Paper seller’s smile won him a better job

2016-11-29 12:37
Sinqobile Shabalala, who used to be a newspaper salesman for The Witness, is now a photocopy assistant at St John’s Diocesan School for Girls.

Sinqobile Shabalala, who used to be a newspaper salesman for The Witness, is now a photocopy assistant at St John’s Diocesan School for Girls. (Ian Carbutt)

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Twenty-five-year-old Sinqobile Shabalala used to work as a Witness salesman at the corner of Taunton and Roberts roads.

His friendly nature and warm smile captured the attention and hearts of many people, including that of business manager of St John’s Diocesan School for Girls, Naomi Hardman, who saw the potential in him and managed to help get him a job at the school.

“After completing an office assistance course at Boston College I stayed at home for five years because I could not get a job. My uncle who used to work as a newspaper salesman for The Witness passed away in 2014 and my cousin took over from him. I took over from my cousin in August last year.

“At first I was nervous about the job and did not think I would be able to manage but surprisingly it was a great job. The people were friendly and welcoming. I made many friends from standing at that corner to such an extent that I would sometimes meet up with some of them and just chat,” recalled Shabalala.

“I met Mrs Hardman as she used to drive past when taking her children to crèche every morning. I naturally love children so I would play with them and we eventually became friends. Mrs Hardman asked me if I needed a job, I said yes and she asked me to bring my CV.

“After that conversation with her two months went past without me seeing her. I did not give up and brought my CV to work with me every day. After two months she drove past and I gave her my CV, and the rest is history.

“I now work for the St John’s Diocesan School for Girls as a photocopy assistant. My family was ecstatic after I got the job, the pay is good and I love it here. I started in November 1 and have learnt a lot and feel that I will continue to learn a lot. My mother used to pray three times a day for me to get this job. My father praised me for the very first time after I got this job. It was really a life-changing moment for me and I will be forever grateful to my cousin Sboniso Cele and brother Tusani Shabalala for pushing me and encouraging me to be the best newspaper seller I could be.

“I never looked down on that job and I truly enjoyed it. I miss all those friendly faces and I am extremely thankful to Mrs Hardman for seeing the potential in me,” he concluded.

Sinqobile Shabalala’s story, as told to Nompilo Kunene, The Witness’s online journalist.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pmb people

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