This is the story behind the Free group training on how to better prepare for job interviews, that I am currently offering.
When I was in high school, a grootman from our community, his surname was Mapolisa offered to come and teach us how to use computers for free.
He was unemployed, so he had the time.
The greater significance of this was that he recognised a need that his skill could meet, not only in our school but in the greater community. He overlooked the fact the school had very old computers, so old that they still used floppy disks (USB’s were a myth at the time) and almost none of the programs in them worked. This was in 2005 and I was in matric.
And oh! He also overlooked the fact that he needed an income.
So now imagine kids being exposed to computers for the first time at Grade 12. The fact that they were old and broken down didn’t matter to us. We just wanted to learn how to use them.
Dr Les Brown once said, “In life there are winners, there are losers and then there are people who don’t know how to win.” We were the latter.
By the end of the year, many of us were still computer illiterate but the seed Mr Mapolisa sowed never died. It stimulated curiosity in many of us, myself included to want to know more, learn more and eventually be more. It felt as if a fire had been ignited inside of us.
Even though at varsity level the only thing I knew about computers was to power it on and off. He had helped me to deal with the fear or using one (yes, there is such a thing). I was on flight response before he came in the picture. His empowerment disempowered my fear of looking stupid and this enabled me to learn faster.
It took me three months, to know how to operate, dismantle, assemble and update both the software and hardware of a desktop computer. I think the necessity of catching up with my varsity class-mates also gave the situation a sense of urgency.
So, to conclude, my effort is partly a fruit of what this gentleman sowed in me. But more so, it’s my seed to the communities that really need it. I am hoping many other young people would do the same in their communities.
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