“The population in our country is growing on daily basis. The state has come with good initiatives in the form of social grants but it is impossible to provide each one of us with a job. It is also our responsibility as individuals to wake up and create our own jobs.”
These are the words of wisdom from self-taught welder, Masindi Johannes Mafuwa of Madimbo village, outside Musina in Limpopo.
Mafuwa, who has worked as a farm labourer for many years, said he realised that in order to make ends meet, he had to stand up and do something to become his own boss.
“The money that I earned as a farm labourer was not enough to sustain myself and my family. As a person who grew up under good parental care, I didn’t want to involve myself in criminal activities. I decided that the best thing was to work using my own hands.”
He said it was difficult at first because he didn’t have money to start his own small business.
“I worked as an assistant to other welders while at the same time learning welding skills. I saved the little money I earned and after three years, I managed to buy my own welding machine. Because many people depend on their donkeys to make a living in our area, I started by making donkey carts and the demand was very high. The carts were selling very well and within a short space of time, the whole village depended on me for the supply.”
He said that due to more demand, he then ventured into steel chairs, tables and braai stands.
“In fact, I can manufacture anything with steel and I’m happy that I have realised my dream of becoming my own boss. This type of a job needs someone who is creative, hardworking and dedicated to his work. You must also relate well with your customers because they are the backbone of your business. With the savings from my small business, I have also bought a bakkie which I use to deliver my products to the customers.”
Mafuwa said he is worried that most of the youth today seem to be more dependent on handouts.
“We need to work hard in order to realise our potential. I’m prepared to teach my skills to the youth free of charge only if they are ready to learn and later establish their own businesses.”
He has made himself available to anyone who wants to learn welding skills as he believes in paying it forward when it comes to changing our nation.