In all things believe in God and believe in yourself, for you are who He says you are in his word!
These are the words of Matshepo Cheryl Thambekwayo the owner of the Frooty pops based in Rondebult, Ekurhuleni.
Thambekwayoborn and bred in the Eastrandsaid Growing up wasn’t easy, knowing that both her parents couldn’t afford to take care of herself and siblings. Extended family members lend a helping hand .
“When I lost my mother I thought life was over andI nearly lost hope but not being aware that God was on my side all the way but I had to continue to work hard in school and Imanaged to pile up a few more achievements in cultural and leadership activities. As soon as I got to matric things started weighing in on me. The pressure I placed on myself was spiraling out of control as it affected my health and performance in school, recalled Thembekwayo.
Matshepo started working from a very tender age of 16 at a retail store in Germiston called Ebsons, which sells school uniforms. It was quite an experience for her and gave her a taste of the real world and how the working class feels about their everyday 9-5 life. This experience also helpedher enhancepeople, sales and negotiation skills. It also disciplined her always being punctual for work, to look presentable and to mind my own. And after Matric she was told to take a gap year which she found very difficult to understand because she had time the whole year to prepare in getting to the University. During that time of the gap year she then discovered an NGO called Love life at the local clinic in Dawn Park. They had a system of yearly volunteering there and sheimmediately signed up. Only to find that she was being placed in a position of helping children aged between12-19 through a similar situation she had gone through with my mother growing up.
“We worked with local schools and other Government Departments including Health and Sports and Recreation. Being there at the time felt good as I loved speaking and facilitation was one of their criteria’s. But it only became awkward when I had to share my story because I was never open about it till recently. I went on to complete the programme with facilitation, motivational and presentation skills in the bag. As well as completing the the HIV prevention programming and personal leadership, events management, marketing and recruitment skills. The year 2013 the university situation was brought up again and they have chosen a course that I should study which was either nursing or law which both of them where nothing I was interested in. despite all that I went on to register at Ann Latsky Nursing College and resigned the 3rd year when I fell pregnant with my beautiful daughter Amogetswe and my life took a massive turn. Being a single mother I wanted to make life decisions that would make my daughter proud of me. And me living my dreams and having nothing stop me was one of them. Through difficulties I had faced from identity fraud to having all my possessions stolen from me and resulting me to move back home I pressed on and went on to pursue my journey in entrepreneurship.I am proud to say that I am a business owner now of a wonderful product called Frooty Pops which is an icePopsicle made up of a 100% fruity. And have local people which I help in establishing their businesses and seeing most of my peers committing suicide and also provide for my child and familyas well through selling my product. I am proud now to announce that I have 3 outlets already established in Leondale, Katlehong and Alberton and looking forward to growing even further and I read a lot and try new things fail and pick up myself and move on I am most truly grateful for people in my life and customers that supported me through this business venture my partner Nandi and my mentor Credence Williams”. Concluded matshepo thambekwayo.