Sewing granny gives back to her community

2018-07-10 06:01
PHOTO: phindile shoziThandi Mtheku has been a sewing teacher for 24 years at Embocraft Shop and Training Trust.

PHOTO: phindile shoziThandi Mtheku has been a sewing teacher for 24 years at Embocraft Shop and Training Trust.

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WHEN Hammarsdale resident Thandi Mtheku decided to visit Bothas Hill to look for a job little did she know that she will be employed on the spot, or that 2018 would mark 24 years that she has been uplifting the underprivileged community of KwaZulu-Natal.

Mtheku started teaching sewing at Embocraft Shop and Training Trust in 1994 before branching out to the rest of KZN.

She said that looking for a job in Bothas Hill was a blessing in disguise to her. “I immediately got a job, but not as a sewing teacher [which she had her sights set on], instead I was just helping at the shop.”

However, a few weeks into her job, she was offered to go to the eThembeni Physical School for the Disabled to help a sewing teacher whom the pupils couldn’t understand as she was communicating in English.

“I was a translator for the sewing teacher as the pupils couldn’t understand what she was saying and I ended up helping her even with sewing,” explained Mtheku.

She said that’s how she learnt how to sew and then she started teaching people from disadvantaged backgrounds to sew as well, so they can become self-sustainable and provide for their families.

Mtheku said she is always extremely proud when her “students” make items that they could sell.

“The happiness that’s written in their faces when they are done with their course is what brings joy to my heart. I know that I make a difference in their lives.”

Mtheku said that, even though she is way pass retirement age at 67, she won’t retire anytime soon because her job isn’t finished yet — there are many people she still needs to teach how to sew.

“Giving back to my community is what make me feel more alive each day, and I encourage others to always give back as well,” she concluded.

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