Feb 2020 2nd edition

Election brings relief to school in crisis

Written by More Matshediso

Election Lethiba (25) is an everyday hero. He answered a local school’s call for help and fixed over 100 desks for them, despite there not being sufficient funds to adequately pay for his services.

A resident of Mohlaletse village in Sekhukhune, Limpopo, Lethiba was happy to step in and repair 135 desks at Fetakgomo High School – in a very short space of time – so that the village children would have decent work surfaces when the school year got under way.

The school did not have enough money, I took what they could offer and got the job done. Being able to help the school was a big deal for me” He added, that the support he receives from his community motivates him to be the best that he can be.

After a rocky few years, during which Lethiba suffered a number of setbacks, he seems to have found his way, thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit.

After dropping out of high school, he registered to study an electrical course but again dropped out because of financial challenges.

“I went back home and opened a barbershop,” he explained.

One day, while waiting for customers to walk in, he was playing with a piece of wire and in his mind’s eye, it took the shape of a chair. Lethiba had always been good with his hands and he was inspired to see where his talents as a craftsman could take him.

“I started saving money that I was making as a barber to buy carpentry equipment,” he said.

His first chair quickly sold to a neighbour and Lethiba was heartened that given the lack of local of carpenters in the area, he could make a go of his new venture.

He gradually learnt how to manufacture garden chairs, couches, wedding chairs and tables and soon his reputation as a furniture-maker spread. Although his business is still in its infancy and Lethiba still works from his parents’ home, his customer base is growing and he both hires out furniture for events and sells pieces to the public.

His next goal is to establish his own workshop and buy decent equipment.

Rural development
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