BBL PARTICIPANT: Jappie Tooka, One&Ten Community, Northwest Province
In a Nutshell
Through his participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Jappie Tooka from One&Ten Community in Northwest Province – in one single SocioTech training session – stopped seeing himself as unemployed and started seeing himself as a businessman. Discovering that he can control his life has set him on a strong winning path.
I first heard I was born here in One & Ten. People always ask why our village has such a strange name. Apparently, a long time ago the Meintjies family bought land in this area for two pounds and this portion of that land was worth one pound and 10 shillings in old money. Hence the name.
I first met Mpho and Jabu from SocioTech in October of 2022. The way that they work has changed the way I think about my life and my potential to succeed. From the first time I met them I understood that I can survive even if I am not working. I understood that unemployment is a state of mind because I can work for myself.
I went into that first meeting thinking of myself as unemployed and came out as a businessman with courage, confidence, and a plan of action.
"I can control whether I succeed or fail. I can control how I spend and save money."
I can control whether I succeed or fail. I can control how I spend and save money. I can decide what I need and do not need. Charles showed me that I can choose to spend money on things that matter, and avoid spending money on things that I might want but do not need. Like alcohol – people can spend a lot of money on alcohol, but it doesn’t advance your life. It can be difficult to avoid spending cash on unnecessary things, but if you focus, it is possible. I have a personal budget and I stick to it. Poverty comes from bad choices and making good choices can change lives.
Charles gave me a new mindset and the results of changing the way I think about life have been amazing. I am a changed man. I have savings jars and through them I have saved money. If I need shoes, I can buy them, because I have money saved. I can buy food for my family. I can buy electricity coupons and pay the burial society.
Not only have I changed but others in my family have been influenced by the changes in me. My son is 24 years old, and he is also living his life according to these principles. He knows how to save and the importance of a side hustle.
I have several side hustles. I sell clothes and shoes and I also market tombstones. I have a book of all the tombstone options. It has photographs and prices and I get a commission on every tombstone sold. In this area most people know that I am involved in the tombstone business, so if they need one, they come and see me and I make that happen for them. I also keep the album with me when I am doing other business so I can be ready if I meet someone while I am out in the community.
"Now that I know how to control what happens to me, I am confident that I can achieve my goals. "
The clothing I sell is mostly jackets and smart suits. I go to City Deep in Johannesburg where they sell good quality used clothes in bulk. I buy there and bring the goods back here to One & Ten. At our church men must wear jackets to attend services and ceremonies. This means that my fellow congregants are good customers. I also sell by going door to door in my village and also in the neighbouring villages. I sell about 15 suits and suit jackets every month.
The clothing business is working well but it is a means to an end. My real love is livestock farming. If you come back in 3 years’ time you will find me with land, cows, goats, and chickens. I am slowly growing my herd. I already have 2 cows that I keep in Brits. The suits and jackets are just a way of gathering up the money to buy cows. Cows are my passion.
It has only been a short period of time, but I feel so much better about my life. Now that I know how to control what happens to me, I am confident that I can achieve my goals. I can see that I am moving in the right direction. It is hard work, but I am seeing results. Other people can see it too. Lots of people ask me how I am doing this, and I always tell them to attend the SocioTech classes. I tell them that through this training they can change their lives. I tell people that they can trust SocioTech. They are honest and their workers do what they say they will do. Even when I am going house to house in other communities selling jackets, I tell them that SocioTech made my life brighter and gave me a clear perspective. I want as many people as possible to hear the good news.