Youth Capital releases an annual publication that combines data with young people’s lived stories to shift gears on youth unemployment. The 2021 publication, Unlock Jobs: Clearing Roadblocks to Youth Employment aimed to answer a question. The questions were about how to start clearing the roadblocks on young people’s journey to quality work. To do that, they spoke to several voices from their network. These interviews are published below.
YOUTH VOICE: Lakiwe Blekiwe’s Story: “Mintor just made it easy for me”
I grew up in the rural Eastern Cape, where my roots still run deep. I’ve spent a good few years adjusting to city life – partly in Jo’burg and now in Cape Town. When job-searching, I hoped to find work that would help me express my passion for development and helping people.
My job search was depressing. It’s depressing, because once you leave school you want a job, and most jobs require you to have experience, which I don’t really understand.
My circumstances were especially difficult, because I’d taken the risk of moving to Cape Town on my own, and had to pay for all my own expenses, away from my family.
I didn’t have a job for more than a year; almost two. And I did have some work experience. I’ve always loved working. I was a marketing consultant for my college, I’ve written for the Sunday times, and I worked in a call centre.
I’d been searching on several online platforms with little success (and many annoyances!). A friend sent me the link to Mintor – that moment proved a game-changer in my story.
It was different in that I just uploaded my profile, and then whichever employer looks at the site can see that. I didn’t have to send my CV to every employer or have to communicate with all of them. I never went back online to other places to look for jobs after I found Mintor. It’s so much less stressful!
Mintor just made it easy for me. After registering my profile, I applied for about ten jobs, and then I logged in one day and saw there was a potential interview. I was excited and curious.
I hoped I would find work in line with my passion – fulfilling and having an impact on people’s lives. Not one to sit around and do nothing, I kept myself busy running a youth development programme in my home, in the Eastern Cape. I help young people who are doing matric with varsity or job applications, bursaries, and scholarships. People just aren’t informed in the deep rural areas.
I was thrilled when the potential interview popped up on Mintor for a Charity Campaign Creator at BackaBuddy – a South African crowdfunding platform. I got the job and now work with charities that want to raise funds for certain needs. I am the first person they communicate with. I receive submissions and let them know how BackaBuddy works, and then I help them raise funds for their charity.
I have learnt so much about the online world. I learn something new every day about our system. I have been at BackaBuddy for about 5 months, but I feel like it’s been years because everything has grown. My confidence and interpersonal skills have grown; I can speak English confidently now, so my confidence in speaking to people has improved. I can do way more than I thought I would.
After such a long search, being employed is no small matter for me and my family. Having a job means I can put bread on the table at home. My sister was the breadwinner, and we lost her early last year. We were depending on her. It was a reality check for everyone. When I got a job it was a relief.
This job means everything to me. I love what I do. It’s a great advantage that you can do what you love and get paid for it. I can’t stop recommending Mintor to everyone!
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policies of The Daily Vox.