Jobs and the young – Tebogo Molibalwa’s story: Battling peer pressure

2012-07-14 11:04

For Tebogo Molibalwa, not having a job meant more than just financial pressure – the peer pressure to break the law was pervasive.

“Being unemployed, it is tempting to do unlawful things. When you’re together with a group of people with nothing to do, you start to form stupid ideas on how to make money.”

Supported by a single parent, his father Thabo, an administration clerk at a mid-tier accounting firm, life in Soweto wasn’t easy for Tebogo and his four siblings.

After successfully matriculating, there wasn’t enough money for university, which gave rise to uncertainty over his future.

“Unemployed life is waking up in the morning in an ugly mood, thinking: ‘What’s next today?’ I used to wait by the gate watching the same people passing by and I felt useless in the world.”

With nothing to work towards every day, boredom and frustration soon follow. Then there’s the camaraderie that comes with gangs and criminal syndicates.

It was a daily challenge for Tebogo to remain focused on a positive future for him and his family.

“I wanted to be someone my younger brothers and sisters could look up to,” he says.

In spite of a big family network of aunts, uncles and his father, who all gave Tebogo money, it was never consistent and offered no security.

“I hated being dependent on other people and begging them for money, even to buy my own socks,” he says.

Never knowing where cash was going to come from next became an issue when looking for a job, which requires money to post a CV or to purchase a bus ticket to get to interviews.

Tebogo now works full time in business process outsourcing at Hollard.

He claims his greatest achievement is resisting the peer pressure put on him by his unemployed friends, which he believes would have landed him in trouble.

With permanent employment comes self-esteem and the confidence to rise up against peer pressure.

Tebogo says: “I used to be a shy person, but now I am someone who can hold my head up high.”

His father Thabo says: “I cannot believe the transformation in him. He went from such a quiet and introverted boy to someone who is outspoken and self-assured.”

Although Tebogo is now far from bad influences, the working world can also be a challenging place.

His line manager, Mohammed Sathar, says: “This is a harsh and stressful environment, but Tebogo was mentally prepared and fit in immediately.”

Tebogo divides his earnings between family, transport, a savings plan, entertainment and setting money aside for his goal of gaining a tertiary qualification.

“Now that I have the opportunity, I would like to study a BCom through Unisa while I am working,” he says.

Tebogo also provides for his siblings, giving them money for school lunches or field trips.

This gives them access to opportunities that Tebogo never had, thereby empowering both siblings.

Tebogo’s father says his son, as a role model, has set a high standard for the rest of his family and with that comes enhanced morale.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.