my university studies. I then had the opportunity to do a Work Readiness Programme with Afrika Tikkun for 3 months where I got to learn about the work environment, introduction to workplace recruitment practices, what employers expect of their workers and some of the basic skills you need at work.
Unemployment had affected my life and that of my family in a negative way. I could not help my retired Mom financially, which caused psychological distress, and I started to view education as useless and not important as could not get a job after studying. I became anti-social and distanced myself from my peers.
In order for me to generate an income, I was working part time jobs on weekends, and fortunately, I had applied for the Social Relief of Distress Grant and that money boosted me in acquiring some of my basic needs. I am hosted at Balderstone Sports Institute (Football Campus) and I am a Sport Administrator.
My duties included : Organizing sporting events such as tournaments, managing all relevant financial records appropriate to the department, answering phone calls and responding to emails, liaising with opposition clubs with regards to match arrangements, liaising with match officials regards to match arrangements, training of new staff, and sometime running the office, administrative support to managerial staff and heads of organisations, responding to queries and request for information from other organizations and the public, liaising with local sports councils, regional committees and national governing bodies and producing promotional literature, reports and event materials and liaising with marketing and media organisations.
I am now able to contribute and help my family financially. The programme has made me more independent. Socially, it has helped me with a purpose and a sense of status and belonging. Every young person today should be appreciative to be getting a salary because not everyone does. I have been exposed to working with different young people with different personality types and have managed to work progressively and professionally with them. I learned new different skills every day at work because am always doing something new, so far, communication, teamwork, work ethic and problem solving are some of those I have been taught.
Before the YES program, I was slowly getting discouraged about looking for employment. Barriers like lack of opportunities kept me from seeking opportunities to advance my future, or even believing that those opportunities exist. The programme has brought new hope and belief that I can change my life and those around me if I work hard and hold the opportunity I have with both hands.
I am passionate about football, so I will continue to learn and upskill myself and gain experience in youth football academies and later, working with one of the professional teams in the country will be a dream come true. Young people are floundering in poverty and frustration because of lack of employment opportunities and new graduates like myself fail to enter the working environment because we lack work experience and often find themselves trapped in various life cycles. Thanks to such opportunities, closed doors are opened and career advancement opportunities are possible.
My advice to the unemployed youth is that being unemployed you tend to feel left out, leading to social exclusion, anxiety and a lack of hope for the future. It is important to surround yourself with people who are positive and looking for opportunities out there. If you have such association, it is a matter of time before your full potential is realized. Take unpaid work, do online free courses, stay active and join organizations that take pride in helping and supporting the youth. (e.g Afrika Tikkun Services and Harambe). Always be ready and prepared for the opportunity and when it comes take full advantage of it by showing the best version of yourself and what you can bring to the table. Companies are constantly looking for people that add value to the organisation and most people lose it because they were thinking of their present situation when they were unemployed and not preparing for the opportunity.