How Simcelile found purpose through the Computer Lab:
In 2016, Simcelile Ngqakumbana suddenly lost his job and could no longer provide for his family. He had previously been the breadwinner, but as his unemployment stretched into 2017, despite his best efforts to find a job, he had no luck. To sustain his family, Simcelile would often help his wife run her small catering business. This kept him busy and put food on the table, but he knew that he needed a full time job to pay for all their family needs.
Simcelile’s biggest challenge was that he was not computer literate and this often held him back from employment. He didn’t know how to type up a CV or navigate the internet so he could send emails and apply for jobs. The catering business also struggled as they did not know how to send quotations and invoices to clients or look for new opportunities online for their business.
Simcelile would often go to the Masiphumelele library opposite his house and ask someone to type his CV and send emails for him. Relying on somebody else to do this for him affected his confidence and self-esteem. However, at the end of 2017, Simicelile heard about free basic computer classes being offered at the library and he eagerly signed up.
When Simcelile started attending the classes in early 2018, making mistakes was embarrassing for him and it affected his already fragile self-esteem. Their teacher, Nyameko Nzuzo was always willing to help him and often told him, “Failure is part of learning, it is getting back up after the failure that guarantees your success”. His fear of failure soon turned into determination to succeed at whatever cost. This motivated Simcelile to not give up and he realized that it was okay to fail and ask for help sometimes.
Through these classes, Simncelile acquired a new skill which boosted his self-esteem. He could now type his own CV, he could send emails, browse the internet for job opportunities and apply for jobs. He felt more motivated and wanted to achieve greater things for himself and his family.
The class was then offered the opportunity to join an advanced computer course to further sharpen their skills and earn an internationally recognised certificate. In 5 months, Simcelile completed the International Computer driving course (ICDL).
Today, he is using his skills to grow his wife’s catering business. He is now able to create quotations and invoices and send them out to their clients. He also uses Excel to calculate VAT as well as their income and expenses. This has completely transformed the running of their business.
Simcelile is still unemployed but the catering business has improved, as they are now able to advertise their business and look for new opportunities. He hopes to one day open an internet cafe to further sustain his family and to help people to effectively use computers.
Simncelile has also enrolled his young son into the children’s computer class and continually recommends the classes to his family and friends. He believes that in today’s digital age, computer illiteracy is a contributing factor to unemployment and poverty.
We would like to thank our wonderful friends and supporters for contributing towards this centre, because without your financial support, people like Simcelile would not get the opportunity to gain such valuable skills and go on to support their families. We believe this centre gives the community of Masiphumelele a fighting chance to actively tackle unemployment and poverty.
If you’d like to find out more about how to join the course, or would like to support this programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 021 785 1923.