“ I would like to encourage other young people to grab every opportunity given to them with both hands, because it all works out in the end.” - ELIZABETH LETSWALO
Elizabeth Letswalo was one of our first learners. Her story though unique, typifies those of many of the young people who train with us, and demonstrates what passion and purpose and opportunities can achieve no matter our life circumstances.
Hi I am Elizabet Letswalo, fifth daughter born to Miss Letswalo who grew up in a place called Ga- Mamabolo in Turfloop, Limpopo.
I was raised by a single parent who wasn’t financially stable enough to raise five children alone. However, I wouldn’t say my childhood was good or bad, it was enough for me to survive. Fortunately enough, I completed my matric and then proceeded to Joburg Central College’s Ellis Park Campus to further my studies as an aspiring Electrical Engineer. Because my mother was my only support system, I had to drop out in my second year. It was a very painful season in my life. However, I had no choice but to accept the situation and survive as always.
A year later, I started working at Jane Furse Building Suppliers as a till operator. I worked there for quite some time until I experienced pregnancy complications in 2009 with my first child. I decided to resign and stay at home with my baby. This I did for close to two years. I consider this time a blessing, despite facing tough financial times as my husband was unemployed at the time.
Fortunately enough, my younger brother told me of a meeting his high school was hosting for unemployed matriculants from the Ga-Mambolo community. I went there on the day of the meeting and we were addressed by a company which went by the name of Retail Relate, which was looking for candidates to join their learnerships. I applied and after writing an assessment test, was accepted. This was to change the course of my life.
On February 1st, 2012, I started my learnership for TFG at Exact on Landros Mare Street in Polokwane. My learnership year was not a walk in the park. I experienced a lot of conflict with my seniors, yet always kept in mind the reason for my learnership.
Following my graduation, I was employed as a casual staff member of the Landros Mare Street branch – later to be promoted as a permanent staff member at Mall of the North branch. My branch manager at the time was on leave and I found myself in charge of the store. This meant I was responsible making sure the sales figures were correct, the store’s productivity was efficient, stock discrepancies were addressed as well as other store responsibilties. When she returned, the branch manager returned was so impressed with the amount of work I had put in that she instantly entrusted me with the running of the store.
I remember around October 2014 when Paledi Mall in Mankweng was near being officially opened, I was offered official training to be a branch manager at the Exact store within the new Mall. After a few years there, I left Exact to work at FootGear, where I’m currently store manager. I am proud to say I am a product of TFG and I’m thankful for the opportunity that Retail Relate offered me.
Finally, I would like to encourage other young people to grab every opportunity given to them with both hands, because it all works out in the end. It has certainly worked for me.