Gugu’s Story
27th Oct 2016

Tell us about Gugu’s family… How many kids? What are their names? What do they love to do?

I have 2 beautiful kids, Phila and Thando which I am very proud of. Thando loves to read and Phila is a future soccer star in the making.

When did you start working at Expand a Sign?

I started working at Expand a Sign as a cleaner in 2012.

When you found out about the Uzwelo project, what made you decide to want to be a part of it?

I wanted to be a part of something that would allow me to grow and give my children a better future plus it allowed me to further my skills and do something I love and have always wanted to learn how to do, and that is to sew.

How did you learn to sew?

Because I was still working at Expand a Sign and Uzwelo hadn’t started properly yet, I had to find time to learn how to sew so when Tanya needed staff for the Uzwelo project, I would be able to apply. So every day for 3 months, I spent my lunch break learning how to sew with Rajes. I am very grateful for the skills she’s given me and the patience she showed me during my training.

What was the first bag you made?

The first bag I made at Uzwelo was a shopping bag. Nothing special but it was to me because it was the first thing I had ever sewn.

What does Uzwelo mean to you?

Uzwelo means everything to me. It has given me an amazing opportunity to help myself and my family.

What do you love most about your new job at Uzwelo?

Every day I’m learning something new like making different parts for our school bags.

When Rajes, Tanya, and Richard are away, you are given the responsibility to supervise the Uzwelo staff. How do this make you feel being given such an important responsibility?

This honestly makes me feel very special that people I look up to, see the progress that I’m making at Uzwelo and rely on me when they aren’t there.

Where do you want to be this time next year or even in 5 years?

I want to be a machinist.

If you could make any bag, what would it be and what colours?

I would like to make a bright pink and blue shopper bag.